Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. The population was 46,837 at the 2000 census.
Covina is often mistaken for West Covina, which is actually larger in both area and population, located to its south and west. Irwindale lies to the west, Azusa and Glendora are to the north, the unincorporated community of Charter Oak to the northeast, San Dimas to the east, and Walnut to the southeast.
It has been a sister city of Jalapa, Mexico, since 1964. A replica of a giant stone Olmec head, located in front of the city police station, was given to the city in 1989 by the Mexican state of Veracruz.
Covina is located at (34.091609, -117.879193).
No freeways pass through the city limits, 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 18.1 km² (7.0 mi²). 18.1 km² (7.0 mi²) of it is land and 0.14% of it is water.
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 2,594.5/km² (6,723.7/mi²). There were 16,364 housing units at an average density of 906.5/km² (2,349.1/mi²). 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
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.
In the state legislature
Covina 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, Covina is located in California's 32nd congressional district
, which has a Cook PVI
of D +17 and is represented by Democrat Hilda Solis
The city was founded in 1882 by Joseph Swift Phillips, and tradition has it that it was named by either he, his wife Mrs. Cornelia (Hunt) Phillips, or his surveyor Frederick Eaton
, in 1885 when the survey was finished. One of them supposedly noticed the many vineyards nestled in the San Gabriel Valley
and devised the name "Covina" from "cove of vineyards".
The city was incorporated in 1901. However, it would be orange and grapefruit trees, not vineyards, that would soon blanket the area 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 and multiple family 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.
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.
Today, it claims to have the largest movie theater multiplex in Los Angeles County. Opened in 1997, the Covina AMC 30 located at Arrow Hwy. and Azusa Ave. is one of the busiest theatres in America. The movie theater was built on the site of a former Sears building, which was demolished for this purpose.
During the election held March 6, 2007, nine candidates ran for two of the five positions on the city council, and the voters 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.
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 with a bowling alley was named the Sugar Bowl (with the permission of the artist Carl Eds
), imitating the after-school gathering place in the comic strip.
Scenes from several movies were filmed in Covina, including:
- The television series Roswell was filmed in various location in Covina including the downtown area on North Citrus Avenue. City Hall, Charter Oak High School and several other businesses and residences served as locations for the fictional version of the town of Roswell, NM.
- Multiple episodes of the hit television series Knight Rider were filmed in Downtown "Old" Covina, including an episode coincidentally shot at Knight's Photo Studio on Citrus, where David Hasselhoff greeted fans and passed out signed photographs.
- One of the ending shots of the movie Frailty was filmed on Center St. off of Hollenbeck.
- The Bohemian Rhapsody scene from the film Wayne's World was filmed on Citrus Ave. in downtown Covina, although some external shots were filmed in other locations.
- The interior of Covina Public Library served as the Baltimore County Public Library for the 2004 television movie Back When We Were Grownups.
- Jason David Frank, who has played Tommy Oliver in the Power Rangers series, was born here.
- Jason Giambi, a Major League Baseball player, went to South Hills along with his brother Jeremy.
- Composer Roy Harris grew up on a strawberry farm in Covina and attended Covina High School.
- Joan Jett (Joan Larkin) attended Covina High School.
- Ward Kimball, one of the original Disney animators, and leader of the Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two, was a member of the Covina High School class of 1929.
- Cory Lidle, former Major League Baseball player, went to South Hills with Jason and Jeremy Giambi and Shawn Wooten.
- Jeremy Miller of the ABC-TV comedy "Growing Pains" was born and raised in Covina.
- Hussein Mohamed Farrah, son of Mohamed Farrah Aidid and former President of Somalia, graduated from Covina High School.
- Corey Nakatani, jockey, was born and raised in Covina.
- Vince Neil(born Vincent Neil Wharton) and Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe met while attending Royal Oak High School (now Royal Oak Middle School) in Covina. Tommy Lee did not graduate. Vince Neil has a son who also grew up in Covina.
- Alice Huyler Ramsey, the 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 the 3,800 miles from Manhattan, New York to San Francisco, California in a Maxwell. She was accompanied on her fifty-nine day trek by three female companions, none of whom could drive a car.
- Punk rocker Rik L Rik (Richard Elerick) went to Covina High School.
- Michael Carey Schneider from the 1980s rock group Sneaker graduated from Northview High School and still resides in the city of Covina.
- Willie Shoemaker, jockey, went to Covina High School.
- Cathy Sorbo, comic and columnist for the Seattle Spin section of the Seattle P-I, went to Covina High School.
- Joe Viskocil, Academy Award winning special effects supervisor and pyrotechnic specialist, worked on the original Star Wars, graduated from South Hills Class of 1969.
- Chris Woodward, baseball player for the Atlanta Braves, attended Northview High School in Covina.
- Shawn Wooten, former Major League Baseball catcher and first baseman.
- Ellen Beach Yaw, known as "Lark Ellen", was an internationally famous coloratura soprano during the late 19th and early to mid-20th century. She toured the world singing opera for over 40 years and chose to retire in Covina. A street in Covina was named after her.
- Michael Young, Major League Baseball shortstop with the Texas Rangers.
- Lacey Baker, Professional Skateboarder
- Pitt, Leonard, and Dale Pitt. Los Angeles A to Z : an encyclopedia of the city and county. Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1997. ISBN 0-520-20274-0
- Ramsey, Alice Huyler. Veil, duster and tire iron. Covina, Calif. : Printed at the Castle Press, 1961.
- "Sister city helps Covina get a head". (Covina) Highlander-Press Courier. September 27, 1989, p.1.