City's First Library
(Closed until Feb. 1, 2023)
Our Offices and Research Center are housed in Escondido’s first library building, which originally stood on Grand Avenue at Hickory. You will find phone directories, yearbooks, catalogues, and an extensive book collection here, along with exhibits and collection of photographs. The Office & Research Center is open 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Due to limited staffing, hours are subject to change; please call ahead to confirm that we will be open when you wish to visit.
The Hoffman House was built in 1890 on a five-acre lot on North Escondido Blvd., formerly Nutmeg St. This Victorian home is fully furnished as it would have been more than a century ago. The Hoffman house is temporarily closed for repairs but when it opens, you will be able to enjoy a free docent-led tour to learn about living conditions and life in early Escondido.
The 1901 Penner Barn was moved here from the east end of the valley and features agricultural equipment and vintage vehicles. The Barn is opened occasionally during special events.
Bandy Blacksmith & Wheelwright Shop
The original 1908 Bandy Blacksmith Shop was located at 219 N. Kalmia St. Our reproduction barn, built in 1993, is home to blacksmithing and classes. The wheelwright shop was added in 2007. Visit the Blacksmiths on Tuesday and Saturday mornings to see them in action. For more about the Bandy Blacksmith Guild, including blacksmithing classes, click here.
Train Depot & Train Car
The Santa Fe Depot is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It was originally located on West Grand between Quince and Spruce and was the hub of the community for decades. Moved to this location in 1984, the Depot is now our main museum, which includes the railroad office and waiting room as well as displays of Native American heritage, early Escondido agriculture, and the development of Escondido as a town. The railroad car, #92, was built by the Pullman Company in the 1920s. The interior has been restored to include passenger seats and a mailroom, but the main display is an H-O scale model railroad that depicts the original 22-mile route from Oceanside to Escondido. The Train Depot is open to tour at no charge on Thursdays and Saturdays 1-4:00 pm.