Author: Helen Ofield

The way we were

< Helen Ofield, president Lemon Grove Historical Society The Great Ladies of May by Helen Ofield A look back at two stellar women whose accomplishments enhanced life in Lemon Grove. Woman of the Year In May, 1964 Dr. Amorita Audree Treganza, the pioneering children’s eye doctor, was crowned San Diego’s Woman of the Year in a ceremony held by the President’s Council of Women’s Service Clubs at the Hotel Del Coronado. Honorees were selected for their achievements in business or profession and service to their communities. Dr. Treganza began her practice in 1944 in Lemon Grove and later opened a downtown San Diego office. She treated many who could not afford vision care and ultimately limited her practice to children—she remembered the names of more than 4,000 young patients and they remember her. She flew hundreds of medical missions into Baja California with the Flying Samaritans, headed the Crossroads Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Alcoholic Women, chaired the March of Dimes, donated an annual scholarship to her alma mater, Grossmont High School, served on the boards of the Lemon Grove and San Diego Chambers of Commerce, became the first woman president of the San Diego Girls Club, and promoted cultural exchange between Alta and Baja California, At Christmas and Easter she and her husband, ophthalmologist Dr. Lloyd Adams, took food, toys and medicine to Mexican orphanages and villages. In...

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The way we were

Helen Ofield, president Lemon Grove Historical Society A further look back at the drive for cityhood. by Helen Ofield The Fringe Fights Back: Lemon Grove was called a “fringe area” on the border of San Diego. But, despite this pejorative, a lack of mortgage money and San Diego’s refusal to extend sewer and other services outside its city limits (not for free, but for $$$), Lemon Grove again led the unincorporated areas of the county in new building construction as it had every year since 1946. This, from the county’s 1951 Building Inspection Division: Big Lemon neighborhoods sported 781 new dwelling units valued at $7,841,952. In 1950 the town led with 1,158 units valued at $8,148-167. In other words, former orchard lands were sprouting homes in the post WW II boom, and the “sea of lemon trees” dotted with stately homes that had once made Lemon Grove the “Pasadena of San Diego County” was fading into history. To Be or Not To Be: “How Shall We Meet This Threat?” shouted the Lemon Grove Review. Meaning the demand by the California League of Municipalities that unincorporated communities like Lemon Grove “annex, incorporate, or else!” The threat of annexation was declared by the League’s board of directors at its meeting in Los Angeles’ Biltmore Hotel. Why should “real” cities pay tax subsidies for services to the peasantry huddled in rural enclaves...

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The way we were

< Helen Ofield, president Lemon Grove Historical Society 1949: A Distant Spring by Helen Ofield A look back at Lemon Grove 69 years ago in April, when “Grovians” worked to build their town in the post-war world. Rosie Came Home: “Rosie the Riveters” from Lemon Grove worked the line at Convair and General Dynamics during WW II, but four years had passed since those women, clad in overalls, kerchiefs and work boots, had welded wings on airplanes when they weren’t making do with ration coupons and fake butter. (Remember the white goop with a bright yellow dot in a...

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The way we were

< Helen Ofield, president Lemon Grove Historical Society 1949: Comfort Zone A look back at Lemon Grove 69 years ago by Helen Ofield The fabled Lemon Grove Review competed with another weekly, the Lemon Grove Homeland News published by H. C. Reed and edited by Robert L. Curran. An annual subscription was $1, and the paper was headquartered at 3443 North Avenue in the same building with the Review. Above its banner, Lemon Grove Homeland News ran the motto, “The paper that has helped build Lemon Grove since 1932.” This, even though half of its eight pages were devoted...

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The way we were

< Helen Ofield, president Lemon Grove Historical Society The Tumbleweed Wars Revisited by Helen Ofield T Day: They fought on the lawn. They fought in the orchard. They fought on the street. They never surrendered. It was hunt down and obliterate the dreaded Salsola pestifera or watch the Big Lemon go under as thousands of dry, demented, dastardly tumbleweeds, some seven feet in diameter, rolled through town sticking you, your kids, your pets and your property with prickly seeds that just wouldn’t let go. Early in 1962 some 400 anti-tumbleweed militia from Lemon Grove and Spring Valley, wearing gloves,...

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