San Diego Hysterical Society



Southbay Salt Cliffs

by Pepper Moore


Salt has been an important trade commodity throughout the history of the world….often changing the history of the world. The salt trade in San Diego was no exception.

Salt Cliff Mining
- WPA worker mines salt cliffs -

In the low hills surrounding the southern end of San Diego Bay are extensive outcroppings of natural salt. Discovered by early Spanish explorers, the salt was seen as an alternative to gold in value as an export. The Chula Band of Indians already living there had a different view of the matter.

Three years of negotiations with the Indian band over rights to the salt -known as the Salt Talks- finally reached an impasse. The good-natured Spanish conquistadors simply wiped out the entire native population.

The Chula view of life, What's mine is mine, was adapted by the Spaniards in their "Chula Vista" credo: What's yours is mine.


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