Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.
by Paul R. Spitzzeri
Today’s installment of “Time Capsule Tuesday” wraps up the four-part discussion of a booster pamphlet published about 1964 by the City of Industry League called “Grow, Grow, Grow With and In the City of Industry.
Previous portions of the series highlighted sections of the booklet promoting the city’s location, its transportation, utility and banking sector, and representative businesses found in the growing community.
The remaining part of the publication concerned the communities surrounding the city and which supplied “an almost unlimited labor source for industrial growth” among what was listed as 750,000 residents in these outlying areas. The dramatic suburban expansion into the eastern San Gabriel Valley following post-World War II was gradually converting former farm and ranch land into vast tracts of houses, shopping centers and schools and that population number has exploded since then!
Noting that nearly two-thirds of the housing stock consisted of single-family houses, the publication observed most were in the “medium-income” range with some “low-cost” and executive level dwellings to be found. Meanwhile, a “typical” recreational facility was the California Country Club, which opened on 138 acres in 1956, just before it was absorbed within the City of Industry. In addition to the 18-hole course, laid out by noted course designer William Bell, there were tennis courts, a swimming pool and banquet facilities in the clubhouse.
Photographs both pages connected to this section showed many types of housing available near the city, including apartments and duplexes and income-identified single family residences, including “multi-million dollar executive home developments” and medium and low income dwellings.
Such areas as La Puente, West Covina, Rowland Heights, and Hacienda Heights (the early of history of which was focused on in a recent post here of a donation of artifacts to the museum) were growing rapidly as bedroom communities surrounding the city.
Another section concerned “Schools and Churches,” with the publication noting that there were seven public school districts as well as parochial schools operated by Catholic and Protestant churches. Specifically mentioned was the Rowland Elementary School District, with twenty schools educating 16,000 students from kindergarten through junior high ages; the La Puente Union High School District, including over 5,000 students in three high schools; Bishop Amat Catholic Parochial School educating 1,300 students; and Mt. San Antonio College, said to be the largest junior college in the country in area at nearly 400 acres serving over 9,000 students.
As for churches, the information provided was brief, noting that there were 119 Protestant churches, eight Roman Catholic churches, and two Jewish synagogues in areas surrounding the city.
Nine photographs over the two-page spread showed the campuses of local schools, such as Mt. SAC and La Puente High (this latter and its sister high schools at Los Altos and Wilson were especially mentioned for having an “accelerated program for capable students” attended by a tenth of the student body) as well as a number of churches, including Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Mormon places of worship.
The “Grow, Grow, Grow” publication is not only interesting and documents the history of the City of Industry, but it is a snapshot of life in the eastern San Gabriel Valley and greater Los Angeles in the mid-1960s.
With the city being something like a third generation industrial area following that of downtown Los Angeles and the Vernon/City of Commerce area that came during the Homestead’s interpretive time period prior to 1930, we can compare and contrast the areas and eras with our own as part of a broader story of regional growth and development.