Baldwin Park began as part of cattle grazing land belonging to the San Gabriel Mission. It eventually became part of the Rancho Azusa de Dalton and the Rancho La Puente properties. The community became known as Vineland in 1880. By 1906 it changed to Baldwin Park. It was named after Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin. In 1956 Baldwin Park became the 47th incorporated city in the State of California. Currently the city is pushing to revitalize its economic base. There are six active Project Redevelopment Areas located in strategic areas of the city.
Projects within these redevelopment areas are as diverse, including high-quality senior housing, Home Depot, Starbucks, Harley Davidson, a transit oriented district (TOD) near the Metrolink Train Station and various other thriving businesses.
Baldwin Park is home to the first In-N-Out burger stand, opened on October 22, 1948. It was the first drive-thru in California and was replaced in 2004 with a new building. The In-N-Out museum and company store opened in 2006 on Francisquito Avenue. Also, the company's sole meatpacking plant is there.
As of September 1882, the first school house was built on the southeast corner of North Maine and Los Angeles Avenues. In 1884, it contained two rows of double seats, a central aisle leading to the teacher's desk, and a heating stove at the north end. Mr. Frazier was the first teacher. In April 1888, The Vineland School District was established according to county records.
The first Board of Trustees took office on July 1, 1888, and elected Miss Jessie Washburn to teach the district school that fall. The building was sold in 1890 and moved to another site for a private residence. The district built the second school in 1890 and hired two teachers, Miss Ellen Lang and Miss Venna O. Finney. The second school house was relegated to the past in 1912. It later became a private Japanese school and stood as a landmark until it caught fire on September 5, 1936, and burned to the ground. Today, the Baldwin Park Unified School District lies contiguously with the city's borders. There are 23 schools within this district. The budget is well over $100 million. Currently the district is building new school structures to accommodate growth. The district is adopting data driven strategies to help students achieve better scores in the API tests. There is an active push by the district to hire new teachers while providing retirement incentives for teachers who wish to retire.
In the 1950s there was Vias Turkey Ranch about one mile from the now Interstate 10 just off of Frazier Ave., that was not only a huge commercial turkey ranch but famous in the Valley for the likewise huge outdoor aviary. It had a unique selection of birds and also housed two or three types of deer species. When the value of the land escalated, the property was sold and the Ranch moved to Apple Valley where they are currently raising ostriches.
At Elwin Elementary School you could go to the river bed next to the playground and find sea shells, as this area was all under hundreds of feet of sea water at one time.
The Milikan Dairy was on Frazier and the schools enjoyed bringing kids to see how their milk was processed from the cow to the bottle. It might sound dull by today's standard but you have to remember that in those days not everybody had a TV and then it was black and white with a nine inch screen.
Popular pastimes in the 1950s also included riding at the horse stables across the bridge of the San Gabriel River, which was an open sand and rock river bed, and ride one hour for the sum of $1.00. Seems cheap until you realize the minimum wage was fifty cents an hour.
In summer 2005, Save Our State, an anti-illegal immigration group based in Ventura, launched a series of protests against Danzas Indigenas, an art installation at the Baldwin Park Metrolink station designed for the MTA in 1993 by artist Judy Baca. The monument bears several engraved statements whose origins are not attributed. At issue was one particular inscription--It was better before they came--that Save Our State claimed was directed against Anglo Caucasians. In fact, according to Baca, that sentence was uttered by an Anglo white Baldwin Park resident in the 1950s; he was lamenting the influx of persons of Mexican ancestry into the San Gabriel Valley following World War II. Save Our State's founder Joseph Turner publicly vowed to continue the protests, which drew enormous numbers of counter-protesters and required considerable expenditures on crowd control and riot police, until Baldwin Park's city treasury was sufficiently depleted as to force it to remove the art installation. As of August 2006, the monument still stands and the protests have ceased.
Baldwin Park is located at (34.082809, -117.971677).
As of the census of 2008, there were 94,869 people, 18,061 households, and 21,061 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,396.5/km² (11,379.2/mi²). There were 19,430 housing units at an average density of 1,010.5/km² (2,615.3/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 3% White, 3% Black or African American, .5% Native American, 18% Asian, .5% Pacific Islander, 4% from other races, and 4% from two or more races. 71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 16,961 households out of which 55.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.2% were non-families. 8.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.44 and the average family size was 4.53.
In the city the population was spread out with 34.9% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,629, and the median income for a family was $41,256. Males had a median income of $26,873 versus $22,186 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,562. About 15.4% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.8% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Baldwin Park is located in the 24th Senate District, represented by Democrat Gloria Romero, and in the 57th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Edward P. Hernandez. Federally, Baldwin Park is located in California's 32nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +17 and is represented by Democrat Hilda Solis.