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East County News Service

August 1, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Just in time for Lemon Grove’s 40th birthday celebration, Lemon Grove Historical Society president and award-winning journalist Helen Ofield has posted “The Way We Were,” a witty summation of the city’s colorful start.

Both La Mesa and San Diego had been wooing Lemon Grove to be annexed into their cities. But the town’s residents staved off such offers and continued their fight for independence.

 “A small town in a mass society must exert its identity with particular vigor. Spunk is a minimum requirement,” Ofield wryly observes.

It took four tries and 20 years before Lemon Grove finally attained cityhood—celebrating with cannon fire and fireworks.

“There were 750 CHP officers available for riot control should unrest break out in the cozy little town with the Big Lemon,” Ofield recalls “or, as local wags later put it, `The only town in America with a giant fruit next to a mass transit line.’”

Watch for more upcoming “history minutes” on the site, which will also be shown at upcoming Lemon Grove Council meetings. The next can’t miss episode will be titled, “Driving the snakes out of Lemon Grove.” 

View Ofield’s full essay on the city’s birth at http://www.lghistorical.org/2017/08/01/big-lemon-becomes-city/  and learn more about Lemon Grove’s intriguing history at the Lemon Grove Historical Society’s new website at http://www.lghistorical.org/.

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