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Covina, California
City of Covina
Downtown Covina
Downtown Covina
Official seal of Covina, California
Seal
Motto(s): 
"One Mile Square and All There", "Where Friendship Is Traditional" (1965)
Location of Covina in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Covina in Los Angeles County, California
Covina, California is located in the United States
Covina, California
Covina, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
Founded 1882
Incorporated August 14, 1901
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
Area
 • Total 7.05 sq mi (18.26 km2)
 • Land 7.04 sq mi (18.22 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.22%
Elevation
558 ft (170 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 51,268
 • Density 7,286.53/sq mi (2,813.39/km2)
Demonym(s) Covinan
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
91722–91724
Area code 626
FIPS code 06-16742
GNIS feature IDs 1652693, 2410251

Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley. The population was 51,268 according to the 2020 census, up from 47,796 at the 2010 census. The city's slogan, "One Mile Square and All There", was coined when the incorporated area of the city was only one square mile (2.6 km2).

History

Present day Covina was originally within the homelands of the indigenous Tongva people for 5,000 to 8,000 years. In the 18th century it the became part of Rancho La Puente in Alta California, a 1770s Spanish colonial and 1842 Mexican land grants.

The city of Covina was founded in 1882 by Joseph Swift Phillips, on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) tract that was purchased from the holdings of John Edward Hollenbeck, one of the 1842 grantees of Rancho La Puente. In 1875 Hollenbeck had purchased a failed coffee plantation from 3 Costa Rican brothers, Pedro Maria Badilla, Julian Badilla, and Pedro Antonio Badilla, the latter who purchased it from the heirs of Hollenbeck's 1842 co-grantee John A. Rowland.

The City of Covina was named by a young engineer, Frederick Eaton, who was hired by Phillips to survey the area. Impressed by the way in which the valleys of the adjacent San Gabriel Mountains formed a natural cove around the vineyards that had been planted by the region's earlier pioneers, Eaton merged the words "cove" and "vine", and in 1885, created the name Covina for the new township.

The city was incorporated in 1901, the townsite being bounded by Puente Street on the south, 1st Avenue on the east, the alley north of College Street on the north, & 4th Avenue on the west. The city’s slogan, “One Mile Square and All There”, was coined by Mrs F. E. Wolfarth, the winner of a 1922 slogan contest sponsored by the chamber of commerce, when the incorporated area of the city was only (some say slightly less than) one square mile, making it the smallest city in area in the country.

It would be orange and grapefruit groves, not vineyards, that would soon blanket the city and make it famous. By 1909, the city was the third largest orange producer in the world, and it still claimed to have “the best oranges in the world” as late as the 1950s. Since World War II, however, the orange groves have been largely replaced by single-family (houses) and multiple-family (apartments) dwellings.

The Covina Valley Historical Society maintains an extensive archive illustrating the city’s history in the 1911-built Firehouse Jail Museum, Covina’s first municipal building, located immediately behind City Hall in Covina’s Old Town.

Currently

Covina claims to have the largest movie multiplex in Los Angeles County. Opened in 1997, the Covina AMC 30 located at Arrow Highway and Azusa Avenue is one of the busiest theatres in the United States. The movie theater was built on the site of a former Sears building.

It has been a sister city of Xalapa, Mexico, since 1964. A replica of a giant stone Olmec head, located in a place of honor in beautiful Parque Xalapa, was given to the city in 1989 by the state of Veracruz, Mexico. According to the placard placed below the head, it was originally excavated from San Lorenzo de Tenochtitlan. The statue was recently moved from its location in front of the police department to Jalapa Park in the southeast portion of the city.

During the election held March 6, 2007, nine candidates ran for two of the five positions on the city council. The voters then rejected the 10-year renewal of a 6% Utility Users Tax the city has had since 1999. Only 3,797 ballots were cast out of 21,633 registered voters. The Utility Users Tax was subsequently renewed at the June 3, 2008, election which attracted 5,032 voters.

2008 marked both the opening as well as charter season of the Covina Center for the Performing Arts, a newly remodeled multimillion-dollar theatrical venue in downtown Covina.

