March 31, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--he remarkable of story of San Diego's first school teacher, Mary Chase Walker, is next up on the "History Alive" lecture series, sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society, on Apr. 3 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.
Well-known Old Town historical impersonator Vanessa Jones, in period attire, will relate Walker's move from Massachusetts in 1865, as the horrific Civil War was winding down, to teach all grades in Old Town San Diego's original public school. Walker came West with an Eastern sensibility, one that included friendship with African Americans. This would lead to a minor scandal that forced her resignation from the school.
Ironically, aid came from the school board president, Ephraim Morse, just as Walker faced dire straits as a single, jobless woman in a community that was a long way from the explosion of cultures and ethnicities that would mark its late 20th century persona.
"She bridged America east and west, as well as past and present," noted Estelle Lauer, vice president for Programs in the historical society. "As an emigrant American, she is an ideal figure for this season's lecture theme, Coming to California: The Immigrant Experience."
"History Alive," now in its 36th season, is suitable for ages 13 and over, and is free (though donations are appreciated). Refreshments will follow the presentation. Information: 619-460-4353.