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History of the farm

The old Stein farmhouse

The Stein Family Farm was the home of the Stein Family from 1900 until 1992. Charles Stein was born on Christmas 1861 and died in 1954. He, his wife Bertha and their five children lived on the farm. Charles and Bertha were both born in Germany and their families immigrated to California during the 1880s. They met in National City, married in 1891 and moved to Charles' farm close to the Mexican border. Charles was a very successful farmer and got angry when his property was flooded by the construction of the Otay Dam. He took the builders of the dam to court and sued them for a settlement because he did not like the paltry amount of money he was offered for the loss of his property. Charles Stein won his law suit. With $1,000 of this money, the Steins purchased the property in National City in 1900. The Stein's house, the barn and other buildings along with over 2 acres of property now make up the Stein Family Farm Museum.

Becoming a Museum

In 1992 descendants of Charles and Bertha were approached by a purchaser who wanted to tear down the structures on the Farm and build apartments. Public awareness of this resulted in a campaign to "Save the Farm". The purchaser generously sold it back to the City of National City and the government purchased the farmstead with the intent to turn it into a living history museum. The Stein Family Farm is the last cohesive remnant of an original farmstead in the city of National City.


Current efforts are underway to continue preserving the way of life of the Stein family with a focus on the rural 1900 to 1920's. Heirloom vegetables and organic agriculture practices representative of that time period are emphasized.