Imperial Beach Historical Society
Imperial Beach Historical Society
Welcome to the official website for the Imperial Beach Historical Society

Learn more about us


We are a volunteer group of current and former Imperial Beach residents that enjoys remembering and researching the history of our city. We are dedicated to preserving memories and are always looking for any items of historical interest. If you have any old photographs, newspapers and clippings, periodicals, brochures, and other items related to Imperial Beach, please contact us.


Collect and organize documents, photographs, stories, oral histories, publications, periodicals, artifacts, and any other items related to the history of Imperial Beach, leading to the future establishment of our own Museum of Imperial Beach History.



Provide current and former residents of Imperial Beach a centralized location to contribute, view, read, and remember the history of Imperial Beach.



Note: As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and government direction, we have canceled public meetings and attendance at other public events until further notice.

We normally meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm in the Imperial Beach Library. There is no meeting in December.
We also participate in various events throughout the city by hosting a booth with a display of photographs, books, and other items from our archive.
Please click on Events for additional information.


Collect and archive items of historical interest.

Solicit, categorize, and identify photos, newspaper articles, booklets, pamphlets, and other memorabilia, including oral and written histories relating to significant events, daily life, and the people of Imperial Beach.


Make historical information available and promote the Imperial Beach History Museum.

Engage the support of our local residents. We will have our booth open at various local events with selected artifacts on display to promote the establishment of the Imperial Beach Historical Museum. We will be accepting new members as well as soliciting donations.


Identify and secure a location for the Imperial Beach History Museum.

Seek out, identify, and coordinate with our local government to obtain a location for the new museum.



Annual membership covers one calendar year. The categories are:
Individual - $20.00; Family - $35.00; Corporate - $100.00

There is also a one-time Lifetime Membership for $200.00

You may join and pay for your membership through PayPal using the link below:

Select Your Membership Option:


You may also pay by check or money order.
Download our
Membership Form (Fillable Adobe pdf). After download, open, enter your information, and print.

Make check or money order payable to Imperial Beach Historical Society. Mail the form and your check or money order to:

Imperial Beach Historical Society, P.O. Box 1174, Imperial Beach, CA 91933-1174

Your membership will help us to fulfill our Mission and Vision, and enable us to meet our Strategic Goals.

We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization.
Your membership is tax deductible.


Are you interested? There are so many ways you can support us.
Please contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, events, and ways to contribute.

You may email us at ibhs.info@imperialbeachhistoricalsociety.org or visit our Facebook Group for more information.



Please note: Due to concern over Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and, based on government guidance,
the Imperial Beach Historical Society will be canceling public meetings and attendance at other public events. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Please visit our Facebook Group for the latest information.

UPDATE: Active Transportation Scavenger Hunt 2.0, September 4-21, 2020

The Imperial Beach Historical Society is again supporting the Active Transportation Scavenger Hunt 2.0 hosted by the City of Imperial Beach and IBactive. This semi-virtual event uses the Scavify app to track points and complete tasks. Participants will ride, walk, skate, and roll around Imperial Beach visiting points of interest, shops, sharing photos, and completing mini challenges. Active transportation allows people to move slowly and parking is not a factor in their access. We have provided a new set of questions about Imperial Beach history and locations of historical significance to visit.

Click on the above link for more information and how to participate.



The city of Imperial Beach has been very lucky to have individuals that have taken the time to personally research and publish information about the city's history.
We need to remember these people and their contribution to documenting and preserving the history of Imperial Beach.

Freda Elliott Adams

Freda Compton Elliott Adams, April 17, 1918 – April 3, 2013

Freda is best known for her book "History of Imperial Beach" published in 1976. She and journalist Jay Robbins were named official city historians, and received the awards at the Mayor’s State of the City address on May 24, 2006.

Please refer to the following links:

Gwendolyn Toni McGowan

Gwendolyn Toni McGowan, May 9, 1957 - January 14, 2019

A published author and historian, Toni researched and published articles related to the Imperial Beach's military history and personnel. Most recently, she authored the series about the Experimental Airfield at Imperial Beach and aviation pioneer Charles Francis Walsh. Also, she authored articles about Imperial Beach Green Ghost, Lance Corporal, Dennis Christie, MIA/BNR Vietnam, who was honored by the Imperial Beach Historical Society.

Please refer to the following links: