Walnut is an affluent city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 29,172 at the 2010 census and its current mayor is Tom King, a former Detective from the Los Angeles Police Department.
The city of Walnut obtained its name from the Rancho Los Nogales Mexican land grant, nogales being the Spanish word for “walnut.” With exceptions to some busy intersections (such as Grand Avenue and Amar near Mt. San Antonio College), the hill-dotted city is relatively quiet in comparison to nearby neighborhoods like La Puente and West Covina. The city covers nearly nine square miles (23 km2) and is home to hundreds of businesses.
Walnut is located in the San Jose Hills and is home to several small creeks that run throughout local parks (i.e. Snow Creek, Lemon Creek).
The history of Walnut dates back to the Indians who were of Shoshone origin. They were called “Gabrielino Indians” by the Spaniards, who arrived in the early 19th century, because the Indians lived in an area controlled by the San Gabriel Mission. Walnut was primarily used for the grazing of cattle and sheep by the Mission. The city of Walnut got its name from the nut, walnut.
The first Mexican land grants in the Walnut area were those of Rancho San Jose granted to Ricardo Vejar and YgnacioPalomares in 1837; Rancho Los Nogales granted to Jose De La Cruz Linares in 1840; and Rancho La Puente granted to John Rowland and William Workman in 1842. 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.
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 29,000-acre (120 km2) ranch from his father, John Rowland. The modest structure built in 1883 served as the home of Mr. Meridith, ranch foreman for William Rowland. 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 Family Festival
Walnut holds an annual “Walnut Family Festival.” On the day of festival, several streets in the area (such as portions of Lemon and La Puente) are closed in 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.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Walnut had a population of 29,172. The population density was 3,242.8 people per square mile (1,252.0/km²). The racial makeup of Walnut was 6,913 (23.7%) White (12.5% Non-Hispanic White), 824 (2.8%) African American, 69 (0.2%) Native American, 18,567 (63.6%) Asian, 28 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,750 (6.0%) from other races, and 1,021 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5,575 persons (19.1%).
The Census reported that 29,138 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 22 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 12 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 8,533 households, out of which 3,492 (40.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,298 (73.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 985 (11.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 394 (4.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 163 (1.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 26 (0.3%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 627 households (7.3%) were made up of individuals and 237 (2.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.41. There were 7,677 families (90.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.55.
The population was spread out with 6,088 people (20.9%) under the age of 18, 3,092 people (10.6%) aged 18 to 24, 6,089 people (20.9%) aged 25 to 44, 10,339 people (35.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,564 people (12.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.1 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.
There were 8,753 housing units at an average density of 973.0 per square mile (375.7/km²), of which 7,536 (88.3%) were owner-occupied, and 997 (11.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.4%. 25,504 people (87.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,634 people (12.5%) lived in rental housing units.
The average household income was $106, 996. The median home value was $664, 662.
In the state legislature Walnut is located in the 29th Senate District, represented by Republican Bob Huff, and in the 60th Assembly District, represented by Republican Curt Hagman. Federally, Walnut is located in California’s 26th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +4and is represented by Republican David Dreier. As of 2013, Walnut will be in California’s 39th congressional district.
While the Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly districts that Walnut is located in may have tendencies to vote for Republican candidates, over the last decade Walnut has mostly voted for Democratic presidential, gubernatorial, and senatorial candidates, with the exceptions of2003 and 2006 when they voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Walnut voters break down by party affiliation 63.102% Democratic and 35.598% Republican. According to the results of the 2004 and the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, Walnut has a PVI of D+3.
Primary education in Walnut is generally served by the prestigious Walnut Valley Unified School District (WVUSD), which also serves parts of the city of Diamond Bar. Schools located in and around Walnut include:
- C.J. Morris Elementary School
- Collegewood Elementary School
- Oswalt Academy (Formerly known as Oswalt Elementary School) (Rowland Unified School District)
- Vejar Elementary School
- Walnut Elementary School
- Westhoff Elementary School
- Suzanne Middle School
- Southlands Christian Schools
- South Pointe Middle School
- Ronald Hockwalt Academies (Formerly known as Del Paso High School)
- Walnut High School
- Diamond Bar High School
Portions of the western side of Walnut are also served by the Rowland Unified School District.
Proposed NFL Stadium
Main article: Los Angeles Stadium
In April 2008, billionaire-land developer and co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings, Edward P. Roski, unveiled plans for the construction of an $800 million NFL stadium in the neighboring City of Industry. In March 2009, Walnut filed a lawsuit opposing construction of the stadium, but dropped those charges in September.
On October 23, 2009, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill allowing the 75,000-seat stadium to be built in neighboring Industry in hopes of attracting an NFL team there. This bill would also nullify a lawsuit filed by local residents over the project’s environmental impact report.
- Evelyn Ashford, 1984 Olympic champion in the 100 m; arguably the greatest female sprinter ever, with a career that spanned an unprecedented five Olympic Games
- Charlie Beck, current LAPD Police Chief And Former Chief Of Detective Of The LAPD
- Paul Caligiuri, retired soccer player; formerly with the Los Angeles Galaxy, inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004
- Gerardo, rapper and singer who later became a recording-industry executive
- 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
- Ricky Lawson, famous drummer of such artists as: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton, etc.
- Tod McBride, former NFL player with the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Rams; standout wide receiver at Walnut High School and defensive back at UCLA
- Darius McCrary, actor; known most for playing Eddie Winslow on the television show Family Matters
- Gia Paloma, former American pornographic actress.
- Lance Parrish, eight-time All-Star (1980, 1982–86, 1988, 1990) who 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; played for the Los Angeles Express (USFL), the Minnesota Vikings from 1986–1992 and 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.
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