La Mesa

A Brief History:

On February 16, 1912 La Mesa Springs, a community of 700 citrus farmers, home-seekers, developers and businessmen incorporated into the City of La Mesa. Located amongst the rolling hills and mesa “tablelands” between San Diego and El Cajon, today’s suburban city of over 56,000 is still renown for its “small town” character, featuring its historic “village” business district, family-friendly neighborhoods, good schools, and ample retail and recreational amenities.

The area’s centuries-old prehistory and history can be traced to the natural springs that attracted stockman Robert Allison in 1869. “Allison Springs,” later renamed La Mesa Springs, prospered and grew after the arrival of the San Diego and Cuyamaca Eastern Railroad in 1889 (now the route of the MTDB Trolley).

After incorporation the young city grew steadily, reaching 3,925 residents by 1940. Post-World War II, La Mesa exemplified the exponential suburban growth of the region, expanding to the north and west of old downtown to accommodate 50,000 plus residents by 1980—all still attracted, as today, to the “Jewel of the Hills.”

La Mesa Historical Structures

"Grossmont Beginnings" (pdf file)