– 1891 San Diego Union News – THE NEW COWLES SCHOOL

One of the Best Appointed School Buildings in the County

Land was deeded to School District by Jennie B. Santee, B. L. Cowles, et al on June 13, 1891 in the amount of $1.00

Land was deeded to School District by Jennie B. Santee, B. L. Cowles,
et al on June 13, 1891 in the amount of $1.00

“W. H. Sommers writes from El Cajon that the Cowles School took possession of the elegant new school house on Monday morning of this week.

It is doubtful if there is any building of the kind in the county provided with more conveniences. In the first place the furniture and school apparatus is of the very best. Then it is provided with a good well, wind mill and a large tank from which water is piped into the cloak room, where there is a wash bowl placed upon a neat marble slab.

On Arbor Day the children will plant trees upon the acre and a half of ground embraced in the school block. The intention is to irrigate the trees and shrubbery and make the grounds as handsome as good taste and care can make them. The lot is, of course, to be neatly fenced.

A nice bell of fine tone is one of the features of interest, which every school should possess.

This elegant little building will be dedicated with appropriate exercises on Friday evening, December 11 [1891]. The entertainment will consist of recitations, music and short addresses. At the close of the school exercises a lunch will be served, after which the young people will spend a few hours on the always popular amusement of dancing.”

– San Diego Union, San Diego, CA Thursday, December 17, 1891
– Story researched by Carole Delozier

New Business Member!

Grocery Outlet Logo

We are pleased to welcome Grocery Outlet as the newest business member of the Santee Historical Society.

Grocery Outlet is the nation’s largest grocery extreme-value retailer that offers extreme bargains on brand name merchandise, with prices often up to 50% less than conventional retailers. Each store is a local, independently run, family business.   We are proud to welcome them to our Santee family.

Look for their grand opening coming soon!

Please feel free to explore our site.   We are constantly adding new information to our pages.

The Santee Historical Society explores Santee’s past to enrich our present and inspire our future. We connect people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing Santee’s history. Family histories, events, newspaper articles, books, and photographs are being organized, filed and scanned for future research projects. We are a private, 501(c)3 membership organization located at 9200 Magnolia Ave in the green and white barn.

Museum Hours
Tuesday 10 am to 12 Noon
(Closed 2nd Tuesday of each month )
3rd Saturday 10 am to 2 pm.

(619) 449-2024
Email – TheSanteeHistoricalSociety@gmail.com
Facebook – The Santee Historical Society
Webpage – SanteeHistoricalSociety.org

Help Wanted

The Santee Historical Society preserves the most important things – our city’s memories. A dedicated group of volunteers helps us fulfill our mission by performing a volunteer1variety of tasks in every department – and by promoting the SHS in the community.

Would you like to catalog books or objects, research a historical topic, garden, monitor the antiques and rare books market, perform administration tasks, help keep our collections in order, assist at special events – or even clean or paint? Do you like to repair old furniture, sew, or iron? There might be a perfect Santee Historical project just for you! In turn, you will have many opportunities like networking, making new friends, and building valuable work-related skills and experience.

We also need help in the following:

We need volunteers to photograph the buildings of Santee.

Transcriptions of Old Articles
We have been transcribing articles so that they are searchable (These articles contain a wealth of information, and are amazing resources for researchers. However, we need help transcribing these articles from their original newsprint pages to digital form. We need some quick typers to help us make these transcriptions!

Copy old slides and negatives
We have a lot of old slides and negatives that need to be copied into computer ready images.  We will teach you how to do this if you don’t know how.

Fundraising and Corporate Sponsorship
We need help fundraising and finding corporate sponsors for the Historical Society. Are you good at getting people to become members? We would appreciate help from anyone with experience in this area. If you are good at charming the socks off someone, this may be the volunteer job for you!

Decents and House sitters
The Barn is open to the public from 10am to Noon Tuesdays and the third Saturday of the month. The Historical Society needs house sitters to give tours and supervise visitors during this time. House sitters typically work just 2 hours per month.

Oral Histories
Oral history interviews of older Santee residents are so important. These are fascinating pieces of history, containing information that could easily be lost. We need volunteers to conduct oral history interviews of today’s older generations, to make sure that their stories of life in Santee are not lost. If you are one of these older residents, we also need your history.

