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About Santa Fe Springs, CA
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Santa Fe Springs, CA, has gone through many changes in its history. From the days of the native people to modern times, many things have shaped this city into what it is today. The town emerged due to several factors, including discovering oil and its proximity to other cities in Southern California.
Located in Los Angeles County, California, the city of Santa Fe Springs was incorporated on May 15, 1957. It has been one of Southern California’s principal agricultural centers for more than a century. In addition to agriculture and entertainment, the industry is an integral part of Santa Fe Springs’ economy.
There are excellent food processing plants in town that employ many residents. Manufacturing companies include those producing electronic components and chemicals used in aerospace research and development.
The area of Santa Fe Springs was inhabited for more than 10,000 years by Native Americans who hunted and gathered in its environs. They included the Tongva-Fernandeño Native American people, who called the area Ainhum, which translates to little spring in Spanish.
When California became part of Mexico’s Alta California province, Santa Fe Springs, CA, became part of Rancho La Puente, located near Los Angeles. During Mexican rule, the governor made many large land grants. The land that would eventually become the city of Santa Fe Springs belonged to the Rancho La Puente and Rancho Potrero Grande land grants.
As a founding member of what would later become Los Angeles County, Rancho la Zanja was one of California’s most critical colonial settlements. A Spanish ranch dating back to 1784, Rancho Los Nietos was situated in present-day South Whittier and Montebello. The land encompassed some 30,000 acres and served as an essential stop on El Camino Real.
How it became famous
Santa Fe Springs, CA, became famous for its oil production and agriculture. In 1907, Union Oil Co. of California (UNOCAL) acquired land to build an oil field that would produce millions of barrels of oil throughout Southern California. The wells were, however, unsuccessful. Oil extraction technology was still in its infancy when the first blowout occurred in 1919.
Because oil extraction was so explosive and dangerous, it forced locals to flee town quickly. The Union-Bell well, which burst in as a 2,500-barrel gusher in 1921, sparked an oil rush by large oil firms and operators. Within a year, the Santa Fe Springs oil field had become one of the world’s most decadent.
For this reason, Santa Fe Springs, CA, grew into a haven for prospective promoters. Each year, production levels fell, but by 1938, the field had produced over 440,000,000 barrels. The invention of the Shelby Cobra took place at Santa Fe Springs. This invention came from Carroll Shelby, setting up a speed shop in 1962. The Shelby further put Santa Fe Springs on the map and strengthened its popularity.
Post World War II Growth
The 1950s brought a period of intense growth to Santa Fe Springs. Between 1955 and 1960, more than 20 subdivisions opened along with new homes and businesses. A bypass was constructed around 1958 to accommodate increasing traffic allowing motorists to avoid downtown.
New schools were built throughout these years as well by the local authorities. As Santa Fe Springs grew, so did its economy. In 1956, Kaiser Steel Corporation established a steel mill near East Gage Avenue and Rosecrans Avenue that employed 2,000 people by 1959.
Geography and Demographics
Santa Fe Springs, CA, had a population of 16.223 during the 2010 census activity. The town also had a population density of about 1,819 persons per square mile, with the racial distribution as follows:
● Native Americans-4.2%
● African Americans-2.3%
According to the census, 16,030 people lived in households (98.8%), 85 (0.5%) in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 108 (0.7%) were institutionalized.
At the 2020 Census, Santa Fe Springs, CA, recorded a population of 17,198, which was a 6% increase from the previous census.
Today, its population hovers around 19,200 residents with a median age of 35 years old. Its proximity to downtown Los Angeles makes it especially attractive to young professionals looking for convenient urban living options within easy reach of their place of employment.
Although its relatively short history compared to other Los Angeles suburbs, Santa Fe Springs has flourished into a highly-rated community home to families who are actively involved in their neighborhood. Santa Fe Springs has been an area of great importance to its citizens for years and will continue to remain that way for decades to come.
