Lemon Grove claims the 'best climate on earth'

Lemon Grove is located nine miles east of downtown San Diego and so it obviously shares the same incredible weather. However, Lemon Grove has taken it one step further with their official city motto, the "best climate on earth." Warm, mild weather characteristics of a Mediterranean climate combine with the coastal mesas and canyons to produce warm summers and moderate winters.

Lemon Grove lemon
The famous Lemon Grove giant lemon.

Its first known permanent resident, sheep rancher Robert Allison settled the community in 1869. From the 1860s to 1900 the area was known for sheep and poultry ranching and vegetable crops. In the early 1900s, the community acquired its name when large citrus groves were planted. Lemon and orange growing and shipping became the area's major industry. By World War II, most of the citrus groves had disappeared and suburbanization had begun. Lemon Grove was incorporated as a city in 1977.

With a small town population of 27,000, Lemon Grove has a surprising historical background. Aside from boasting to have the "worlds largest lemon in the world" built in 1928, (making it the world's oldest as well as largest,) Lemon Grove had the first successful school desegregation court decision in the history of the United States.

Lemon Grove neighborhood
A quiet tree-lined street in Lemon Grove.

The Lemon Grove Incident in 1931 was a boycott of segregated schools by Mexican Americans, resulting in the first court-ordered school desegregation. On July 23, 1930, the all-Anglo Lemon Grove school board decided to build a separate school for children of Mexican heritage without giving notice to their parents. On January 5, 1931, Lemon Grove Grammar School principal Jerome Green, acting under instructions from school trustees, turned away Mexican children at the schoolhouse door, directing them to the new school, which came to be known within the local Mexican American community as la caballeriza, meaning "the stable." The parents refused to send their children to the new school, and since they were not allowed back at the main schoolhouse, this resulted in the boycott.

Lemon Grove Ave. photo
The Local business district on a busy Saturday.

Another interesting piece of Lemon Grove history involved the discovery of ancient Indian mummies in a garage in 1980. In the mid 1960s, two local teenagers trekked to caves near Chihuahua, Mexico, in search of a mummy to keep for their own. After spending more than a month exploring caves, the teens finally found two mummies, which they packed up and smuggled across the border. Having no idea what to do with their discoveries and not wanting their parents to know, the teens asked a friend if they could store a box in her garage in Lemon Grove, California.

Lemon Grove Trolley Station
Residents living on the hillside of the La Playa neighborhood enjoy panoramic views of San Diego Bay, Coronado and Downtown San Diego.

For 14 years, the mummies of the girl and the infant remained in the Lemon Grove garage, until the mother of the friend began to clean out her garage. The mother discovered the mummies and as a result believed a murder had taken place. When the mummies were tracked back to the two males, they wanted to donate the mummies to a museum. San Diego Museum of Man officials contacted Mexican authorities and asked for permission to keep the mummies as exhibits and an addition to the permanent collection. Permission was granted, and the mummies were placed on exhibit. The mummies were dated from between 1040 and 1200 A.D.

Lemon Grove has some of the most affordable housing in San Diego with the median price around $362,500 for a single-family residence in May, 2015 according to DataQuick. With its choice location in the San Diego area, easy access to freeways and a trolley that will take you your choice of destinations be it Mission Valley, downtown San Diego or even the Mexico border, Lemon Grove could be just the place to live and play in the "best climate on earth."

Copright 2015


Map link - Lemon Grove


Golden Avenue Elementary
7885 Golden Ave.

Montery Heights Elementary
7550 Canton Dr.

Mount Vernon Elementary
8350 Mount Vernon

San Miguel Elementary
7059 San Miguel Ave.

San Altos Elementary
1750 Madera St.


Dirk's Niteclub
7622 Broadway


Lemon Grove neighborhood profile blip
NEARBY: El Cajon Jamul Julian Mount Helix
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