We are not asking for a lifetime commitment. We are merely asking for an hour or two of your time each month. If you can give us this or more, please contact us at (619) 449-2024, or email us at:


Email us at:  TheSanteeHistoricalSociety@gmail.com.
Our website is SanteeHistoricalSociety.org and find us on Facebook at THE Santee Historical Society.

You can also stop by the barn when we are open on

Tuesday from 10 a.m. to Noon (except the second Tuesday of the month)

the 3nd Saturday of the month from 10am to 2pm.

The Santee Historical Society is a private, tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization. We are not a City agency or financially supported by the City of Santee nor our we financially supported by the County of San Diego.   We are entirely dependent on contributions from ordinary people.  That’s why public support is so crucial!

Please note that your contributions may be tax deductible.  Please consult with your tax adviser for more information.

Terry Hansen – Santee man: A way with wood –

Hanson 20150325_165749_r900x493

Even as macular degeneration steals Terry Hansen’s eyesight and arthritis and other health problems slow him, the Santee resident is still crafting original wooden works of art that are beauties to behold. Even losing the top of his left thumb and full use of parts of his four left fingers from an accident three years ago, has not stopped Hansen from creating items from jewelry boxes to storage chests, from game boards to cutting boards, from small tables to counter tops. His items continue to draw applause, attention and awards at art fairs and craft shows around California and the West Coast. He is a featured artist at a show this weekend in Burbank.Hansen’s bursting star made of orange, padauk, purpleheart, maple, Peruvian walnut, wenge, bocote and cocobolo woods grabs attention in the front lobby at La Maestra Community Health Center in City Heights.

“I’m here to be an artist,” Hansen, 63, said of his purpose in life. “Five hundred years from now I want someone to look at my art and say, ‘He had so much in his heart when he made that.’ The idea is that if I do something positive for the world, the less harmful the world is. I guess I’m just an old hippie. I’ve had an amazing career.”

Hansen is a wood inlay artist, who for more than 45 years has been piecing together, almost like a jigsaw puzzle, exotic pieces of colorful wood in meticulous detail. His abstract, intricate and unique geometric designs made from more than 70 kinds of colorful wood from around the world have won him ribbons at the San Diego County Fair and other local contests for more than 30 years.

Inspired by M.C. Escher, Hansen works out of a soundproofed, modest garage studio near Santee Lakes, where colorful wood pieces are sorted out, stacked, separated and line the walls and floor. An electrical saw, knives and other cutting instruments and designing tools are at hand, as are special eye-wear and magnifying lenses to help him see.

“Having a background in woodworking, I’m amazed at his capabilities,” said North County resident Curtis Gerwig, who met Hansen at a Coronado art show 15 years ago, bought one of Hansen’s wooden trunks and went from being a fan to a friend. “I know the kinds of rare, exotic woods he uses and how really difficult it is to inlay, to create a plane finish and actually bring out the grain from the woods. They actually pop off the surface. The way he cuts wood and presents it as an art form is something he’s been working on and honing for 30 years. As far as woodworking, there is no comparison on the West Coast. I have great appreciation for it.”

He’s not alone. Over the years, Hansen said his items have been bought by a curator at the Smithsonian Institution, sold to George W. Bush long before he was president, and have been shown at the Louvre in Paris.
Hansen said he has made more than 43,000 items, not including wooden bars and wooden countertops, like the one he created in his garage for the kitchen of his rental home near Santee Lakes, where he lives with a roommate and four cats.

In his bedroom, Hansen has an intricate multicolored dresser with several drawers that he built many years ago. On top of it is his most cherished creation, a beautifully crafted box holding his mother’s ashes.

Hansen, a Michigan native and twice married and divorced with five children, has lived in Missouri, Florida and out of a mobile home as he traveled cross country for 15 years. Since coming to California, he has lived in several places in San Diego County. He said he first visited California 33 years ago, falling in love with San Diego.

For a time Hansen said he lived out of his mobile home, but for nearly 10 years he also lived among the homeless in the San Diego Riverbed off Friars Road. Health issues and finances put him on the street, but with help from his family, he got back on his feet again. Since the mid-2000s, he has called Santee home.

Another problem has arisen recently for Hansen. City officials have told him he is violating municipal code requirements for a home-based business, including not having a business license, noise and dust emanating from the garage, and an accessory structure in the backyard. Neighbors from across the street have attended City Council meetings to complain about what they say are traffic and parking issues related to his business.

