Wednesday, August 24, 2011

William Workman Homestead

Los Angeles County, May 25, 1995

The City if Industry was envisioned as a community devoted solely to commerce. It’s two miles-wide and 14-miles long and lies between two transcontinental railroad tracks in what was a former agricultural area in the south San Gabriel Valley. Although 70,000 workers are in the city by day, only 580 people actually lived within its boundaries at the time of this visit. Today, that population by the 2010 census has dwindled down to 219. At that rate, the town should be empty by 2020.

Yet for all its unattractiveness, the City of Industry is home to a couple of interesting sites; the fake TV McDonalds, and the Homestead Museum. Unfortunately, you can’t do a walk through of the fast food king’s cosmetic morphing building where nearly every commercial and most movies featuring the golden arches has been shot. You can however take a guided tour of Homestead Museum featuring the Wm. Workman home.

 William Workman came to California in 1841 from Taos, New Mexico and though he wasn’t an official landowner until 1845 but had been on the rancho since his arrival. During the Mexican-American war Governor Pico hung out at workman’s place for a spell rather than surrender to US forces in Los Angeles, and as a result, Workman was considered by some to be hostile to the ‘American cause’. Still, he was at the right place at the right time, for gold had just been discovered and the rush was on, and his cattle ranching, leather works, and distilling talents made him a wealthy man.

The museum is host to a wide range of special events, and is open for guided tours.

NO. 874 WORKMAN HOME AND FAMILY CEMETERY - William Workman and John Rowland organized the first wagon train of permanent eastern settlers, which arrived in Southern California on November 5, 1841. Together they owned and developed the 48,790-acre La Puente Rancho. Workman began this adobe home in 1842 and remodeled it in 1872 to resemble a manor house in his native England. He also established 'El Campo Santo,' this region's earliest known private family cemetery, in 1850, the miniature Classic Grecian mausoleum was built in 1919 by grandson Walter P. Temple.
Location: 15415 E Don Julian Rd, City of Industry
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: EL MONTE
Google 34.019132,-117.965430

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