Monday, March 5, 2012

Program Review - "Key Moments in Chula Vista History"

There were 42 members and guests at the February Program meeting on 29 February featured Dr. Steven Schoenherr speaking on "Key Moments in Chula Vista History."  Dr. Schoenherr is the author of the recent book Chula Vista Centennial: A Century of People and Progress written to celebrate Chula Vista's Centennial.

Steve had an impressive set of slides that showed the physical and business development of Chula Vista from the first land development in 1886 by Colonel Dickinson as a "railroad town," through becoming a city in 1911 (by a vote of 121 to 88), up to the annexation of Montgomery in 1985.  He showed pictures of many of the orchard homes built on 5 acre lots before 1911, and Fredericka Manor in 1913.  The first school buildings, libraries and churches were shown.  The economic development of Chula Vista from 5,000 acres of lemon groves to a thriving community that welcomed Rohr Aircraft to the waterfront in 1940, and the growth of the city south and then east, was described.   Pictures of downtown Chula Vista, then and now, were shown.   Steve highlighted the growth spurts with maps dating from 1894 when the town was laid out, and then showing additional land developments in later years.  

This was a fun and informative brisk visual walk through our home town.  Steve has an amazing knowledge of the places, people and events gleaned through thorough research in the available historical collections and the local newspapers published over the past 120 years.  The best part is that all of the pictures and maps are in the Centennial book!  He signed and sold Centennial books for attendees also.

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