History of Santa Fe Springs, CA
Santa Fe Springs is a gateway city located 11 miles Southeast of Los Angeles County and two miles South of Pico Rivera placing it part of the county’s Long Beach metropolitan.
Other neighboring cities and towns include Whittier, Montebello, Bell Gardens, Norwalk, and Downey.
Santa Fe Springs, CA History
The name Santa Fe Springs is a Spanish word meaning “Holy Faith,”. It was first used in 1886 to refer to the mineral springs which Dr. James E. Fulton sold to Santa Fe Railway, Atchison, and Topeka.
Sabta Fe Springs, CA which is now one of the world’s largest industrial cities was originally an agricultural farm and leading global producer of oil.
The origin of Santa Fe Springs, CA can be traced back to 1789 when Governor Pedro Fagas received permission to grant the then 65 years old Corporal José Manuel Nieto 300,000 acres following his successful petition to be given a piece of land.
He was granted the 1,200 km2 piece of land that starts from the Pacific Ocean to Puente Hills which later came to be known as “Rancho La Zanja”. After being given the land, Nieto moved in with his family to start a large cattle empire which later became an industrial city we know today as Santa Fe Springs, CA.
In 1871, Dr. James E. Fulton an employee of the San Gertrudes Land Company came to the area, and while drilling wells, he found out spring with sulfur which he ended up developing in 1874 into a hotel & health spa that is today one of Santa Fe Springs, CA’s holiday destinations- The Heritage Park.
The spa which served 400 patients every year had a windmill that drew water to the pool. 15 years later, Dr. James sold the land to Santa Fe Railway who built the railway line linking Los Angels and San Diego. This was a big boost to the town since there was no access to railway transportation.
The transport network opened the area to investors and in 1907, California’s Union Oil Company started to drill in the area near Telegraph Road and Norwalk Blvd intersection.
However, the excursion and subsequent ones failed until 1921 when the company’s well blew in a 2500-barrel gusher setting off a scramble for oil by big oil companies and producers.
This ranked Santa Fe Springs, CA’s fields within a short period of time as the richest petroleum pools in the world and at the same time, a paradise since many investors trooped to the city to tap the potential oil economy.
This, however, did not go well for these investors because in 1923 the state of California enacted laws that imposed limits on the oil sold to the market.
After this legislation, Santa Fe Springs, CA produced a total of 345,000 barrels per day a massive production that surpassed that of Huntington Beach and Signal Hill. The production went slow and in 1928, Wilshire Oil Company wells went deep into the sand levels.
This caused the levels of production to drop over the following years and in 1938, Santa Fe Springs, CA fields had produced a total of 440,000,000 oil barrels.
The economy on the other hand was blooming and in the year 1957, Santa Fe Springs with an area of 4.9 square miles was officially incorporated into a city that currently according to the US Census Bureau covers a total area of 8.67 square miles with 87% of it serving as an industrial area.
Being a new city, Santa Fe Springs, CA continued to attract more investors and experienced tremendous growth and development over the years to become the birthplace and origin of Shelby Cobra.
In the year 1962, Carroll Shelby opened their shop in Dean Moon’s Santa Fe Springs, CA. Then, Shelby was dealing in Surrey AC Cars and England ship cars which had no drive train or moto.
It later gave birth to Cobra- Britain’s Sportscar having an American hottest rod power by horning the 260-cubic-inch V8 into a tiny and lightweight British roadster.
Santa Fe Springs, CA Demographics
The 2010 census report indicated that Santa Fe Springs had a total population of 16,223 and a racial makeup of 11.6 percent White, 2.3 percent African American, 1.4 percent Native Americans 4.2 percent Asian. The Latino was the majority with 81.0 percent and 4.2 percent from other races.
Santa Fe Springs, CA Economy
When compared to its neighbors today, Santa Fe Springs, CA’s economy comprises of majorly aircraft industries and companies among them Boeing Company, Middle River Aircraft Systems, defense aerospace companies, and contractors.