On February 16, 1912, a group of pioneering Californians gathered east of San Diego and formed a new community. Then largely rural and nestled in hills surrounding highlands overlooking the coast, they eventually called this town La Mesa. Today, this city has undergone a remarkable transformation.
While maintaining the spirit and feel of its small town roots, La Mesa has become a mecca for those seeking a balanced, measured life-style amid an increasingly urban region. Its population has grown to nearly 60,000, yet it has maintained a mix of distinct neighborhoods, many of which have preserved elements of the city’s 100-year history. Even as trolley tracks and highways shortened the time and distances between La Mesa and its urban neighbors, elements of great avocado farms, lemon groves and horse paddocks can still be found surrounding a Village core that is neither urban nor suburban. La Mesa’s motto is “Jewel of the Hills’’ and it has remained true to that description for a century.