Claremont, California

From Academic Kids

Claremont is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, USA, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) east of downtown Los Angeles at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Claremont is renowned for its seven world-class academic institutions and several unique retirement communities. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 33,998.

Claremont is primarily residential, with commercial activity centered around The Village, a quaint collection of street-front small stores, offices, and restaurants adjacent to the Claremont Colleges. Most larger "big-box" stores are located south of the San Bernardino Freeway.

Large trees and shade-covered streets, older residential areas, and the Claremont Colleges are located south of the Foothill Freeway and Base Line Road. North of Base Line, most residential development is newer and mostly consists of grander estate residences set on larger lots, with cobblestone-lined streets.

Although Claremont is adjacent to the San Gabriel Mountains, hillside development is restricted as the city has set aside 1,440 acres as permanent open space and wilderness. One of the final residential developments of 125 homesites at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains began in 2003, and the foothills also include the Padua Hills Theatre, a historic site constructed in the 1930s.



The first known inhabitants of the Claremont region were the Serrano Indians. Evidence of a Serrano village was discovered on a mesa a few hundred yards northeast of the intersection of Foothill and Indian Hill Boulevards. In 1771, as the Spanish period in California began, Mission San Gabriel was founded. The lands owned by the mission stretched from the San Bernardino Mountains to San Pedro Bay. Claremont was part of this vast tract, and many of the Serranos were employed as shepherds for the padres.

After the missions were secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, most of the land within the present city limits became part of the Rancho San Jose owned by Ricardo Vejar and Don Ygnacio Palomares. Ygnacio's sister, Maria Barbara, lived with her husband and family in an adobe house in the area now known as Memorial Park. The Serranos continued to work for the Spanish settlers until smallpox took a heavy toll on the indigenous population in 1862 and 1873. By 1883, the few remaining Serrano Indians had left the area.

Jedediah Smith, the first European man to enter California overland, passed through the Claremont region in 1826. W. T. ("Tooch") Martin, the first anglo-European resident of Claremont, filed a claim on 156 acres near Indian Hill Boulevard in 1871. Martin lived by hunting game and keeping bees but eventually moved on as the population grew around him.

The Santa Fe Railroad provided the impetus for the creation of a community named Claremont in January 1887. It was one of about thirty town sites laid out between San Bernardino and Los Angeles in anticipation of a population explosion resulting from the arrival of the railroad. However, the real estate boom was short-lived and Claremont would have become one of a long list of local railroad "ghost towns" if not for the decision of the local land company to transfer its Hotel Claremont and 260 vacant lots to the recently-founded Pomona College in 1888.

The founders of Pomona College wanted to establish a school of "the New England style" and the community that grew up around it also reflected the founders' New England heritage. Even the form of local government they used, the Town Meeting, was brought with them from their hometowns in the East. The citizen involvement and volunteerism on which the town meeting form of government is based continue to be hallmarks of Claremont today.

Beginning in 1904, there was talk of incorporating as a city. Proponents didn't want to rely on Los Angeles for services. Opponents warned the community's weak tax base would result in bankruptcy in less than a year. Finally, after much debate, an election on the incorporation question was held on September 23, 1907. Ninety-five percent of Claremont's 131 eligible voters went to the polls. Incorporation was approved by a vote of 73 to 49, and the City of Claremont was officially incorporated on October 3, 1907.

At the same time the colleges were growing and expanding, so was the local citrus industry. Citrus ranches spread out across all the foothill communities. Claremont growers established one of the earliest citrus cooperatives for marketing and shipping citrus fruit, a model that led to the organization of the Sunkist cooperative. At its height, the industry supported four citrus packing houses, an ice house, and a precooling plant along the railroad tracks in Claremont.

Labor for the citrus industry was predominately provided by Mexican-Americans often new arrivals from Mexico. Men served as pickers while women worked in the packing houses. By 1920, two Mexican-American neighborhoods had developed in Claremont; one in the area of El Barrio Park and the other near the packing houses west of Indian Hill Boulevard and north of the railroad. In addition to working in the citrus industry, Mexican labor contributed greatly to the early construction of the Claremont Colleges, including skilled crafting of many stone structures and ornamental features.

Citrus continued to flourish in the area until after the Second World War. Faced with a housing boom created by returning veterans wanting to settle in the Los Angeles area, the pressure for residential development caused many growers to sell their land for housing tracts. The opening of the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10) in 1954 made it much easier for people not associated with citrus or the colleges to live in Claremont. The city, which covered about 3.5 square miles at its incorporation in 1907, now covers more than 12 square miles with a population of just under 34,000 residents.

The early Spanish, college, and citrus industry influences can be seen in the community today. There are lush remnants of citrus and oak groves and a physical character reminiscent of Claremont's Spanish heritage and college-town influence. Claremont has many fine representatives of various architectural periods, particularly Victorian architecture, neo-Classical Revival, Craftsman, and Spanish Colonial Revival. This diversity, sense of scale, and continuity singles it out as a unique community in Southern California.

Civic institutions

The Claremont Colleges include Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont Graduate University, and Claremont School of Theology. Retirement communities include Pilgrim Place, Claremont Manor and Mt. San Antonio Gardens. The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden contains a major collection of Californian plants.


Claremont is located at 34°6'36" North, 117°43'11" West (34.110009, -117.719734)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.8 km² (13.4 mi²). 34.0 km² (13.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.7 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.08% water.

Claremont is located at the eastern end of Los Angeles County, and is adjacent to the city of Upland and San Bernardino County. Claremont is approximately 24 miles east of Pasadena and 30 miles east of Los Angeles.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 33,998 people, 11,281 households, and 7,806 families residing in the city. The population density is 999.0/km² (2,586.6/mi²). There are 11,559 housing units at an average density of 339.6/km² (879.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 73.48% White, 4.98% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 11.51% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 5.20% from other races, and 4.14% from two or more races. 15.36% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 11,281 households out of which 31.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% are married couples living together, 10.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% are non-families. 24.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.56 and the average family size is 3.08.

In the city the population is spread out with 20.7% under the age of 18, 18.6% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $65,910, and the median income for a family is $78,389. Males have a median income of $59,005 versus $38,338 for females. The per capita income for the city is $28,843. 8.0% of the population and 6.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.5% of those under the age of 18 and 3.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Due to the number of professors from the Claremont Colleges who live in Claremont, the number of Ph.D.'s per capita is unusually high. As such it is known as "The City of Trees and PhD's."

Points of interest

External links


Template:Cities of Los Angeles County, Californiade:Claremont (Kalifornien)


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