Geography

Covina is located at 34°5′30″N 117°52′45″W / 34.09167°N 117.87917°W / 34.09167; -117.87917 (34.091609, -117.879193).

No freeways pass through the city limits (except for a very small stretch of I-10), although it is centered in the midst of Interstate 210 (Foothill Freeway) to the north, Interstate 10 (San Bernardino Freeway) to the south, Interstate 605 (San Gabriel River Freeway) to the west, and the State Route 57 (Orange Freeway) to the east.

The Southern Pacific Railroad, which reached Covina in 1884, and the Metrolink San Bernardino Line pass through the city just north of the downtown area. The town is located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.0 square miles (18 km2). 7.0 square miles (18 km2) of it is land and 0.22% of it is water.

Climate

This region experiences warm, hot and dry summers. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Covina has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 2,774
1940 3,049 9.9%
1950 3,956 29.7%
1960 20,124 408.7%
1970 30,395 51.0%
1980 32,746 7.7%
1990 43,207 31.9%
2000 46,837 8.4%
2010 47,796 2.0%
2020 51,268 7.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Covina had a population of 47,796. The population density was 6,788.3 people per square mile (2,621.0/km2). The racial makeup of Covina was 27,937 (58.5%) White (29.9% Non-Hispanic White), 2,013 (4.2%) African American, 532 (1.1%) Native American, 5,684 (11.9%) Asian, 104 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 9,230 (19.3%) from other races, and 2,296 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,030 persons (52.4%).

The Census reported that 47,361 people (99.1% of the population) lived in households, 68 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 367 (0.8%) were institutionalized.

There were 15,855 households, out of which 6,396 (40.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,931 (50.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,815 (17.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,072 (6.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 978 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 94 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,153 households (19.9%) were made up of individuals, and 1,179 (7.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99. There were 11,818 families (74.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.43.

The population was spread out, with 11,896 people (24.9%) under the age of 18, 5,043 people (10.6%) aged 18 to 24, 13,113 people (27.4%) aged 25 to 44, 12,174 people (25.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,570 people (11.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

There were 16,576 housing units at an average density of 2,354.2 per square mile (909.0/km2), of which 9,256 (58.4%) were owner-occupied, and 6,599 (41.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.4%. 28,707 people (60.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 18,654 people (39.0%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Covina had a median household income of $66,726, with 11.3% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

An additional 31,072 residents live in zip codes associated with Covina but outside the city limits, making the total Covina-area population 78,868 at the time of the 2010 census.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 46,837 people, 15,971 households, and 11,754 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,723.7 inhabitants per square mile (2,594.5/km2). There were 16,364 housing units at an average density of 2,349.1 per square mile (906.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.10% White, 5.03% Black or African American, 0.90% Native American, 9.82% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 17.18% from other races, and 4.78% from two or more races. 40.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,971 households, out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.1% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $48,474, and the median income for a family was $55,111. Males had a median income of $40,687 versus $32,329 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,231. About 8.9% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

An additional 30,000 residents live in unincorporated areas of the three zip codes associated with Covina but outside the city limits, making the total Covina-area population 76,417.

Latino population

Hispanics made up 13% of Covina's residents in 1980, 26% in 1990, 40% in 2000, and 52% in 2010. The most latest and official census numbers showed Covina is 58.8% Latino

Appearances in fiction

Covina is the fictional setting for the Harold Teen comic strip and 1934 movie that depicted several teenagers from Covina High School. A downtown Covina malt shop was named the Sugar Bowl (with the permission of the artist Carl Eds), imitating the after-school gathering place in the comic strip.

Economy

Top employers

According to the city's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Covina Valley Unified School District 1,291
2 Citrus Valley Medical Center 1,139
3 Charter Oak Unified School District 584
4 Wal-Mart 286
5 Magan Medical Clinic 270
6 City of Covina 268
7 Bert's Mega Mall 220
8 Pall Medical 202
9 MedLegal 193
10 IKEA 186

