Long before 1960 when San Dimas was incorporated into a city, the framework of local government was first centered in the Board of Trade. It was established in 1909 to help solve many of the problems of public interest, such as establishment of street grades and street paving, fire protection, the need for a public drinking fountain, a library, telephone service, street lighting, and many other important needs of a growing town. The Board of Trade pushed the idea of San Dimas as “The Frostless Belt” and the focus of their thrust was “pioneering a new era.” The citrus industry dominated the local economy.
In 1914 the Board of Trade changed its name to the Chamber of Commerce. Community activities were added including award winning entries in the 1925 and 1926 Pasadena Rose Parade. The town continued to grow and expand even as the citrus industry began its decline in the 1950’s.
The Chamber of Commerce was very active in promoting city-hood for San Dimas. As early as 1912 incorporation was discussed in Chamber meetings. Finally, in 1960, the City of San Dimas was formed with the Chamber sponsoring the first meeting of the new City Council. The local economy was booming. Gasoline was 31¢ a gallon, grapes were 10¢ a pound, bread was 21¢ a loaf, and you could buy a three bedroom house for $13,725. Local businesses numbered 266. (Of the original 266 businesses, 146 are still in business and 102 are still located in San Dimas.)
With incorporation the role of the Chamber changed. Promotion of the City became a major thrust, along with civic and community activities. A program to welcome new residents was started. The annual Western Days Celebration and Birthday Bar-B-Que was started. Rapid growth and urbanization focused the Chamber’s attention on business development issues. During this time the Chamber played an active role in starting the Festival of Western Arts and the San Dimas Farmer’s Market.
The growth continues today. There are over 1,400 businesses representing a wide range of business activities. The Chamber hopes you are proud to be a part of history and of the future of San Dimas.