Covina began as a coffee plantation carved out of Rancho La Puente, which John Rowland had purchased from California's Mexican government. Rowland later shared the land with his friend and partner William Workman, and after Rowland's death, his widow, Charlotte, sold 5,500 acres to Julian and Antonio Badillo, on which they attempted unsuccessfully to grow coffee. Joseph Swift Phillips purchased 2,000 acres of the Badillo land, subdivided the tract, and laid out Covina's town site. Covina came to grow, process, and ship eight percent of California's citrus, transforming into a farming community that was neither rural nor urban. Residents established cultural, social, and civic organizations, founded a scientific study group and a literary society, and even built an opera house.
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Early Citrus Railroad Arrives
Electricity Automobiles Telephones Incorporation
Golden Years of Citrus
Between the Wars
The Great Change
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acres of citrus Adams Ranch Angeles Antonio arrived automobiles Avenue and College Azusa Azusa Avenue Badillo Street Baldridge band became Covina's building built Charles Charter Oak church Citrus Avenue Clarence College Street Coolman corner of Citrus Covina Argus Covina Citrus Association Covina High School Covina Union Covina Valley Historical Covina Woman's Club East San Gabriel Elvin Perle Farmers Fesler front fruit Gertrude Glendora grammar school growers Harold Teen Hodges Hollenbeck Houser irrigation Irwindale James Elliott John Houser Joseph Swift Phillips Kerckhoff land Lark Ellen left to right Mary moved to Covina Pacific Electric packinghouse photograph Pictured from left president Puente purchased railroad Ranch Reed ride Ruddock San Bernardino Road San Gabriel River San Gabriel Valley seated Second Avenue second row southern California Southern Pacific Southern Pacific Railroad standing Thomas Griswold town trees unidentified Valley Historical Society Vendome Hotel wagon Warner West Covina William