La Mesa was part of a larger tract, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and was used by Spanish Missionaries. La Mesa was founded in 1869 and The City of La Mesawas incorporated on February 16, 1912, under the general laws of the state of California.
The transformation from an agricultural area to a residential community began in 1906 when Sherman Grable purchased 100 acres in the Date Avenue area from land developer David Collier. Grable and Charles Park formed the Park-Grable Investment Company. Together they developed 1,000 lots from 200 acres in central La Mesa. With a population of 700, the community incorporated as the City of La Mesa on February 16, 1912.