19th century pioneers heading westward helped to influence the character and identity of the city of Rosemead, which is part of a cluster of cities, including Arcadia, Temple City, San Marino, and San Gabriel, in the west San Gabriel Valley.
It was one of these settlers, in fact, a man named Leonard Rose, who set up a 600-acre ranch in the 1850s that inspired the city’s name. Breeding and training horses in the dry, peaceful community, Rose called his ranch “Rose’s Meadow”—and the change to the shorter “Rosemead” was not far away.
There are still signs of a quaint, rustic town in this community of about 54,000, but Rosemead has also been a place of dramatic demographic change. Much of it started in the 1990s with an influx of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants who moved to Rosemead and set up businesses there.
Bordered to the north by San Gabriel and Temple City, the city’s other neighbors include El Monte, the unincorporated area of South San Gabriel, Montebello and San Gabriel and Monterey Park.
Drivers on one of the city’s largest streets, Rosemead Boulevard, may not realize that they are experiencing some automotive history. Along with Route 66, Historic State Route 19 is a lesser-known cousin of that famed highway that connects twelve suburban cities in Los Angeles County. It begins in the south, with Long Beach, and runs north with Pasadena, Arcadia and the city of Rosemead as some of its northern endpoints.
Two school districts—Garvey School District and Rosemead School District—serve students in the city, and a number of important companies are headquartered in Rosemead, including electrical services company Edison International and the Panda Restaurant Group.
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