A walk through history in The Village of La Mesa.

Photo taken from the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street shows a small stretch of The Village.
Photo taken from the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street shows a small stretch of The Village.

On Sunday morning I took a short walk in the heart of La Mesa. The most fascinating stretch was through the historic area of the city known as The Village. I walked up La Mesa Boulevard from Spring Street to Legacy Park, then back down along the opposite sidewalk.

Not only is this stretch full of local history, but it’s home to the La Mesa Walk of Fame, which honors individual contributions to the city by accomplished and generous residents. In my photos I’ve included a few notable plaques.

The Village on a Sunday morning was very quiet, with a smattering of locals eating breakfast or an early lunch in the small eateries that I passed. The Village, with its plain, practical buildings from a bygone era, feels very modest. It doesn’t strike me as a place that attracts hipsters–more a cherished place for families and ordinary folk and people like me who enjoy a slow Sunday stroll.

I took photos. Please read the captions for a few explanations of what I saw.

The City of La Mesa Walk of Fame can be experienced on both sidewalks along La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring Street and 4th Street.
The City of La Mesa Walk of Fame can be experienced on both sidewalks along La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring Street and 4th Street.
Bill Walton graduated from La Mesa's Helix High School. He was inducted into the NBA basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time.
Bill Walton graduated from La Mesa’s Helix High School. He was inducted into the NBA basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time.
Walking through the Village up La Mesa Boulevard. The buildings are modest but retain local history and many memories.
Walking through the Village up La Mesa Boulevard. The buildings are modest but retain local history and many memories.
The La Mesa Craft Corner on a quiet Sunday morning.
The La Mesa Craft Corner on a quiet Sunday morning.
A nice lady with some Fourth of July crafts smiles for my blog about San Diego.
A nice lady with some Fourth of July crafts smiles for my blog about San Diego.
The Lookout is public art project in Legacy Park, the small triangle where La Mesa Boulevard, 4th Street and Allison Avenue meet.
The Lookout is public art project in Legacy Park, the small triangle where La Mesa Boulevard, 4th Street and Allison Avenue meet.
The Lookout was created by a family of artists--Jesus Dominguez, Mary Lynn Dominguez and Amy Dominguez. It depicts the colorful history of La Mesa.
The Lookout was created by a family of artists–Jesus Dominguez, Mary Lynn Dominguez and Amy Dominguez. It depicts the colorful history of La Mesa.
Closer photo of The Lookout at Legacy Park. Eight mosaic panels made of tile show historical events in La Mesa from 1912 to 2012.
Closer photo of The Lookout at Legacy Park. Eight mosaic panels made of tile show historical events in La Mesa from 1912 to 2012.
At the center of The Lookout is the John B. Reed Centennial Time Capsule, to be opened in 2062.
At the center of The Lookout is the John B. Reed Centennial Time Capsule, to be opened in 2062.
Legacy Park also includes a memorial clock and a bronze sculpture of the Helix snail.
Legacy Park also includes a memorial clock and a bronze sculpture of the Helix snail. The 1939 U.S. Post Office Building is seen in the background.
Children are encouraged to ride this fun bronze snail!
Children are encouraged to ride this fun bronze snail!
Felix the Helix. The story goes that Rufus King Porter named Mount Helix after the Helix aspersa, a European garden snail that was discovered locally.
Felix the Helix. The story goes that Rufus King Porter named Mount Helix after the Helix aspersa, a European garden snail that was discovered locally.
Now I'm walking back down La Mesa Boulevard on the other side of the street. A small slice of Americana. The modest shops and buildings recall a simpler time.
Now I’m walking back down La Mesa Boulevard on the other side of the street. A small slice of Americana. The modest shops and buildings recall a simpler time.
La Mesa Historical Society plaque shows a prosperous Lookout Avenue circa 1929. The street was renamed La Mesa Boulevard in 1940.
La Mesa Historical Society plaque shows a prosperous Lookout Avenue circa 1929. The street was renamed La Mesa Boulevard in 1940.
Family and a flag bench in front of Amethyst Moon, a unique gift store in The Village of La Mesa.
Family and a flag bench in front of Amethyst Moon, a specialty gift shop in The Village of La Mesa.
The are many plaques in the City of La Mesa Walk of Fame. This one celebrates James Culbert, inductee into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame.
The are many plaques in the City of La Mesa Walk of Fame. This one celebrates James Culbert, inductee into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame.
Another plaque celebrates Dr. Ellen Ochoa, graduate of Grossmont High School and the first Hispanic woman astronaut.
Another plaque celebrates Dr. Ellen Ochoa, graduate of La Mesa’s Grossmont High School and the first Hispanic woman astronaut.
A photo of the Heller Building, now home of an escrow company.
A photo of the Heller Building, now home of an escrow company.
La Mesa Historical Society photo of the Heller Building in the 1940s. It has housed many businesses including Gilbert's five and dime and Culver's drugstore.
La Mesa Historical Society photo of the Heller Building in the 1940s. It has housed many businesses including Gilbert’s five and dime and Culver’s drugstore.
Maxwell's House of Books adds life to The Village.
Maxwell’s House of Books adds life to The Village.
It is a tie between men to have read the same book. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is a tie between men to have read the same book. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Old photo on ATT building shows telephone company worker in the undeveloped hills of La Mesa many years ago.
Old photo on ATT building shows telephone company worker in the undeveloped hills of La Mesa many years ago.
The Village is a modest few blocks in the city. Full of history and memory, it provides a taste of days when La Mesa was a small American town.
The Village is a modest few blocks in the city. Full of history and memory, it provides a taste of days when La Mesa was a small American town.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

10 thoughts on “A walk through history in The Village of La Mesa.”

  1. We live near here and frequent Maxwell’s House of Books! Love that you included that in the post, they have great deals. Thanks for sharing this – I had NO IDEA about the Helix snail, the La Mesa Walk of Fame, or that the lookout contained a time capsule! VERY COOL!! Love the local history, cant wait for more posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was looking at pictures of Encinitas the other day and saw a sign on the “Historic 101 route” We drove 101 until interstate 5 was built and historic La Mesa was just La Mesa.
    Growing up in old San Diego was awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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