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REMEMBERING DR. AMORITA TREGANZA




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Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, will present "Dr. Amorita Treganza: A Renaissance Woman" on Mar. 5 at 9:25 a.m. in the Balboa Park Club, Balboa Park, as part of the annual, two-day conference of the Congress of History San Diego & Imperial Counties.

The half-hour powerpoint presentation traces Dr. Treganza's storied career from Spanish dancer, lemon fruit packer and actor to her groundbreaking achievements as a pediatric optometrist and first woman to head a national medical association, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She ran medical offices in San Diego and Lemon Grove.

 

A resident of Lemon Grove from 1926 until her death in 2002, Dr. Treganza's home--the original 1906 cottage built by her grandfather, horticulturist Eduardo Treganza--survives today in all of its charm thanks to Gary S. Elbert, an interior designer and historical society life member.

Dr. Treganza's father, Alberto O. Treganza, (1876-1944) was a noted architect whose beautiful Spanish revival homes live on county-wide. His lasting monument, however, may be The Big Lemon, which he designed in 1928 as a parade float. His 14-year-old daughter rode on the float as the town's first Miss Lemon Grove. Her brother, Adan Treganza, was the famous anthropologist whose discoveries throughout the Southwest and Mexico can be seen in the museum named for him at San Francisco State University, where he established the Anthropology Department. Her mother, Antwonet Kaufman Treganza, was the first woman to head the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce and serve as postmaster. A leading ornithologist, she wrote a weekly birding column for the San Diego Union in the 1920s and 1930s. Dr. Treganza's grandmother, also very accomplished, wrote poetry and studied fossils and shells, amassing an impressive collection.

Dr. Treganza led the effort to found the Lemon Grove Historical Society in 1978 and was a past president. She urged the saving of the town's first church as a civic museum (today, the Parsonage Museum), a goal carried out by her successors on the society's board between 1997 and 2000. The historical society presented a large exhibition, "The Treganza Family in Lemon Grove," in the Parsonage Museum in 2000-2001. The museum is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and weekdays by appointment for classes and tour groups from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Information: 619-460-4353; www.lemongrovehistoricalsociety.org.