Our Programs

children half moon bay old photo

Children of Half Moon Bay, date unknown.


The Half Moon Bay History Association’s Education Committee was created to introduce Coastside youth to local history. Our first program, fine-tuned over the past five years, brings a blend of history talks and related crafts to third-grade classrooms via a 90-minute interactive visit.

It is our goal to bring our program to each third-grade class in the four public elementary schools in the Cabrillo School District, and to the two private elementary schools in our Coastside area, every school year.

We are developing future school programs for both the middle school and the high school. With more volunteers, we hope to find more ways to educate other segments of our growing population. We want to give all residents and visitors an opportunity to learn about the important and fascinating history of the Coastside.

A Coastside family.

Oral History

Stories told by local people about their lives and experiences are among our greatest historical treasures. It is one of the best ways to reach back in time and touch remarkable individuals and irreplaceable times.

Through our archival collections, we’ve discovered a series of interviews that were recorded more than 50 years ago. We’re developing preservation methods for these recordings and any resulting transcripts.

We’re also beginning to request additional oral history interviews with important Coastsiders. This will bring us a wealth of information about history on the coast. If you or someone you know has a story to share, please email info@halfmoonbayhistory.com

Dobbel mansion drawing

The Half Moon Bay History Association holds quarterly meetings on a range of historical topics. In addition to hearing an interesting presentation, the meetings provide an opportunity for community members to meet and socialize.

The programs are held at the historic Portuguese Community Center at 724 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. Attendees can appreciate the large mural of the Islands of the Azores from which many early residents emigrated. All of the presentations are free and open to the public.

Recent programs have included talks on the Portola Expedition, how the geology of the coast has impacted history, Prohibition and smuggling, and much more. There is always a good crowd, though there is always room for anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating history of this area.

There are dozens of buildings in and around downtown Half Moon Bay that are of historic significance. However, only a handful have plaques providing information on their history, including dates when they were built.

The Historic Marker Team has identified 19 buildings on or close to Main Street on which to install exterior plaques to share that history. Each marker includes a photo of the original structure or its owner along with a paragraph illustrating each structure’s colorful history. Look for them soon!