Our La Mesa section covers the communities of La Mesa and Mount Helix. Click here to read some fascinating facts about La Mesa and Mt. Helix. Click here for links to city services, activities, shopping, business groups, farmers’ market, schools, library, hospital, service groups, theaters, transportation, utilities, weather and more in La Mesa.
FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT LA MESA
La Mesa is located 11 miles east of San Diego, bordering Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and El Cajon.
La Mesa’s motto is “Jewel of the Hills.”
La Mesa has been named a “Tree City USA” since 1980 for its commitment to urban forestry. The official city tree is the plum tree and the city flower is the bougainvillea.
La Mesa has 14 parks, as well as a public pool and municipal golf course.
In a 2014 survey by the city, 90% of La Mesa’s residents rated the quality of life in La Mesa as excellent or good.
La Mesa means “the table” in Spanish, named for the tablelands between San Diego and El Cajon.
Founded in 1912, La Mesa recently celebrated its centennial. The community was originally named La Mesa Springs, after its water source.
The first effort to win cityhood failed – until women got the vote and the incorporation measure passed. The leader of the local suffragist movement, Helen Stoddard, later ran for Congress on the Temperance Party ticket.
La Mesa’s “Walkway to the Stars” honors volunteers who have donated 10,000 hours of service or more to the city. It is located between La Mesa Boulevard and the Allison Avenue municipal parking lot.
La Mesa is the hometown of some famous people including NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton, football star Alex Smith, actor Dennis Hopper, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, and Brooks Conrad, singer in the rock band Pearl.
La Mesa was once home to the Flying A movie studio, which filmed over 100 silent movies in 1911-12. Director Allan Dwan later moved to Hollywood and went on to direct major stars including John Wayne, Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan.
Major annual events in La Mesa include these downtown activities: Flag Day Parade, Oktoberfest, Back to the ‘50s Car Show, Antiques in the Village, and Christmas in the Village. There are also Concerts at Six held summers in Harry Griffith Park.
Mount Helix is named after a snail.
The Mount Helix and Grossmont Knoll area were develped by Colonel Ed Fletcher and Wliliam Gross, a theatrical agent and actor, who launched an arts colony that attracted stars of music, stage, and the literary community.
An amphitheater atop Mount Helix today hosts concerts, summer theater performances and Easter sunrise services.