About This Place
National City is a city in San Diego County, California. The population was 58,582 at the 2010 census, up from 54,260 at the 2000 census. National City is the second oldest city in San Diego County and has a historic past.
Originally, the area was El Rancho del Rey, (the Ranch of the King) used by Spanish soldiers to graze horses. After independence from Spain, the Mexican government re-named it Rancho de la Nacion (Ranch of the Nation). Governor Pio Pico granted Rancho de la Nación to his brother-in-law John (Don Juan) Forster in 1845. President Andrew Johnson, in issuing the land patent, listed the name as simply "The National Ranch."
In 1868, Frank Kimball and his brothers Warren and Levi purchased the entire rancho. They built roads, and brought the railroad to what is now National City.