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Pasadena

Home of the historic Rose Bowl football game and the Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena has a rich cultural history that stretches as far back as the founding of California.

Pasadena Demographics

  • Population 137,122.
  • Population Breakdown:
    • White Persons 55.8%
    • African American Persons 10.7%
    • Native American Persons 0.6%
    • Asian Persons 14.3%
    • Pacific Islanders or Native Hawaiian Persons 0.1%
    • Hispanic or Latino Persons 33.7%

Pasadena History

Rancho del Rincon de San Pascual, part of the original Mexican land grant was the area which gave birth to what would later become Pasadena.  Rancho del Rincon included the future communities of Pasadena, Altadena and South Pasadena.  Manuel Garfias was the last of the Mexican owners before the annexation of California in 1848.  Mr. Garfias was able to retain title to the property after statehood in 1850.

Garfias sold parcels of the property to the settlers who later came to the area.  Most of the property was purchased by Benjamin Wilson who used this property to establish Lake Vineyard.   In 1873, Wilson sold some of the land to the patients of Dr. Daniel M. Berry of Indiana.  An asthmatic himself, Berry was seeking a place in the country that could offer better climate to his patients, most of whom also suffered from respiratory ailments. On January 31, 1874, they incorporated that area as the Indiana Colony.

At that time, the Indiana Colony occupied only a narrow strip of land between the Arroyo Seco and Fair Oaks Avenue. On the other side of the street was Wilson’s original Lake Vineyard development. After years of development split between the two sides, the two settlements merged into what would later become the City of Pasadena.  After the merge, the citizens were still unable to receive their mail. In an attempt to obtain a post office for the residents, the Colony needed to change its name to something the Postmaster General would recognize.  All of the name choices ended in “pa-sa-de-na,” meaning “of the valley.”  In March 1886, Pasadena became the second incorporated municipality, after the city of Los Angeles, in Los Angeles County

Pasadena eventually became a stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which led to an explosion in population growth. From the 1880s through the Great Depression, Pasadena became a winter resort spurring the development of new neighborhoods.  This growth brought new business districts and increased road and transit connections with Los Angeles which culminated in planning and development of California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway. By the beginning of World War II, Pasadena was the eighth largest city in California.

The Second World War brought high tech manufacturing and scientific companies to Pasadena.  This trend continued in the decades following the war, notably with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Tetra Tech, Ameron International and the development of the California Institute of Technology.  This trend continues today, making Pasadena one of the most diverse and educated parts of Los Angeles County.


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