Notable people

  • Lacey Baker – professional skateboarder, attended Northview High School
  • Rick Baker – seven-time Academy Award-winning makeup artist; films include American Werewolf In London, Ed Wood, Men In Black and The Wolfman
  • Pamela Baird, child actress, My Friend Flicka, Leave It to Beaver, graduated from Covina High School, class of 1963
  • Irma Blanco – L.A. radio personality, resided in Covina
  • Tom Brunansky – Major League Baseball player and coach, played from 1985 to 2000 for New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs; 1985 All-Star, member of 1987 World Series champion Twins; born in Covina
  • Clyde Christensen – offensive coordinator of NFL's Miami Dolphins; born in Covina, attended Royal Oak High School
  • Jack Clark – Major League Baseball player for San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox from 1975 to 1992; hit .267 with 340 home runs, played in 1985 World Series, four-time MLB All-Star; graduated from Gladstone High School in 1973
  • Art Clokey – creator of Gumby; with wife Ruth invented Gumby in early 1950s at their Covina home after Art finished film school at USC
  • Casey Dailey – football player for Northwestern and NFL's New York Jets
  • Herschel Daugherty – former film, television and theatre director.
  • Donald W. Evans Jr., Sp4., (1943–1967) – Army medic awarded Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam War, plus Purple Heart; born in Covina
  • Donna Fargo – country singer, taught English at Northview High School in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Hussein Mohamed Farrah – son of Mohamed Farrah Aidid and former President of Somalia, graduated from Covina High School
  • Jason David Frank – played Tommy Oliver in the Power Rangers franchise
  • Rod Gilfry – opera baritone
  • Roy Harris – composer, grew up on strawberry farm in Covina and attended Covina High School
  • Lillian Kinkella Keil – decorated World War II flight nurse; born in Covina
  • Ward Kimball – one of original Disney animators, leader of Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two; Covina High School class of 1929
  • Robert Knapp – actor, lived in Covina in his teenage years and worked in orange groves
  • Bob Lorenz – anchor and studio host, New York Yankees TV network (YES Network); previously with CNN, CNNSI and Turner Sports
  • Mike Lynn – former NBA player for Los Angeles Lakers
  • Jeremy Miller – actor in TV comedy series Growing Pains; born and raised in Covina
  • John Molina Jr. – boxer, born in Covina
  • Corey Nakatani – jockey, winner of nearly 4,000 races; born and raised in Covina
  • Vince Neil and Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe – met while attending Royal Oak High School
  • PattiSue Plumer – Athlete in 1980 and 1988 Olympics
  • Polly Plumer – American track and field runner
  • Alice Huyler Ramsey – died in Covina; first woman to drive across America from coast to coast. On June 9, 1909, the 22-year-old housewife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, completed 3,800 miles (6,100 km) from Manhattan, New York, to San Francisco, California, in a Maxwell automobile; she was accompanied on the 59-day trek by three female companions, none of whom could drive a car.
  • Mitrice Richardson – dancer
  • Jeron Roberts (born 1976) - American-Israeli basketball player
  • Gary Roenicke – Major League Baseball outfielder for Montreal Expos (1976), Baltimore Orioles (1978–85), New York Yankees (1986) and Atlanta Braves (1987–88), hit .247 with 121 home runs; born in Covina
  • Ron Roenicke – Major League Baseball player and manager, coach of 2002 World Series champion Anaheim Angels; born in Covina
  • Bobby Rose – Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball player; born in Covina
  • Willie Shoemaker (1931–2003) – Hall of Fame jockey with 8,833 wins including four Kentucky Derbys; attended Covina High School
  • Jean Stafford – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short-story writer
  • Rob Wilfong – Major League Baseball player for Minnesota Twins, California Angels and San Francisco Giants from 1977 to 1987, batted .248 with 39 home runs; graduated from Northview HS in 1971
  • Chris Woodward – Major League Baseball player (1999–2010) for Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, and Seattle Mariners; born in Covina and attended Northview HS
  • Ellen Beach Yaw (known as Lark Ellen) – a coloratura soprano active during the 19th and 20th centuries, who toured the world singing opera for over 40 years and chose to retire in Covina; a street in city is named for her
  • Michael Young – Major League Baseball infielder, 7-time All-Star selection with Texas Rangers (2004–2009, 2011), 2005 American League batting champion, 2006 MLB All-Star Game MVP, 2008 Gold Glove Award winner; born in Covina

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