La Verne

The history of the area dates back to the 1830s when Ygnacio Palomares received the 15,000-acre (61 km2) Rancho San Jose land grant from Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado in 1837. The land included the present day cities Pomona, Claremont, San Dimas, Glendora, and La Verne. The adobe which Palomares built in 1837 is still preserved in Pomona as La Casa Primera de Rancho San Jose (The First House). Palomares soon moved a mile or so northeast and constructed the Ygnacio Palomares Adobe. He ensured that a nephew, Jose Dolores Palomares, secured a tract of land a mile west. In the mid-1880s, entrepreneur Isaac W. Lord purchased a tract of Jose Palomares' land and convinced the Santa Fe Railroad company to run its line across towards Los Angeles. Lord had the land surveyed for building lots and in 1887 had a large land sale, naming the new town 'Lordsburg' after himself. He also had a large Lordsburg Hotel constructed, but the land boom was over by the time it was completed. It sat empty for several years, until sold to four members of the German Baptist Brethren Church, who persuaded others of that denomination that it would be an excellent site for a new institution of higher learning. Lordsburg College was founded in 1891. In 1906 the town was incorporated as "La Verne." Residents grew field crops, then began planting citrus trees, which flourished. Lordsburg became known as the "Heart of the Orange Empire." The city of La Verne flourished as a center of the citrus industry until after World War II, when the citrus industry slowly faded away. Today the last two orange groves are on the grounds of the La Verne Mansion and Heritage Park.

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