Land and Town

JSDH article page 170
The Boston Syndicate sent William Dickinson to manage the San Diego Land and Town Company created in 1886 to develop the 15,000 acres that Kimball had to give to the Syndicate to bring the railroad to National City. The "Land & Town" as Kimball called it, built the Sweetwater dam and the local NC&O railroad system. Dickinson became the "father of Chula Vista" when he set aside 5000 acres south of the Sweetwater Valley for the new subdivision with 5-acre lots selling for $300 per acre. Before Dickinson, there were only 4 houses and a windmill on National Avenue south of the river. Dickinson moved the center of town to Third Avenue where the NC&O line ran, and waged a nationwide advertising campaign for Chula Vista in 1887. After one year there were 35 property owners, and after two years there were 100 homes built "costing not less that $2000" each according to Dickinson's rules. The Company offered 20-acre plots to anyone who would plant citrus trees for 5 years. By 1890 there were 490 acres of lemon and orange trees planted. After Chula Vista incorporated as a city in 1911, its population grew to 1718 by 1920 and to 3869 by 1930.
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Third Avenue in Chula Vista

revised 4/20/08 by Schoenherr | National City | Map | San Diego Local History