Santee Planning Director Melanie Kush said Hansen may have underestimated his hobby-turned-business.

“A lot of crafters begin small and then they grow, they grow so fast,” Kush said. “They haven’t thought about going someplace else where cottage industries (belong). And sometimes businesses like his belong in industrial areas.”


Wanted – Santee School Yearbooks

yearbook1 Do you have a yearbook from your years at a Santee, CA school that you don’t know what to do with?   You don’t want to throw them away…they were expensive and carry some wonderful memories!   But they are sitting on a shelf or in a box somewhere and you never look at them anymore.


DONATE THEM TO THE SANTEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY!   We would love to have your old yearbooks.  It doesn’t matter what year they are from.  Any day that that has passed is HISTORY!  And that means it belongs where it will be loved, cared for, and remembered forever.  What better place for those school memories to be than in a museum… like the SANTEE HISTORICyearbook3AL SOCIETY’S MUSEUM!   ♥


Call us at (619) 449-2024 …  or drop it by the museum (the green and white Edgemoor Barn at 9200 Magnolia Ave.)  Hours are as posted.


The Santee Historical Society is a 501(C)3 nonprofit.  Your donations may be tax-deductible.



Santee Historical Society Evening Meeting & Dedication of Flag Pole

Please join us 6 pm  – Tuesday, August 18th for our first evening General Meeting… 2Jacob,Dianne-2013photo_1

6:00 pm – Welcome Dianne Jacob, others and members; Fr. Crafts, life member, will dedicate the Barn’s new flag pole

6:15 pm – County Supervisor Dianne Jacob will be the guest speaker, addressing questions about the future of the Edgemoor barn property and its link to the River Park, followed by a Q & A.

6:55 pm – Santee’s Boy Scout Troop 347 will provide the Color Guard to Retire the Colors.

The Edgemoor barn is Santee’s oldest historical landmark, however it is owned by the County of San Diego. We need everyone to show their support for the County keeping up the maintenance of the barn while maintaining it as the Home of the Santee Historical Society.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob has been wonderful supporter of the Santee Historical Society. Your presence at this meeting will reiterate the message to the entire Board that that this is a subject that is important to all Santee residents. Please come and show your support.

Light refreshments will be served.

20 Years and Counting for Volunteer of the Month | News | San Diego County News Center


July 21, 2015 | 3:29pm


She’s donated 20 years of her time to the County Parks and Recreation Department and most of them went to the open space preserve. For 15 of those years she also acted as President of the Friends of Goodan Ranch and is currently the President of the Santee Historical Society.

The Board of Supervisors honored Crafts on Tuesday for her dedication and named her Volunteer of the Month.

The Sycamore Canyon open space preserve spreads across more than 2,200 acres between the communities of Poway, Lakeside and Santee and features coastal sage scrub and chaparral-covered hills. The preserve also includes the 325-acre Goodan Ranch, ten miles of trails, wildlife, a seasonal creek and glimpses of the people who once lived there.

“She is involved in so many ways, it’s just amazing what she does,” said Parks Volunteer Coordinator Cheryl Wegner. “We’re thrilled to give her this honor.”
Crafts does do it all. She loves to lead the hikes but she also takes part in wildlife and plant studies, gives presentations at the Nature Center, helps raise money for the preserve, leads the Friends group in getting involved with local parades and community fairs, and she researches the history of Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon.

She knows so much about the area’s past, she could write a book about it. In fact she has – “Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon, A History of the Land, Then and Now.”

“The preserve is a really unique window to what the world was like when homesteaders lived there,” said Crafts.

The original ranch house and much of Sycamore Canyon went up in smoke during the 2003 fires but they also revealed something else. The flames burned away foliage that was covering a bit of history – foundations of other historic structures once built in the scenic area. While plants have grown over them again, Crafts can tell you all about it.

“I love everything Carol does for Goodan Ranch,” said County Parks Director Brian Albright. “She kept everything going after the fires.”

The fires were 12 years ago but her love for the area is still going strong. Her enthusiasm isn’t flagging either. “Come and see it,” said Crafts. “If you haven’t been there, you need to come and see it.”

Source: 20 Years and Counting for Volunteer of the Month | News | San Diego County News Center