City of Palmdale History

Share this Page


In 1886, when land in the Antelope Valley sold for 50 cents an acre, a group of 50 Swiss and German families migrated from the Midwest and settled in what is now known as Palmdale. They named their new community “Palmenthal” because they had mistaken the native Joshua trees for palm trees.

The high desert community of Palmdale has rich agricultural roots and a unique aviation history.

The City of Palmdale celebrated its 50th anniversary of incorporation on Aug. 24, 2012. It has consistently been one of the fastest-growing cities in California and in the country. Since 1980, Palmdale’s population has soared from 12,277 to 158,605. Despite its growth, Palmdale continues to cherish the small-town values of a family-oriented community while enjoying all of the conveniences of its booming retail and commercial sectors.