The Establishment of La Historia Society
La Historia Society was formed as a result of the La Misión, Hicks' Camp Reunions and persons wanting to preserve the rich cultural history of both El Monte and South El Monte's nine historical barrios, as seen through the eyes and experiences of former residents for the benefit of future generations of Americans.
Although both informal gatherings and a photo exhibit had occurred, it wasn't until March 21, 1998 that La Historia Society was started. The first meeting was held at the El Monte Historical Society Museum. Twelve ambitious souls attended the first meeting. The founding members was led by President Ernie Gutierrez, Treasurer Dr. Ben Campos, Secretary Lucy Pedregon, Connie Muñoz, Patty Holguin, Mary Galazzio, Irene Ramos, Sarah Reyes, Elisa Campos, Nacho Reyes, and Rudy Marquez. With the help of many subsequent and dedicated members we have worked to develop a formidable group: La Historia Society.
What We've Accomplished
La Historia Society has organized several successful events including a luncheon to honor Monsignor John V. Coffield; Memories de Mi Barrio Photo Exhibit; Memoirs of Juanote book signing; Barrio calendars; the very successful first reunion of all nine of El Monte's Barrios in September of 2000, and finally the establishment and opening of the La Historia Society Museum/Museo de Los Barrios in September, 2001.
Future of Our Museum
On Saturday, September 29, 2001 La Historia Society marked a milestone in its history: The Grand Opening of The La Historia Society Museum/Museo de Los barrios. This event marks a beginning and not an end to the accomplishments of the Society's goals. La Historia Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the El Monte City Council, community businesses, citizens and members of La Historia Society in securing our present location at 3240 Tyler Avenue, El Monte, California.
Our current museum includes displays on all nine of our barrios: Canta Ranas, Chino Camp, Wiggins' Camp, Las Flores, Granada, La Misión, Medina Court, Hicks' Camp and La Sección. Photos show families at work, worship and play. The "Schools of the Barrios" display covers the era of segregation. Segregation in the schools ended through the efforts of Monsignor John V. Coffield, Reverend Dwight Ramage and veterans coming back from the service. Our veterans' display includes photos of our Barrios' proud veterans from the World War II, Korea and Vietnam eras. With a collection of over 650 photos and documents we have already outgrown our office/mini-museum and now begin work on Phase II, the establishment of a larger and permanent facility.