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Same Day Gift Basket Hand Delivery To
Chula Vista, California and the surrounding areas
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Offer Delivery To Chula Vista Hospitals
Hospital Santa Monica
1229 3rd Ave Chula Vista CA 91911
Chula Vista CA 91911619-427-3007
The history of the
area known as Chula Vista, can be traced back millions of years through
prehistoric fossils of both land and sea types. Around 3000 B.C., Yuman-speaking
began moving into the area. Many of the Native American Indians in San Diego
today are descendants of the Kumeyaay tribe who roamed here for hundreds of
In 1542, a fleet of three small ships sailed into San Diego Harbor commanded
by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. These explorations led the Spanish to claim the
land. In 1795, Chula Vista
became a part of a Spanish land grant known as Rancho del Rey or "The King's
Ranch." When Mexico formed its own government in 1831, Rancho del Rey became
known as Rancho de la Nación
or National Ranch. The ranch encompassed the area now known as National
City, Chula Vista, Bonita, Sunnyside and the Sweetwater Valley. Rancho de la
Nación was used by the
Spanish as grazing land for their cattle and horses until 1845 when it was
granted to John Forster, the son-in-law of Mexican governor Pio Pico.
The United States claimed California following the Mexican-American War in
1847. Even though California became a state in 1850, land grants were
allowed to continue as private property under American law.
Forster continued to operate the ranch for ten years until he sold it to a
French developer. The land was then again sold to the Kimball brothers in
1868 for $30,000. Frank, Warren and
Levi Kimball intended to develop the land into productive American-style
cities and farms. Frank Kimball is also responsible for bringing the Santa
Fe Railroad to San Diego, with its first terminus in National City.
Several directors of the Santa Fe Railroad and Colonel W.G. Dickerson, a
professional town planner, formed the San Diego Land and Town Company. The
company set out to develop
lands of the National Ranch for new settlers. They issued promotional
material to attract settlers that read: "Upon the best part of this tract,
5,000 acres (20 km²) are being subdivided into
five acre (20,000 m²) lots with avenues and streets 80 feet in width running
each way, the steam motor road passing though the center. This tract, known
as Chula Vista, lies but a mile
from the thriving place of National City." With this announcement, the boom
of the 1880s was on.
These five-acre (20,000 m²) lots sold for $300 per acre ($740 per hectare)
in 1887. The purchaser was required to build a home within six months on the
parcel. By 1889, ten
houses were under construction and land sales were excellent. Thus, the town
of Chula Vista was created.
A resident, James D. Schulyer, suggested the name Chula Vista for the town
and the San Diego Land and Town Company adopted it. Chula Vista can be
roughly translated in Spanish as "beautiful view."
In 1888, the Sweetwater Dam was completed to bring water to Chula Vista
residents and their farming lands. Frank Kimball became the State
Commissioner of Agriculture and discovered citrus trees to be the most
successful crop for the area. Chula Vista eventually became the largest
lemon-growing center in the world for a period of time.
A railroad was built to connect San Diego, National City, Chula Vista and
Otay. This railroad, known as the National City and Otay Railroad,
flourished for many years.
On October 17, 1911, an election was held in Chula Vista to incorporate and
the people voted in its favor. The State of California approved this Act of
Incorporation in November. The Board of Trustees of Chula Vista held an
election at the office of the People's State Bank and E.T. Smith was elected
Local farmers continued to grow lemons as their primary crop and used over
eight packing houses in the city. However, terrible weather came to the area
in the following years causing severe damage. Crops suffered from a severe
freeze in 1913 and droughts in 1914 and 1915. The Floods of 1916 caused
major damage with a break in the Lower Otay Dam causing millions of gallons
(or liters) of water to empty out in two and a half hours. Railroad tracks
near Second Avenue were swept away, 23 homes were destroyed and more than 20
people were killed.
In February 1916, the Hercules Powder Company began the design and
construction of a kelp processing plant covering a 30-acre (12 hectare) plot
of land in Chula Vista. Kelp was an ideal source of materials used in the
production of explosives. The plant produced potash and acetone to make
cordite, a smokeless powder used extensively by the British armed forces in
World War I. Hercules produced 46,000,000 lb (21,000,000 kg) of cordite for
the British government during the war, making it the largest kelp harvesting
fleet in the world at the time. The plant was located on what is now known
as Gunpowder Point, currently the home of the Chula Vista Nature Center.
Although the Great Depression affected Chula Vista significantly,
agriculture still provided considerable income for the residents. In 1931,
the lemon orchards produced $1 million in revenue and the celery fields
World War II ushered in changes that would affect the City of Chula Vista
forever. The principal reason was the relocation of Rohr Aircraft
Corporation to Chula Vista in early 1941, just months before the attack on
Pearl Harbor. Rohr employed 9,000 workers in the area at the height of its
wartime production. With the demand for housing, the land never returned to
being orchard groves again. The population of Chula Vista tripled from 5,000
residents in 1940 to more than 16,000 in 1950.
After the war, many of the factory workers and thousands of servicemen
stayed in the area resulting in the huge growth in population. During those
years, numerous schools, homes, banks, restaurants, gas stations and
shopping centers opened to accommodate the growing number of residents. The
last of the citrus groves and produce fields disappeared as Chula Vista
became one of the largest communities in San Diego.