Local Color — Santee Historical Society

August 2, 2012

San Diego Community,Santee,Rosemary Joles,San Diego Homes For Sale,Edgemoor Polo Barn,Google,SOHO,Edgemoor Hospital

The Santee Historical Society Mission Statement

The Santee Historical Society has a simple mission.

The Mission of the Santee His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety is to promote awareness, knowledge and appreciation of Santee’s heritage and history: to encourage local historical research and writing; to discover, collect and preserve artifacts, books, pamphlets, maps, genealogies, field books, articles, and materials; and to illustrate and perpetuate the historical heritage of the Santee area.

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Current Project

The Santee Historical Society, a non-profit group, consists of volunteers working to preserve Santee’s history for future generations. Currently the Society is in the process of preparing the Edgemoor Polo Barn to be the permanent home of Santee’s History. There is much work to do. Documents, photos and pamphlets and miscellaneous articles need to be sorted and organized. The types of exhibits to be displayed are still being determined.

Note:  Since this post in August of 2012 the Santee Historical Society successfully made what the locals affectionately call “The Barn”, known as the “Santee Barn” to outsiders, their permanent home.

In addition the Edgemoor Barn was not the Polo Barn as stated above.  The Polo Barn was near the San Diego River and washed away during the floods of 1916.  “The Barn” was actually used to hold prized Guernseys.  

City of Santee

Santee incorporated in 1980. Before that it has enjoyed a rich history, in both tribal culture and rural farming and ranching.

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Edgemoor Hospital Outbuildings

A notable controversy now under discussion revolves around Edgemoor Hospital. The hospital sits on the a portion of the Edgemoor farm purchased in 1913 by Walter Hamlin Dupee, a Chicago millionaire. Dupee built it into a national award-winning dairy farm, polo pony ranch and early tourist attraction.

An avid sportsman and captain of the Coronado Polo Team, Dupee sold his commercial dairy to the County of San Diego for use as a “last resort” home for the aged and indigent in 1923. These building now comprise the Edgemoor Hospital complex. The city is involved in debate as to whether to tear these down and build a women’s prison on the site.

Though not directly involved in this debate, I think I can guess what outcome The Santee Historical Society desires.

The Society is always looking for help. Interested in volunteering? Feel free to contact them.


Located is at 9200 Magnolia Avenue, Santee, CA 92071.  They can be reached at 619-449-2024.  If you would like additional information such as the hours they are open visit their website at santeehistoricalsociety.org.  You can also follow them on Facebook.

Another site interested in historic preservation SOHO.

First Photo by Joseph Eigner, Other Photos by Ambrosia O’Neil

Updated:  11/12/15

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

SanteeRita October 16, 2015

Please note that the Santee Historical Society currently is housed in The Barn in Santee, located at 9200 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA. We are open on Tuesdays from 10 to Noon, except for the 2nd Tuesday of the month. We are also open on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm

Come by and see our exhibits from earlier times in Santee

Visit us on Facebook at : https://www.facebook.com/thesanteehistoricalsociety
Or on the web at : SanteeHistoricalSociety.org


rosemaryjoles October 16, 2015

Thanks for the update. I’ll make this post current to reflect those changes!


SanteeRita November 12, 2015

The Barn in Santee, is not, and never was the Polo Barn. Altho Polo Ponies were kept on the property by the Dupee family, the Polo barn was closer to the San Diego River and was washed away in the Floods of 1916.

The present Barn in Santee was utilized to house the prize Guernsey bulls. These bulls were extremely valuable and the barn had very forward-thinking equipment in it to safeguard the valuable stock.

The green and white barn on the premises is known only as “the Barn” in Santee…or as the “Santee Barn” from outside of Santee.

The Barn is the present home of the Santee Historical Society and contains some interesting exhibits about early Santee. The Historical Society is always in need of volunteers to do a variety of things from painting, gardening, repairing objects, restoration, computer work, working with slides and photos, and transcribing – just to name a few.

Please stop by or call if you can help.


rosemaryjoles November 12, 2015

Thanks for the additional update. Interesting tidbit about the Guernsey bulls.


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