FUN FACTS:

  • Today’s University Avenue, from 54th Street east, was part of the historic “Chollas Road,” the official county road that followed Chollas Creek east from Downtown to Allison’s Springs (La Mesa), the El Cajon Valley and beyond.
  • The University Avenue name comes from its origins in the 1887 University Heights subdivision. It was then extended into City Heights and became the main business street for the future City of East San Diego (1913-1923).
  • The University Avenue streetcar lines stopped at Euclid Avenue where the steep canyon (now Fox Canyon) blocked the line from extending further in 1916.
  • In 1925 the La Mesa and East San Diego Chambers of Commerce helped obtain funds for grading and paving the University Avenue extension from Euclid Avenue to La Mesa.
  • University Avenue’s bisecting the neighborhoods of Fox Canyon, Oak Park, Belleview Heights/El Cerrito, Redwood Village, and Rolando Park was key to these early Post-War Era areas’ rapid development.

HISTORICAL SITES:

SITE OF JEPSON’S HALF-WAY HOUSE Harbinson & University in La Mesa: Here was the site of Christian Jepson’s 1870s-80s era ranch and stage coach stop—conveniently located near the junction with the road to Spring Valley—now Massachusetts Avenue.

SHENG-HA-LOW SIGN, 58th Street: Historic neon commercial sign moved from Downtown to Belleview Shopping Center—now University Square Center.

UNI-MART SITE/RAY AND JOAN KROC COMMUNITY CENTER, Aragon Drive:The former bed of Chollas Creek was first developed as the membership discount store UniMart in 1959. In 2002 the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center opened on the property.

History content provided by James Newland and may not be copied without his permission. To receive permission, contact us.