There was an old Linda Vista established in 1886, which was likely centered on San Clemente Canyon. However, it ceased to exist after it was heavily damaged by the 1916 flood.
Many of the homes in Linda Vista were built in 1940-41 as part of a government project to house aircraft workers for the war effort. A construction project that was assisted by Reuben H. Fleet beginning in October 1941 resulted in 3,001 houses built within 200 days.
Linda Vista was home of the very first mall-type shopping center in the United States, which was dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1942. It included a movie theater.