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Mt. Helix Real Estate

Mt. Helix Real Estate Currently For Sale

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Mt. Helix’s History

In 1872, a newly introduced snail transplanted from Mediterranean region and Europe, was discovered on a hillside peak of east San Diego.  Specifically, that snail is called Helix aspersa.  Upon discovery of such snail, it’s mountainous peak became nicknamed “Mt. Helix.”

Fast forward a few years, and a man named Hubert Howe Bancroft purchased an approximate 500-acres worth of land on the southern slopes of what we know of today as Mt. Helix.  Hubert Bancroft began harvesting his land into what became one of the largest olive ranches in all of California.  Mr. Bancroft named his flourishing ranch, “Helix Farms.”  His Ranch House for the olive ranch, is now a California Historic Landmark and can be found still standing at 9050 Memory Lane.  Upon Bancroft’s eventual passing, his family sold the ranch and land.

To the north side of Mt. Helix area, another ranch was in a flourish.  In the early 1900’s, Harvey C. Parke purchased 600+ acres of land in such area.  Mr. Parke grew the slopes with lush citrus orchards, a lily pond, and his luxurious Victorian home.  Mr. Parke named his ranch the impressive “Villa Caro Ranch.”

Another few years progressed, two men by the names of William Gross and Col. Ed Fletcher met in Yellowstone Park while each on a short vacationing trip.  After hitting it off, they later became friends back at home in San Diego.  Back home, during a conversation, Mr. Gross, in the theater business, asked Ed Fletcher’s advice on investment opportunities.  Fletcher knew of a possible opportunity of land that had been gracing his eyes for some time.  This was the Villa Caro Ranch, which Fletcher knew to be in foreclosure.  After some negotiations, Fletcher and Gross went in on a partnership to purchase the Villa Caro’s 40-acres of citrus groves, 200+ acres of other undeveloped land, the Ranch’s luxury home & furniture, and the lily pond, all for $11,500.

Through these 250 acres worth of land, Fletcher and Gross began developing their envisioned “art colony.”  With the first road, El Granito, put in through the north slope of Mt. Helix in 1913, they began providing infrastructure to the colony.  Fletcher brought electricity and water to the community, and delivered in hundreds of trees from San Diego every week to bring lush diversity to the area.  Soon, Gross and Fletcher began selling off the parceled lots of their “Mt. Helix art colony.”  Going for $2,500 per acre, the land sold to some of San Diego’s most famous literary and musical celebrities, where they built their country ‘escapes’ from the demands of their careers, and as a place to draw more inspiration.

Today’s Mt. Helix is still that unique mountain where the old-world charm and character of it’s roots are displayed on nearly every road throughout it’s hillsides.  Drive through the winding roads, enjoy the ‘s picturesque views stretching to the ocean and surrounding mountain ranges, and reminisce to Gross and Fletcher’s days.

La Mesa’s history has been documented and preserved better than that of most cities throughout California.  The La Mesa Historical Society offers some of that information and can be seen at their physical location at 8369 University Ave. or at their amazing website,  I encourage anyone interested in the history of La Mesa to go visit.  Additionally, the Centennial website offers additional historical information and some excellent photos, which can be viewed at

Mt. Helix’s Current Market Conditions

La Mesa median sales prices

Mt. Helix’s Schools

The below table shows the schools in the general Mt. Helix area.  Among those shown, the two closest Elementary schools are Murdock Elementary and Lemon Ave Elementary.  As displayed on the map, those two schools are some of the highest-rated schools in all of San Diego county.  Beyond their excellent API scores and overall GreatSchools rankings, parents and (some being my personal friends) are absolute raving fans of these two schools.

There are no schools within 3 miles radius of this location.

La Mesa’s Restaurants

A great breakfast, lunch, on-the-go cafe.  The go-to at Swami’s is the Acai Bowl, which is second to none in San Diego.  An excellent option for vegetarian food as well as good all-organic menu items.  Although some of their menu offers these health-conscious items, there are plenty of options for everyone, which is why Swami’s is a popular choice for much of La Mesa.

The line and/or wait for food can be long at times, but for myself and most reviewers, the wait is always worth the great food.

Mt. Helix Real Estate

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The information contained herein has been provided by San Diego Board of REALTORS®. This information is from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed by San Diego Board of REALTORS®. The information is for consumers' personal, non-commerical use, and may not be used for any purpose other than identifying properties which consumers may be interested in purchasing.

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