San Diego Chapter, NSDAR

Our History

The San Diego Chapter, NSDAR, has a rich and vibrant history. We are the oldest chapter in the county and our original members read like a "Who's Who" of San Diego society shortly after the turn of the century. 

On December 9, 1910, 33 women met in a Hillcrest home and organized the San Diego Chapter, NSDAR. The new chapter was the first in the county and 19th in the state. There were monthly meetings and annual dues of $2.00. In 1915 the Panama-California Exposition was held in our city. This was our chance to become better known in the community. We opened a Tea Room and welcomed visitors from all over the world, serving cakes, cookies, and tea with DAR china we ordered from Austria. In 1935 we had a hospitality room at the California-Pacific International Exposition (World's Fair).

What started as a small collection of books on genealogy for our members' research has grown to approximately 1,200 volumes, which are on permanent loan to the San Diego Public Library.

As fundraisers, we have had teas, coffees, picnics, silent auctions, raffles, and bake sales. We are proud to support and reward good citizenship, patriotism, American history studies, DAR schools, American Indian causes, conservation programs, and high school and university Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Each year we sponsor a naturalization ceremony for immigrants numbering in the thousands. We offer workshops in lineage research. Since 1920 we have placed 16 bronze markers at historical sites and are surveying others.

Jessie Ball duPontJesse Ball duPont, one of our charter members, was a young schoolteacher who married Alfred I. duPont in 1921. She moved from San Diego to the Nemours Estate in Delaware. She kept her membership in San Diego, and when she died in 1970, we became eligible, with many other nonprofit organizations, for grants from the Jessie Ball duPont Foundation. Her legacy has enabled us to make generous contributions to community projects: Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Scouts, Salvation Army, and particularly, in recent years, for the benefit of the city's homeless women and children.

We have rolled bandages, knit sweaters and socks, and packaged medical supplies through two world wars. We have participated in all Military Order of the World Wars' annual Massing of the Colors in Balboa Park with our color guard since 1954, the oldest unit in the program. We have always contributed to the veterans' hospital patients. Now, in this time of peril and conflict, we are focusing on the needs of the USO as families move in and out of the city in active military service.

A more detailed history of the San Diego Chapter, NSDAR, written in December 2000 for its 90th birthday observance, was placed by the DAR Historian General, Washington, D.C., in the NSDAR Archives Americana collection.

Photos in public domain.

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

California State Society Daughters of the American Revolution