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 Online Community Lesson

 

SAY “HELLO” TO MONTEBELLO

Student-authored and teacher-edited

Montebello could be described as a small city in Los Angeles County.  How did Montebello grow to be what it is today? Where did it all start? 

Montebello’s history dates back to Franciscan missionaries, Fathers Angel Somera and Pedro Cambon, who founded the original Mission San Gabriel Arcangel on September 9, 1771, near where San Gabriel Boulevard now crosses the Rio Hondo, which also is near the present-day Sanchez Adobe, a historical site.  This marked the beginning of the Los Angeles region's settlement by Spaniards.  

It was not until the end of the American Civil War that Montebello came under the ownership of an Italian immigrant, Alessandro Repetto.  His ranch was purchased by five businessmen and later divided among the partners.  The acres and the tracks of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, now Union Pacific Railroad, were developed into a town site called Newmark.  (There is a high school named after this same Newmark.    Harris Newmark Harris Continuation School is located in Los Angeles.  Also, we  have Newmark Mall in Montebello.)  The land was subdivided into large lots for agriculture.  Flowers were grown in the hills of Montebello, which explains why we see the picture of a rose on our street-name signs.  The development was named “Montebello”.  It became an oil production site after Thomas Temple, the eldest child of Walter and Laura Temple, made a discovery of oil in a pool of water found after a rain in April, 1914. 

Montebello was incorporated, that is, became a city, on October 19, 1920, with a population of about 4,000, which is little compared to the 61,519 who live here now. Montebello had five city councilors then and has five city councilors now. 

Now you know a little more about our small city which neighbors Los Angeles.  More information is available from the main Montebello library, next to city hall.  Interesting stories are available from members of the Montebello Historical Society. 

If you answer the multiple-choice questions below and e-mail to lessonanswers@mymontebello.com with “Lesson answers” in the subject field, you will be credited toward a “certificate of recognition in community affairs” to be awarded in 2007 by a local nonprofit organization. 

1. When did the Spanish arrive?

(a) 1300s.

(b) Mid 1500s.

(d) 1700s. 

2. The land of Montebello was first used for

(a) oil.

(b) agriculture.

(c) gardening.

(d) none of the above. 

3. Which of these is true?

(a) Montebello became a city in 1920, with about 4,000 residents and five city councilors.

(b) Montebello now has over 60,000 residents and five city councilors.

(c) Montebello used to have its own airport near Washington Boulevard and Vail Avenue.

(d) Before being moved to a new building next to city hall, the main Montebello library was located in Montebello Park, where the senior center now operates.

(e) There was a Benedictine monastery where city hall now stands.

(f) The oldest structure in Montebello is the Sanchez Adobe, dating to when California was part of Mexico. 

March 1, 2007

 

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    HOME  | "E-News" | Life's Problems  | "Montebello Oil" | Open Suggestion | Public Documents | Setting an Example | Young Thinkers | Project Instructions
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