Monterey Park California History
The Monterey City Office recently completed a new book, "Monterey Park: Chinese Suburbs in the 1970s and 1980s." I started reading because I am fascinated by the local history and I appreciate that the author gave us the opportunity to talk about immigration and ethnic Chinese. Especially since this was 1970, before the Asian rush. The story of how it became a "Chinese suburb" makes it even more interesting. Professionals and amateur stargazers come together to gaze at one of the best-kept secrets of the Californian night sky:
As the 1950s continued in Monterey Park, the community received "Hispanic families" and "Japanese families," who discovered that suburbs, like suburbs elsewhere, accepted non-Caucasian ethnicities. While many of the second wave immigrants knew other "Chinese" who had settled in the second wave, they continued to grow as first wave immigrants. Older white residents, led by Barry Hatch and Fred Arcurci, felt increasingly threatened, even as they received recognition. The progress also served as an activist function, as Los Angeles County wanted to build a landfill near Monterey Park.
The city's new board immediately banned the treatment plant within the city limits and named the new Monterey Park. The name comes from an old government map that depicted the area's oak-covered hills as "Monterey Hills." When incorporated in 1916, it became known as "Monterrey Park," a nod to the city's location on the west side of San Francisco Bay.
In the early 19th century, the area we now call Monterey Park was bordered by the San Gabriel River and the Los Angeles River, as well as the Pacific Ocean. The Spaniards took it over as part of the famous mission San Gabriel - Arcangel, which later became a ranch in the New York City area and later the Rancho de los Angeles.
The observatory was opened and operated by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society until the city turned the land into a park and a former bunker house museum. Also within the city limits is the historic museum and the fully functioning observatory operated by the LA Astronomy Society as a fully functioning observatory. It opened in 1905 and has been operated for over 100 years with the help of the City of LA.
Students can come to the park, but also visitors from outside who want to learn more about California history. For more information on the history of Monterey Park, visit the California Historical Society website and the Los Angeles Astronomical Society website. Read more about the museum and observatory on the LA Astronomy Society Museum of California History website or visit this page to read more about it.
In the 1990s, two books on the history of Monterey Park were published by Temple University Press and the California Historical Society Museum of California History, both in English.
More about the museum can be found in the October 2012 architecture column of KCET: Monterey Park is also home to the California Historical Society Museum of California History and the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. The observatory in Garvey Ranch Park was a fully functioning observatory operated by the LA Astronomy Society, but its members died in the 1980s, so it is now under the control of the L.A. Astronomers' Association (LAASA). The Montereys Park Astronautical Society is the Los Angeles Astronomers Association and has been meeting there since 1987.
The second wave of the 1970s preferred to rely on existing support networks, such as the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce and Monterey Park Community College. Small-town values became more important than ever in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, and residents supported the development of a community center, public library, and school system.
Compared to Little Tokyo, Monterey Park's first outstanding asset was its geographical location in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, north of downtown Los Angeles. This central location brought the city of San Fernando Valley and its neighboring communities within striking distance. Located on the western edge of a large metropolitan area with a population of about 1.5 million, it was an ideal location for housing, retail and office development, as well as a connection to the surrounding San Gabriel Valley and the Rowland Heights neighborhood. By the mid-1970s, many of these racial problems had faded, and Monterey Park became one of California's most diverse neighborhoods with many ethnic groups.
Monterey Park had an ideal transit system, ideal for transit connected by major highways, and an excellent connection to the city of San Fernando Valley.
Several natural attractions in the area bear the name Monterey, such as the Monterey Hills and the Montery Trail. Richard Garvey's name is a nod to the road he took as a postman and later owned the San Fernando Valley Highway, which passed through the city of Montebello on its way to Los Angeles. The local officials named the town after him for this and several other reasons. We are told that on the border between Monterey Park and MonteBello is an area called Yokohama Village, home to a Japanese-American community from the 1920s.