Dedicated on Washington's birthday, February 22, 1894, this building was given to the townspeople of Nuevo (as Ramona was then known) by a rancher and financier Augustus Barnett and his wife Martha. Feeling that the local schoolhouse was not a proper place to hold dances and other social events, Barnett donated $17,000 in gold coin to erect a building that could serve as the social center for the community as well as host a library.
Romona Town Hall was designed by noted San Diego architect William S. Hebbard. Built of adobe with brick veneer in the Romanesque / Mission Revival style, it is considered one of the largest freestanding adobe structures in the southwest.
The building was erected by T.O. Samuels on two lots donated by real estate developer and surveyor Milton Santee. Santee soon thereafter successfully lobbied to town to change its name to Ramona in order to capitalize upon the popularity of Helen Hunt Jackson's literary character of the same name.
During its long history, this building has served the community as home to the towns library, movie theater, high school, bank, dance hall, justice court, and annual turkey day celebration. Numerous organizations - including the chamber of commerce, Masonic Lodge, volunteer fire department and Red Cross - first assembled here.