William Wesley WhitsonHillcrest History Guild

In 1906 this neighborhood was called “University Heights” along with much of San Diego’s uptown area. William Wesley Whitson purchased and subdivided 40 acres north of University Avenue to Lewis Street (between First and Sixth avenues) and opened a sales office for his new “Hillcrest Company” at Fifth & University.

The name caught on…and the rest is history.

Imagine if Hillcrest’s historical society began with Wesley Whitson over a hundred years ago…or if we had photos of his 16-lane Hillcrest Bowl being dedicated a few decades later…or a jpg of the group of women shopkeepers presenting the original Hillcrest sign to the community in 1940. But we didn’t have that resource. Now with the wonders of the Internet, the Hillcrest History Guild will share memories of the past as we link to the future.


Hillcrest Selected One of the Top Ten Great Places in America: Neighborhoods

The American Planning Association (for the first time in their history) designated America’s top ten great neighborhoods — and Hillcrest was justly honored.

The work to share our neighborhood’s story is underway. Please help us record this slice of history with future generations by sharing your stories, photos albums and pieces of memorabilia. The Hillcrest History Guild will provide a place of safekeeping as our neighborhood history grows.

The spark behind the Hillcrest History Guild began in 2002 with the first edition of HillQuest, the Urban Guide to 92103+. While researching the neighborhood it was difficult to find photos and stories from our rich history, and we realized that as years pass these treasures would become even more elusive. Contact The Guild if you have something to share. Consider giving us your old pictures of Hillcrest — or allow us to scan the images and return the photo to you.

Please help the Hillcrest History Guild collect and preserve our past for future generations. Many volunteer opportunities are also available. You may reach us by email or call (619) 298-0779 or (619) 379-3416.

 The HHG was honored to receive a 2010 Community Stonewall Service Award from San Diego LGBT Pride. Thanks for the recognition.

2007 marked Hillcrest’s centennial, and we celebrated all year long. Thanks to everyone for your support in honoring our wonderful neighborhood — honored as one of America’s greatest.


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