Origin of name
In 1839, when vast herds of Mexican cattle and horses grazed over the hills and valleys of southern California, Mariano Reyes Roldan was granted 6,698 acres (27 km2) and named his land Rancho Cañada de La Habra. The name referred to the “Pass Through the Hills,” the natural pass to the north first discovered by Spanish explorers of the Portola expedition in 1769. In the 1860s, Abel Stearns purchased Rancho La Habra.
La Habra was founded in 1896. The first post office in the town was established in 1898 in a corner of Coy’s Store at Central (now La Habra Boulevard) and Euclid Street.
The city was incorporated under general law on January 20, 1925, with a population of 3,000. The police force was organized in 1926 and employed a chief, traffic officer and patrolman. By 1928, the city was the largest avocado center in Southern California. In 1930. the first fire department building was constructed followed by the original City Hall in 1935. By 1950, the population reached nearly 5,000. The Civic Center took shape when the existing County Library was dedicated in 1966, followed by the present administration building in 1969.
For more than 70 years, La Habra was known as the city just south of La Habra Heights where the Hass avocado, of the Hass Avocado Mother Tree, was planted by Rudolph Hass in the 1920s. The fruit from this tree has since become one of the most popular avocado cultivars worldwide. The Hass Mother Tree succumbed to root rot in 2002.
The La Habra Stakes, run since 1973 at the Santa Anita Park Thoroughbred race track, is named for La Habra. Although La Habra lies within Orange County, the city contracts with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for EMS and fire protection.
Law enforcement is provided by the La Habra Police Department, which in 2008 employed about 70 officers. From 2004 to 2008, they ranked third in the number of officer-involved shootings among twenty Orange County municipal police departments. One case among these, the 2007 death of Michael Cho, resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city which was settled in September 2010 for $250,000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19 km2), 99.92% of it land and 0.08% of it water.
It is bordered by La Habra Heights on the north, Brea on the east, Fullerton on the south and southeast, La Mirada on the west and southwest and East Whittier on the west,Whittier on the northwest and Unincorporated Los Angeles County on the northeast.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, La Habra has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated “Csa” on climate maps.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Habra had a population of 60,239. The population density was 8,166.8 people per square mile (3,153.2/km²). The racial makeup of La Habra was 35,147 (58.3%) White (30.2% Non-Hispanic White), 1,025 (1.7%) African American, 531 (0.9%) Native American, 5,653 (9.4%) Asian, 103 (0.2%)Pacific Islander, 15,224 (25.3%) from other races, and 2,556 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34,449 persons (57.2%).
The Census reported that 59,899 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 169 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 171 (0.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 18,977 households, out of which 7,937 (41.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 10,078 (53.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,905 (15.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,327 (7.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,158 (6.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 119 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,651 households (19.2%) were made up of individuals and 1,440 (7.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.16. There were 14,310 families (75.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.58.
The population was spread out with 16,062 people (26.7%) under the age of 18, 6,353 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 17,349 people (28.8%) aged 25 to 44, 13,926 people (23.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 6,549 people (10.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.6 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.
There were 19,924 housing units at an average density of 2,701.2 per square mile (1,042.9/km²), of which 10,941 (57.7%) were owner-occupied, and 8,036 (42.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.2%. 33,609 people (55.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 26,290 people (43.6%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, La Habra had a median household income of $60,954, with 14.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 58,974 people, 18,947 households, and 14,020 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,045.8 inhabitants per square mile (3,106.4/km²). There were 19,441 housing units at an average density of 2,652.3 per square mile (1,024.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.40% White, 1.40%Black or African American, 0.96% Native American, 6.00% Asian, 0.22% Pacific Islander, 2.20% from other races, and 4.67% from two or more races. 49.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 19,042 households out of which 39.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08 and the average family size was 3.56.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,652, and the median income for a family was $51,971. Males had a median income of $36,813 versus $30,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,923. About 19.1% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line.
According to the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|3||City of La Habra||435|
|6||La Habra Bakery||242|
|8||The Home Depot||140|
|9||La Habra Convalescent Hospital||140|
La Habra’s mayor is Michael Blazey.
In the state legislature La Habra is located in the 29th Senate District, represented by Republican Bob Huff, and in the 55th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Curt Hagman. Federally, La Habra is located in California’s 39th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +7 and is represented by California’s 39th congressional district, represented by Republican Ed Royce.
- Rusty Anderson – guitarist, singer, songwriter and music producer; born and raised in La Habra.
- Librado Andrade – Mexican boxer in the Super Middleweight division and older brother of Enrique; raised in La Habra
- Marciel Andrade – Professor of Paleobiology at University of Portsmouth, composer and freelance botanist; raised in La Habra, born in Seattle, Washington.
- Boyd Coddington – Famous Hot Rod builder
- Cathy Cooper – Stylist, artist, model
- Jack Cooper – composer, arranger, woodwind player
- Jeanette Dimech – Spanish singer
- The Funeral Pyre – Blackened death metal band
- Natalie Golda – Water polo player, Olympian
- Jennifer Hanson – Country music singer
- Jenna Haze – Adult film actress
- Ronnie Hillman – NFL running back
- Daniel Hoffman – violinist, composer, documentary film producer
- Mark Kostabi – Modern artist and composer
- John N. Lotz – Air National Guard Brigadier general
- Ann Meyers – Basketball player, Olympian. First player to be part of the U.S. National team while still in high school.
- Alan Newman – Major League Baseball Player
- Richard Nixon – American president
- Enrique Ornelas – Mexican boxer in the Middleweight division and younger brother of Librado; raised in La Habra.
- Anne Ramsay – Actress
- Jose Luis Razo, Jr. – Noted criminal, dubbed the “Harvard Homeboy”
- Cruz Reynoso – First Latino Justice on California Supreme Court
- Nadya Suleman – Mother of the longest living octuplets
- Diane Wakoski – Poet and essayist. Winner of the prestigious William Carlos Williams award for her book Emerald Ice
- Jonwayne – Rapper and producer signed to Stones Throw Records
- Zebrahead – Punk rock/pop punk band
- Norma Zimmer – Honorary Mayor of the City of La Habra in 1975 and featured singer and “Champagne Lady” of the Lawrence Welk Show.