Walnut, California

Walnut is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population is 30,004 and its current mayor is Joaquin Lim.

With exceptions to some busy intersections (such as near Mt. San Antonio College), the hilly and affluent city is considerably more relaxed in comparison to most nearby neighborhoods. The city is almost and is home to more than 32,000 people and 600 businesses. A large Sysco headquarters is located in the city.


The history of Walnut dates back to the Indians who were of Shoshone origin. They were called Gabrielino Indians by the Spaniards because they lived in an area controlled by the San Gabriel Mission. Walnut was primarily used for the grazing of cattle and sheep by the Mission.

Spaniards who arrived here in the early 1800s introduced the concept of ranchos and started agricultural development and the creation of home sites. The first land grants in the Walnut area were those of the Rancho De San Jose granted to Don Ricardo Vejar and Don Ygnacio Palomares; the Rancho De Los Nogales, issued to Jose De La Cruz Linares; and Rancho La Puente, issued to John Rowland and William Workman in 1842 which consisted of a total of . The City of Walnut was included as part of one of the 24 ranchos belonging to the San Gabriel Mission

In 1868, John Rowland and William Workman divided Rancho La Puente, leaving Rowland the eastern half and Workman the western half. Rowland’s land included the western portion of Walnut. The land was used for raising cattle and growing wheat, grapes, and fruit trees.

Many years earlier in 1840, Mexican Governor Juan Alvardo awarded a man named Jose De La Cruz Linares a land grant of , land which included a portion of Walnut. This land was known as Rancho De Nogales, or Ranch of the Walnut Trees. In 1847, seven years after the unfortunate death of Linares, the rancho was acquired by Ricardo Vejar. This land included the eastern portion of Walnut and became part of Rancho San Jose. The City of Walnut originally obtained its name from the Rancho De Los Nogales land grant, Nogales being the Spanish word for walnut.

In order to preserve part of the community’s history, the City of Walnut’s Bicentennial Commission selected the construction of Lemon Creek Park and the restoration of the William R. Rowland Adobe Redwood Ranch House as Walnut’s bicentennial project. In 1871, the Lemon Creek Park area became the property of Sheriff William Rowland, who inherited the ranch from his father, John Rowland. The modest structure served as the home of Mr. Meridith, ranch foreman for William Rowland. It was built in 1883. The adobe redwood ranch house is one of the few remaining original ranch style redwood and adobe structures in the area. On October 1, 1975, the State Landmark Committee placed the W.R. Rowland ranch house in the National Registry of Historical Places.

Walnut was one of the only cities to have Black Walnuts able to be picked.

On July 29, 2008, a 5.4 earthquake shook the eastern portion of the LA basin, with a strong shaking felt in Walnut.

Walnut Family Festival

One of the most notable aspects of Walnut is the Walnut Family Festival. For one day each year during the fall, several larger streets are closed in the early hours of the morning and a parade is held in which many local clubs and groups participate. Later in the afternoon, a fair with booths, games, food, and activities is held in Suzanne Park, adjacent to Suzanne Middle School.


As of the census of 2000, there were 30,004 people, 8,260 households, and 7,582 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,290.0/km² (3,340.5/mi²). There were 8,395 housing units at an average density of 360.9/km² (934.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.75% Asian, 28.37% White, 4.20% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 7.65% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.34% of the population.

There were 8,260 households out of which 50.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 77.1% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 8.2% were non-families. 5.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.63 and the average family size was 3.74.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $97,367, and the median income for a family was $106,996. Males had a median income of $51,944 versus $36,197 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,196. About 5.8% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Walnut is located in the 29th Senate District, represented by Republican Bob Margett, and in the 60th Assembly District, represented by Republican Bob Huff. Federally, Walnut is located in California's 26th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +4 and is represented by Republican David Dreier.


Primary education in Walnut is generally served by the Walnut Valley Unified School District (WVUSD), which also serves parts of the city of Diamond Bar. Schools located in Walnut are:

  • C.J. Morris Elementary School
  • Collegewood Elementary School
  • Oswalt Elementary School (RUSD)
  • Vejar Elementary School
  • Walnut Elementary School
  • Westhoff Elementary School
  • Suzanne Middle School
  • Southlands Christian Schools
  • Del Paso High School--Changed to Ronald Hockwalt Academies in January 2007
  • Walnut High School

Portions of the western side of Walnut is also served by the Rowland Unified School District.

In addition, Mt. San Antonio College, one of the California Community Colleges, is also located in Walnut near its border with Pomona.

Notable Natives/Residents

  • Paul Caligiuri, Retired Soccer Player; formerly with the Los Angeles Galaxy, inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.
  • Darius McCrary, Actor; known most for playing Eddie Winslow on the television show Family Matters.
  • Jim Hall, Table Tennis Player; 1996 Special Olympics Table Tennis Gold medalist.
  • Alan Haskvitz, National Teachers Hall of Fame, Reader's Digest Hero in Education, NCSS National Teacher of the Year, International Teacher of the Year (Cherry Award), Learning Magazine Best Teacher in America, three Golden Bell Award, George Washington Medal.
  • Gerardo, Rapper and singer who later became a recording-industry executive.
  • Evelyn Ashford, American athlete, the 1984 Olympic champion in the 100 m. Arguably the greatest female sprinter ever, with a career that spanned an unprecedented five Olympic Games.
  • Taboo, Best known for being in the group Black Eyed Peas.
  • Daniel Saito, MySQL, Co-Founder of MySQL in Japan and successful serial entrepreneur.
  • William Ringland, Superteen winner of California (Highest honor awarded to high school students)
  • Tod McBride, former NFL Player with Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Rams; standout wide receiver at Walnut High School and defensive back at UCLA
  • Lance Parrish, an eight-time All-Star (1980, 1982-86, 1988, 1990), and he won three Gold Glove Awards (1983-85). He ranks fifth in Major League history in home runs as a catcher with 299.
  • Gary Zimmerman, Retired NFL Player; who played for the Los Angeles Express (USFL), the Minnesota Vikings from 1986-1992 and for the Denver Broncos from 1993-1997. Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7 times and was an All-Pro selection 8 times. Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame on February 2, 2008. Attended Walnut High School and the University of Oregon.

Sister Cities


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