Rowland Heights, California

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Rowland Heights is an unincorporated community of 11.4 square miles (30 km2), located in and below the Puente Hills in the San Gabriel Valley, in Los Angeles County, California. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) was 48,553 at the 2000 census. Because Rowland Heights is an unincorporated community instead of an incorporated city, it is dependent upon County of Los Angeles representation (County Board of Supervisors).



This area of the Los Angeles basin was once an inland sea before the last ice age. Many fossils can still be found around the area. One place that still has exposed fossils from ancient sea life that once swam this prehistoric sea is located behind the McDonald's on Stoner Creek Road across from the Stoner Creek Car Wash, which locals called fossil hill. Local kids would go there to find treasures, such as sea life encrusted in sand dollars.

The Mexican land grant Rancho La Puente was granted to John Rowland and William Workman in 1842. In 1868, John Rowland and William Workman divided Rancho La Puente, leaving Rowland the eastern half and Workman the western half. Rowland Heights was originally part of the Workman Temple homestead in California's rancho days. The original John A. Rowland homestead is now behind the 99 Ranch Market near the corner of Gale Avenue and Nogales Street. The homestead is no longer there and it's going to be developed into a commercial zone.

Rowland Heights has grown significantly during the 1990s. Originally built on a pig farm that covered much of modern day Rowland Heights, the Rowland Homestead was mostly orange groves until the eastward sprawl from Los Angeles spawned working-class communities and affordable housing developments then formed. As the 60 freeway was extended beyond the western boundary, the community continued growth equal to that of most communities in Southern California. Development next to the freeway, zoned for industrial investment, eventually helped to support the housing developments that continued well into the 21st century.

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