Then & Now — Date Avenue in La Mesa, California

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I am taking a break from reading novels in favor of reading some of my history books. I particularly enjoy the Images of America books by Arcadia Publishing. I’ve browsed through my books, many times, but today I decided to actually read them. I started with Images of America: La Mesa by James D. Newland and the La Mesa Historical Society (ISBN-13 978-0-7385-8043-2). La Mesa is where I live. It’s an eastern suburb of San Diego.

I found pages 36 and  37 to be very interesting. Ever wonder how old those really tall palm trees are that you see in sunny places like San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Miami? I can give you a pretty good indication. Here are two pictures of Date Avenue in downtown La Mesa in 1908 (first) and 1910 (second):

Date Avenue in La Mesa, ca. 1908

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Date Avenue in La Mesa, ca. 1910

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photos provided by Arcadia Publishing and used with permission. Thank you!

You can see that the palm trees didn’t appear to grow much in two years, although lots of houses grew in place of the citrus trees. This morning, I updated those pictures:

Date Avenue in La Mesa, California, on June 3, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Except for that first palm tree (doesn’t appear to have grown much!), the rest of the palm trees are about 103 years old! I’m not only surprised that they are still living, but I’m kind of surprised they are not taller.

The second picture also features a large 2-story home on the corner. Eventually that large lot for the 2-story home was split in two and another house was built on the corner, making the house in the picture the second house on the street. From today:

4664 Date Avenue in La Mesa, California, on June 3, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That house is located at 4664 Date Avenue in La Mesa (91941) and was last sold in 1984 for $115,000. Zillow gives it a current Zestimate value of $393,662. Trulia tells us that average list price for similar homes for sale is $689,043, the average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $426,850, and the average list price for zip code 91941 is $601,823. Overall, I’d say it was a nice investment for someone in 1984.

Since it has not been sold recently, online public records are sparse. From what I can tell, it currently is a 3-unit apartment building, but I cannot find the square footage or number of bedrooms and bathrooms. I’m guessing all three units are one bedroom and one bathroom.

Great location for walking to downtown La Mesa where one can enjoy La Mesa Village or catch the San Diego Trolley for points north, south, or west.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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13 thoughts on “Then & Now — Date Avenue in La Mesa, California

  1. vickiemckeehan

    I absolutely LOVE old photos. It must have something to do with my mom sitting down with me with a photo album when I was very young. She’d point to an old black and white photo of say, my grandparents or people I didn’t even know, and tell me a story. She would do that with picture after picture. I love seeing these old shots of La Mesa going back to 1908. Great post!

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      1. Gallivanta

        I love dates! But not fresh dates. In our supermarkets, we have to pay a small fortune for the Californian medjool dates. I sometimes buy half a dozen just for a treat 🙂

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