- La Mesa Colony was the main subdivision platted and owned by the San Diego Flume Company. The Flume Company looked to bring water from the Cuyamaca Mountains to the “La Mesa Reservoir” (now Lake Murray) for supplying customers in El Cajon Valley, the “Mesa” east of San Diego and the growing City. This included a wooden flume line from El Monte around El Cajon Valley to today’s Grossmont Pass where it was storage in a series of reservoirs.
- The Colony’s “La Mesa” Townsite was platted along the “Cajon Road” from today’s 67th Street out to today’s 73rd Street on the east and west with its northern boundary on today’s Saranac Street and south on today’s Amherst Street. This was the original townsite for La Mesa.
- The first public school, the La Mesa School, was established at the townsite in 1891 to serve the small rural farming community of citrus and poultry farmers.
- After the San Diego & Cuyamaca Railroad built its road south and east of the area through old Allison Springs in the early 1890s, the name shifted east to the renamed La Mesa Springs–eventually becoming the City of La Mesa in 1912.
- In 1906 the La Mesa School was renamed the La Mesa Heights School, reflecting the area’s need to identify itself from La Mesa Springs.
- In 1911 the La Mesa Heights district paid for construction of a new school house, designed by noted architect Irving Gill.
- La Mesa Heights became a major poultry farming area in the 1920s and had its own Chamber of Commerce.
- The original street names of the La Mesa Townsite were changed when the area agreed in a bitter and controversial set of votes to annex into the City of San Diego in 1928. (67th=Alice Street; 68th=Olive Street; 69th=Victoria Street; 70th=Lois Street; 71st=Helen Street; 72nd=Dora Street; 73rd=Isabella Street; Saranac=Vista Street; Mohawk=Santiago Street; Amherst=Ramona Street).
- In 1932 the La Mesa Heights School was transferred to San Diego City Schools and renamed John Muir Elementary. It is currently Harriet Tubman Charter School.
- Much of the area outside of the original subdivision remained undeveloped until after World War II when small tracts of houses (such as Dennstedt Point) and later apartments filled in the area up to Alvarado Canyon.
- The Alvarado Highway opened to traffic in 1950, taking the route of old U.S. Highway 80 off of El Cajon Boulevard. It is now the route of Interstate 8.
LA MESA COLONY & TOWNSITE est. 1887
DAUER & WESTOVER TRACT est. 1892
SUPERIOR HEIGHTS est. 1921
SULLIVAN TRACT est. 1924
ALTA MESA VILLAS est. 1945
DENNSTEDT POINT est. 1951
DIAMOND TRACT est. 1952
COLLEGE HEIGHTS HOSPITAL est. 1958
WILSHIRE PARK est. 1960
History content provided by James Newland and may not be copied without his permission. To receive permission, contact us.