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INTRODUCTION

Whittier Unincorporated Logo: Depicted within the logo is the bell tower of the Los Nietos Schoolhouse, cows and a vaquero on horseback, fields of crops, and an avocado and citrus tree, representing the agricultural history of the area.  A honeybee at the top of the logo symbolizes Sejat (or Sehat) which was a Kizh (Gabrielino-Tongva) village (“village of the wild bees”) that was located along the banks of the San Gabriel River. 

 

Whittier Unincorporated Digital Archive-County of Los Angeles Public Library:  Hundreds of vintage family photos were collected over a series of scanning events held in 2016 at the libraries located in the Whittier Unincorporated area.  You can view them at http://history.colapublib.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15952coll13

Whittier Unincorporated Area Historical Background

The name “Whittier” was derived from the Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier.  When the City of Whittier incorporated in 1898, Quaker community leaders selected the name of the respected poet to represent the city.   This name has also been used by County government to identify the surrounding areas that were not within the city limits and of which the County governs.  The Whittier Unincorporated area encompasses several communities referred to as West Whittier/Los Nietos, Whittier Unincorporated (north-west), South Whittier, East Whittier and East La Mirada. These Whittier Unincorporated communities have a combined population of over 97,000 residents. 

 

The Whittier Unincorporated community, as well as much of the Los Angeles basin, was once inhabited by the Kizh or Gabrielino/Tongva Native Americans.  After hundreds of years of exploration, Alta California was governed by Spain, Mexico, and then the United States.  The history of the Whittier Unincorporated area includes the history of the native inhabitants, the establishment of Rancho Los Nietos in the late 1700’s, and later Rancho Paso de Bartolo, Rancho Santa Gertrudes, Rancho Colima and a portion of Rancho Los Coyotes during the 1800’s.

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