History

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Way back in the 1880s, a group of successful men in the banking and railroad industries settled in what is known today as Monrovia. One of these men was William Monroe, who is considered the “Father of Monrovia.” Back then, the land was nothing but dirt roads, orange groves and only a few homes scattered about.

Monroe, who purchased 240 acres of land in 1884, built a home for his family, The Oaks, which still stands today at 250 N. Primrose Avenue. Monroe’s legacy reaches even further into the city: Myrtle Avenue, which is considered Monrovia’s main street, is named after Monroe’s oldest daughter.

Along with his partners, Monroe established a 120-acre site of land for purchase. Sold for the first time in 1886, lots were $100 and $150, with the only requirement being that the owner was to build a house within six months.

In November 1887, Monrovia was incorporated, which makes it the fourth city to be incorporated in Los Angeles County, behind Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Pasadena.

In present-day Monrovia, the city’s past is well-documented through the Monrovia Historical Museum, the City of Monrovia and the Legacy Project/Heritage Room at Monrovia Public Library.

HISTORIC SITES

When a place has been settled for more than 130 years, the scope of history is far-reaching. In 1966, the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act allowed the city to established guidelines for documenting and designating official landmarks and districts.

Comprised of Wild Rose Tract Historic District and North Encinitas Historic District, Monrovia’s past is still alive in its present. Wild Rose Tract Historic District was established by the Monrovia City Council in 2008. The district spans the 300 block of Wildrose Avenue, with nearly 20 properties, of which 15 are contributors. These are establishments that are defined as adding historical integrity or architectural qualities that make a district significant.

The North Encinitas Historic District was recently created by city council in 2017. This district navigates through the 100 and 200 blocks of North Encinitas and has 64 properties. Out of these properties, the district boasts 38 contributors.

Wild Rose Tract Historic District Contributors
  • 302 Wildrose Ave., 1907
  • 310 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 311 Wildrose Ave., 1912
  • 312 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 316 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 319 Wildrose Ave., 1914
  • 320 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 323 Wildrose Ave., 1922
  • 326 Wildrose Ave., 1910
  • 327 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 331 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 334 Wildrose Ave., 1910
  • 335 Wildrose Ave., 1911
  • 115 California Ave., 1911
  • 210 S. Canyon Blvd., 1922
North Encinitas Historic District Contributors
  • 116 N. Encinitas Ave., 1921
  • 130 N. Encinitas Ave., 1906
  • 133 N. Encinitas Ave., 1908
  • 141 N. Encinitas Ave., 1912
  • 144 N. Encinitas Ave., 1921
  • 148 N. Encinitas Ave., 1912
  • 152 N. Encinitas Ave., 1921
  • 155 N. Encinitas Ave., 1901
  • 156 N. Encinitas Ave., 1913
  • 159 N. Encinitas Ave., 1906
  • 164 N. Encinitas Ave., 1920
  • 167 N. Encinitas Ave., 1902
  • 168 N. Encinitas Ave., 1912
  • 171 N. Encinitas Ave., 1910
  • 172 N. Encinitas Ave., 1906
  • 176 N. Encinitas Ave., 1912
  • 177 N. Encinitas Ave., 1910
  • 180 N. Encinitas Ave., 1920
  • 201 N. Encinitas Ave., 1903
  • 205 N. Encinitas Ave., 1911
  • 209 N. Encinitas Ave., 1907
  • 214, 215, 216, N. Encinitas Ave., 1913
  • 217 N. Encinitas Ave., 1904
  • 219 N. Encinitas Ave., 1911
  • 220 N. Encinitas Ave., 1906
  • 224 N. Encinitas Ave., 1904
  • 227 N. Encinitas Ave., 1905
  • 228 N. Encinitas Ave., 1914
  • 231 N. Encinitas Ave., 1896
  • 236 N. Encinitas Ave., 1910
  • 243 N. Encinitas Ave., 1908
  • 246 N. Encinitas Ave., 1912
  • 251 N. