La Verne California The History

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La Verne California

The history of this beautiful Los Angeles Suburb dates back to the 1830’s and as with many other American cities started with one man.  His name is Ygnacio Palomares was gifted the land in 1837.

Initially little more than a remote outpost outside LA, La Verne got its true start 50-years later thanks to a savvy businessman named Isaac Wilson Lord.  An intense period of building, in the new town followed, spurred on by Lord’s 19th century marketing if you a will.  Sending bands up and down the streets of LA to get people to come checkout the new town, at this time known as Lordsburg; (he was a very humble man obviously).

In mere months over $200,000, the equivalent of roughly $5 million by today’s standard.  Despite the explosive growth, spearheaded by a huge $70,000 hotel, the newly formed town sputtered.  The hotel according to local legend never received a single paying customer.

Years later the town would be reborn as a college town, heavily populated by brethren people, a religious faith expanding out west.  Before long a town that was once born and died via the railroads had morphed into a steady hamlet centered on religion and education.  What was once viewed as a out of the way tourist locale with nothing to do, now began to develop its own identity and purpose.

As the culture of the area changed, so to did the name.  At first the name “La Verne” was very unofficial, a nickname of sorts given by the L.H. Bixby family a local rancher family that appreciated the beauty of the green lush surroundings.  The term La Verne in French literally means “spring-like.”

The name caught on and as the town grew in popularity and stability on the backs of the Brethren and newly formed college area residents sought to change the name in a more permanent and legal manner.

Then in 1912 a formal attempt to change the name was thwarted by the man whom the town was originally named; Isaac Wilson Lord.  Five years later however, Lord died and the town was officially named La Verne.

Fast-forward nearly 100-years and the core fabric on which the city was originally built remains largely unchanged.  Education continues to play a vital role in the identity of the city, with the university having grown from a small school of a couple hundred students, to a multi-campus intercultural hub.

The city has grown up over the last hundred plus years as well.  With myriad of famous athletes claiming roots to the area, and a budding commuting community thanks to the wonders of modern transit, the passage of time has been kind to the city of La Verne.

So there you have it, a brief history on a small, yet significant city 30-miles outside of Los Angeles.

Resources used:

sites.laverne.edu http://www.ci.la-verne.ca.us/index.php/about-la-verne/history-of-la-verne

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