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Azusa, California
City
Azusa City Hall
Azusa City Hall
Official seal of Azusa, California
Seal
Official logo of Azusa, California
Logo
Nickname(s): "The Canyon City"
Location of Azusa in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Azusa in Los Angeles County, California
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Flag of Los Angeles County, California.svg Los Angeles
Founded 1887
Incorporated December 29, 1898
Area
 • Total 9.669 sq mi (25.042 km2)
 • Land 9.656 sq mi (25.010 km2)
 • Water 0.013 sq mi (0.032 km2)  0.13%
Elevation 610 ft (186 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 46,361
 • Estimate (2013) 47,842
 • Density 4,794.81/sq mi (1,851.33/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP code 91702
Area code(s) 626
FIPS code 06-03386
GNIS feature IDs 1652667, 2409768
Website www.ci.azusa.ca.us

Azusa is a city in the San Gabriel Valley, at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, California, United States.

The A on the San Gabriel Mountains represents the city of Azusa, and can be seen within a 30-mile radius. The population was 46,361 at the 2010 census, up from 44,712 at the 2000 census. Azusa is located along historic Route 66, which passes through the city on Foothill Boulevard and Alosta Avenue.

History

"Azusa stands for everything from A to Z in the U.S.A." has been a phrase used to promote the town by boosters such as the Chamber of Commerce for many years. The place name "Azusa" actually dates to the Mexican Alta California era in the 19th century when Azusa was used to refer to the San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel River. It appears to have been derived from the Tongva place name Asuksagna. The area was part of the Tongva peoples (Gabrieleño Indians) homeland since at least 55 CE.

The first Mexican settlement in Azusa was at the Rancho el Susa in 1841, a Mexican land grant from the Alta California Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado to Luis Arenas. In 1844 Arenas sold the rancho's land to Henry Dalton, an English immigrant and wealthy merchant from the Pueblo of Los Angeles, for $7,000. He renamed it Rancho Azusa de Dalton, and had built a winery, distillery, vinegar house, meat smokehouse, and flour mill. Also, a vineyard was planted. Dalton built a house here on a place known as Dalton Hill, near 6th Street and Cerritos Avenue in Azusa.

Dalton was also the owner of the adjacent and large Rancho San Francisquito and Rancho Santa Anita properties. In the end Dalton owned an unbroken expanse of land from the present day San Dimas to the eastern edge of Pasadena. A portion of Azusa west of the San Gabriel River was within adjacent Rancho Azusa de Duarte

With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho San Francisquito was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852, confirmed by the Commission in 1853, but rejected by the US District Court in 1855, on the grounds that Henry Dalton was not, at the time of the grant, a citizen of Mexico. The decree was reversed by the US Supreme Court, and the grant was patented to Henry Dalton in 1867.

The 1870 US Census listed the area as the township of Azusa - El Monte Township and 1880 US Census listed the area as the township of San Josi and Azusa. There were a few corrections to cross out the San Josi name on most of the census pages, but this was done sporadically and there remain many index errors in the online census due to these errors.

Dalton had borrowed money from Los Angeles banker Jonathan S. Slauson to fund 24 years of litigation, and had to sign the land over to him in 1880. Slauson laid out the plan for the city in 1887 and the city was officially incorporated in 1898.

The completion of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad in January 1887, later sold to the Santa Fe railroad, brought new people looking for homes and investment opportunities in Azusa. The Gold Line Foothill light rail line is being built on the old rail right-of-way. Part of this land boom was the short lived (1887-1905) town of Gladstone, now part of Azusa.

Geography

The city is located at the entrance to the San Gabriel Canyon, giving the city its nickname "The Canyon City." It is on the east side of the San Gabriel River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25 km2), over 99% of it is land.

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Sister cities

Azusa has one sister city:

Climate

This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Azusa has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 363
1870 320 −11.8%
1900 863
1910 1,477 71.1%
1920 2,460 66.6%
1930 4,808 95.4%
1940 5,209 8.3%
1950 11,042 112.0%
1960 20,497 85.6%
1970 25,217 23.0%
1980 29,380 16.5%
1990 41,333 40.7%
2000 44,712 8.2%
2010 46,361 3.7%
Est. 2015 49,690 7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Azusa had a population of 46,361. The population density was 4,794.9 people per square mile (1,851.3/km²). The racial makeup of Azusa was 26,715 (57.6%) White (19.3% Non-Hispanic White), 1,499 (3.2%) African American, 562 (1.2%) Native American, 4,054 (8.7%) Asian, 87 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 11,270 (24.3%) from other races, and 2,174 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31,328 persons (67.6%).

The Census reported that 43,559 people (94.0% of the population) lived in households, 2,691 (5.8%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 111 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 12,716 households, out of which 5,955 (46.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,310 (49.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,275 (17.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,014 (8.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 891 (7.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 104 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,238 households (17.6%) were made up of individuals and 761 (6.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.43. There were 9,599 families (75.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.85.

The population was spread out with 12,407 people (26.8%) under the age of 18, 7,724 people (16.7%) aged 18 to 24, 13,185 people (28.4%) aged 25 to 44, 9,469 people (20.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,576 people (7.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.3 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

There were 13,386 housing units at an average density of 1,384.4 per square mile (534.5/km²), of which 6,802 (53.5%) were owner-occupied, and 5,914 (46.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.6%. 22,805 people (49.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 20,754 people (44.8%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Azusa had a median household income of $52,001, with 20.1% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 44,712 people, 12,549 households, and 9,298 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,023.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,939.7/km²). There were 13,013 housing units at an average density of 1,462.1 per square mile (564.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.35% White, 3.78% Black or African American, 1.31% Native American, 6.14% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 30.52% from other races, and 5.73% from two or more races. 63.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,549 households out of which 43.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.41 and the average family size was 3.90.

In the city, the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 15.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,191, and the median income for a family was $40,918. Males had a median income of $30,845 versus $26,565 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,412. About 15.1% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

Superfundsite

Aerojet, the rocket engine manufacturer, had a plant in Azusa from World War II to 2001. In 1980, it was determined that under Aerojet's facility there was TCE water contamination in the groundwater, whose plume was entering the aquifer under the city and of the San Gabriel Valley groundwater basin. The San Gabriel Valley aquifer is very valuable, providing most of the drinking water in the area at a fraction of the cost of water imported by aqueducts. In 1985, the U.S. EPA declared it a Superfund Site.

In 1997, additional chemical contamination, mostly NDMA and ammonium perchlorate, was found in the site's groundwater. Aerojet was named the Responsible Party for the groundwater remediation (cleanup) work and expenses. Aerojet sold the property in 2001 to Northrop Grumman Corporation, but remained the Responsible Party for the pollution.

In a 2002 court decision, Aerojet and seven other San Gabriel Valley groundwater polluters agreed to provide funding to build and operate six water-treatment facilities. One of the main contaminants is perchlorate, a carcinogenic component of rocket fuels produced by Aerojet.

In popular culture

A popular running gag on the long-running radio comedy The Jack Benny Program involved a character voiced by Mel Blanc announcing the arrival or departure of a train to or from "Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc-a-monga."

The city's name appeared in the title of the Jan and Dean song, "Anaheim, Azusa, & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review And Timing Association" in 1964.

In 1971 Life magazine ran a cover story on teen pregnancy featuring a unique program for pregnant high school teens. The story focused on teenage mothers attending Citrus High School in Azusa. At a time when many pregnant teens were shunned by their schools and families, Citrus High School sought to help the teen mothers continue their studies while pregnant.


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