California History

Chula Vista  History

Chula Vista was the largest lemon-growing center in the world for a period of time and was connected to San Diego, National City and Otay through the National City and Otay Railroad, flourished for many years. On October 17, 1911, an election was held in Chula Vista to incorporate.

 In February 1916, the Hercules Powder Company began the design and construction of a kelp processing plant covering a 30-acre plot of land in Chula Vista. Kelp was an ideal source of materials used in the production of explosives. The plant produced potash and acetone to make cordite, a smokeless powder used extensively by the British armed forces in World War 1. Hercules produced 20,838,000 kilos of cordite for the British government during the war, making it the largest kelp harvesting fleet in the world at the time. The plant was located on what is now known as Gunpowder Point currently the home of the Chula Vista Nature Center. Although the Great Depression affected Chula Vista significantly, agriculture still provided considerable income for the residents. In 1931, the lemon orchards produced $1 million dollars in revenue and the celery fields contributed $600,000.

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