Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Miss Billy Riley Papers MS 215
MS 215  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (55.19 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Content
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Separated Materials
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: Miss Billy Riley Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 215
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1965-2000
    Abstract: The collection contains materials related to the tourism promotion activities of civic leader Miss Billy Riley.
    creator: Riley, Billy, Miss

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains materials related to Miss Billy Riley’s contribution to promoting tourism in Downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter. The collection includes correspondence regarding local hotel/motel tax propositions in the 1960s and 1980s. Awards and articles highlight Riley’s civic involvement in promoting and expanding tourism in San Diego, especially Downtown.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Alison Hennessey on May 17, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Miss Billy Riley Papers, MS 215, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.


    Collection materials are arranged by subject.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Born in Erick, Oklahoma, Miss Billy Riley, as she prefers to be known, moved to San Diego in 1944. She became a civic leader in San Diego after becoming the first woman manager of a major hotel, the Half Moon Inn on Shelter Island, in the 1960s. She would later become part owner. In 1967 she was the first female president of the San Diego Hotel-Motel Association. She was also the first woman director of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce in 1968. Her civic contributions to San Diego ranged from fighting litter to forging a better relationship with Mexico to co-chairing the 1968 World Surfing Olympics. Miss Billy Riley moved back to Oklahoma in 1979 before returning to San Diego. In 1981, she then joined the restoration and renovation efforts at the Horton Grand Hotel. In 1985, she was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also served on the Gaslamp Quarter Council and Old Town Chamber of Commerce. In the early 1990s she moved to Dallas, Texas where she remarried and lived for a few years before again returning to San Diego. Miss Billy Riley has six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

    Separated Materials

    Original photographs separated to Photograph Collection.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 2001.042.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Center City Association (San Diego, Calif.).
    Half Moon Inn (San Diego, Calif.).
    Horton Grand Hotel.
    Reagan, Ronald
    Riley, Billy, Miss
    San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    San Diego Convention Center.
    Soroptimist International Association.
    Gaslamp Quarter (San Diego, Calif.)
    Hotels -- California
    San Diego (Calif.)
    Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico)