Unincorporated community in Los Angeles County – previously the area was known as North Whittier Heights
The story of the growth and development of Los Angeles County is filled with fascinating tales of diverse communities, unified by their dreams for a better future. Nestled among these stories is an unincorporated community called North Whittier Heights. Once a thriving part of the county, it has become somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbors in recent years. Let’s wander down memory lane as we recall its vibrant history and discover what makes it unique.
Early History of North Whittier Heights:
North Whittier Heights was established in the early 20th century as an extension of the thriving city of Whittier. Located to the north of Whittier, hence its name, the community quickly became known for its magnificent homes set amid picturesque surroundings. Early settlers appreciated the moderate climate and fertile soil conducive to various forms of agriculture, including citrus fruits, berries, nuts and olives.
Agricultural activities played a vital role in shaping the economic base of North Whittier Heights. With its close proximity to downtown Los Angeles and its original population comprising wealthy landowners and skilled laborers, it was destined to enjoy significant growth.
Development Boom in the 20th Century:
North Whittier Heights witnessed a major development boom throughout the 1920s and 1930s, with significant investments poured into infrastructure projects such as roads and utility services. The growth momentum continued, even as World War II raged elsewhere.
During this era, numerous businesses established themselves within the community due to its strategic location near major markets like L.A., Orange County, and San Bernardino County. These businesses included gas stations, grocery stores, service stations and restaurants.
As the post-war years rolled by, many residents began moving away from North Whittier Heights towards urban centers in search of better job opportunities. This exodus accelerated during the 1950s as higher-paying jobs associated with industries such as aerospace opened up elsewhere.
Despite this depopulation trend, North Whittier Heights remained home to many who valued its natural beauty, large lots, relaxed lifestyle and affordability relative to adjacent neighborhoods caught up in a post-war housing boom.
Present Day – An Unincorporated Oasis:
Today, while some refer to North Whittier Heights simply as “North Whittier”, it remains an unincorporated community surrounded by bustling cities such as La Habra and Hacienda Heights. It is now characterized by winding streets lined with mature trees that provide a sense of seclusion from the urban sprawl surrounding it. Many homes remain standing from the early days when citrus groves dominated the landscape.
This unincorporated status means that residents enjoy lower property taxes than nearby incorporated cities while maintaining access to various Los Angeles County services such as law enforcement from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and fire protection provided by L.A. County Fire Department.
The history of an unincorporated community like North Whittier Heights showcases how various factors like population migration patterns and economic shifts can influence suburban development over time. Though less well-known today than it once was during its heyday in the early 20th century, this area still offers homeowners a taste of tranquility amidst bustling Los Angeles County.
These historical reminders blend seamlessly into today’s environment of ever-increasing urbanization, congestion and pollution. By preserving its character as an oasis among rapidly developing cities, North Whittier Heights reminds us that there are still corners left within this sprawling metropolis where quiet living and gentle nostalgia reign supreme.