LEMON GROVE, Calif. (KGTV) - The Big Lemon, a giant, yellow beacon of Lemon Grove, turns 90 years old Tuesday with fanfare.
The City of Lemon Grove will hold a party for the lemon from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the southwest corner of Broadway and Lemon Grove Avenue. Attendees can join in singing “America the Beautiful” and “Happy Birthday, Dear Lemon”, and eat lemon treats.
The Big Lemon was created in 1928, the same year Lemon Grove’s Main Street was paved. On the statue's base, the city's motto reads "Best Climate on Earth". The inspiration for the giant yellow sculpture goes further back into the city’s history.
Sheep rancher Robert Allison began growing fruit trees in the area in the late 1800’s. His son Joseph built a water flume to the area, encouraging the expansion of orchards. In 1892, Joseph Allison filed a subdivision map for “Lemon Grove”, according to the city’s historical society.
For 90 years, the Big Lemon served as a symbol of the city’s fruit-growing roots and more recently, an indicator that trolley riders had reached their stop.