El Cajon CA

Women with El Cajon Valley Flag 1910’s

1912 to 1921

  • -El Cajon is incorporated and five men are appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees. They are: James A. Harris, George W.  French, Dr. Charles R. Knox, J. B. Rumsey, William Stell.
  • -Population in El Cajon is approximately 200.
  • -First poultry raising begins in El Cajon with two chicken ranches in 1913
  • -First “Big Freeze” occurred January 5, 1913 when El Cajon residents awoke to a chilly 11 degrees, an all-time low for the Valley.
  • -First street lights were established by the Board of Trustees, with 19 lights in 1914.
  • -First cement sidewalks and curbs are installed on Main Street in 1917.
  • -Fourteen inches of rain fell and flooded much of El Cajon.
Movie theater

Movie Theater on Main Street in the 20’s

1922 to 1931

  • -The first Fire Chief is Rexford I Hall who served from 1924 to 1933.
  • -First El Cajon movie theater at 120 E. Main opens May 18, 1927 built by Roy L. Fuller.
  • -Population: 1,050 in 1930.
  • -First Chief of Police appointment is Edward W. Menke in 1931.

1932 to 1941

  • -Main Street is widened in 1935.
  • -First meat packing and processing plant is started by Aubrey Sears on W. Main St in 1940.
  • -Population: 1,471 in 1940.
  • -Fletcher Hills becomes an army training camp with 5,000 soldiers in 1941.
  • -El Cajon’s First Presbyterian Church.
First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church

1942 to 1951

  • -1942 El Cajon Police Car
  • -First City Mail delivery is started in 1942.
  • -New firehouse is completed on South Orange Ave in 1942.
  • -Sunshine Street is declared a major street by the City Council in 1944.
  • -Olaf Wieghorst retires to El Cajon. He is known as the Dean of Western Painting in 1944.
  • -El Cajon Theatre burns down in 1945.
  • -First Mother Goose Parade takes place in 1947.
  • -Colorado River’s water first started to flow through the City’s water system in 1947.
  • -Ray Halgren becomes first full-time paid fire chief in 1948.
  • -Curfew of 9:00 is passed for minors in 1949.
  • -Fletcher Hills booms with 600 homes in 1951.
  • -El Cajon has the most explosive decade growth in its history, and in the history of any comparable community in the nation. Population: 5,600.
Mother Goose Parade

One of the first Mother Goose Parades

1952 to 1961

  • -New Police and Fire Department erected at the corner of East Douglas and Highland Avenue in 1952.
  • -First Mother Goose Ball is held in 1953.
  • -33-foot tower is built atop the First Baptist Church on Prescott & Douglas and is the highest point in El Cajon in 1953.
  • -Rex Hall is named Citizen of the Year. He is considered “Son of El Cajon” in 1956.
  • -J. C. Penney relocates to new building built by Mr. Ballantyne to the east of the present location in 1959.
  • -Population: 37,618 in 1960.
  • -There is one stoplight in El Cajon at Main and Magnolia in 1960.
  • -Cajon Speedway at 1888 Wing Avenue opens on July 15, 1961.
  • -Interstate -8 opens as first interstate in El Cajon in 1961.

1962 to 1971

  • -Official City of El Cajon seal is adopted in 1962.
  • -El Cajon celebrates 50th Anniversary in 1962.
  • -Population nearly 40,000 in 1962.
  • -Average cost of a new house is $12,650, a new car is $3,233, bread is 22 cents, and the average income is $5,807 in 1963.
  • -St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for the developmentally disabled opens at 2119 E. Madison in 1966.
  • -Population: 52,273 in 1970.
  • -City purchases W. D. Hall property, now City Hall in 1971.
City Hall in the 70's

City Hall in the 70’s

1972 to 1981

  • -City purchases the Knox Hotel and moves it to 280 North Magnolia to become the historical focus of the City of El Cajon in 1972.
  • -First meeting of the El Cajon Historical Society in 1973.
  • -Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug establish world famous Taylor Guitars in 1974.
  • -Jimmie Johnson, well-known racecar driver is born on September 17, 1975.
  • -East County Performing Arts Center opens with a crowd of 667 attendees in 1977.
  • -AYSO boys and girls soccer league is formed in 1977.
  • -Population: 73,892 in 1980.
Trolley Station

El Cajon Trolley Station in the 80’s

1982 to 1991

  • -Local florist, Jenny Irey, is invited to the White House to decorate for Christmas in 1982.
  • -John Reber carries Olympic Torch through the City on its way to L.A in 1984.
  • -El Cajon celebrates the 75th year of incorporation in 1987.
  • -Trolley Transit Service begins in El Cajon in 1989.
  • -Population: 88,693 in 1990.
  • -International Friendship Festival held in downtown El Cajon in 1991.
Cajon Classic Cruise Car Show

Cajon Classic Cruise 2005

1992 to 2001

  • -In-N-Out burger opens at 1541 N. Magnolia in 1992.
  • -Concerts on the Green at Prescott Promenade begin in 1996.
  • -Mark Lewis elected Mayor in 1998.
  • -Olaf Weighorst Museum opens at 131 Rea Street in 1999.
  • -El Cajon resident, Carol Sing, age 57, swims the English Channel in 1999.
  • -Sophie’s Gallery opens on Rea St in 2000.
  • -Cajon Classic Cruise Car Shows begin in downtown each Wednesday evening in 2000.
  • -El Cajon Cemetery closes on July 1 to new burials, due to lack of room for expansion in 2000.
  • -Population: 94,869 in 2000.
New Police Station

Police Station Opening 2011

2002 to 2012

  • -Cedar Fire breaks out and surpasses largest fire in California history, burning 280,278 acres in 2003.
  • -Wieghorst Museum holds first Wieghorst Western Heritage Days on Rea Street in 2003.
  • -Cajon Speedway closes in 2004.
  • -New Police Station opens at 100 Civic Center Way in 2011.
  • -Population: 100,116 in 2012.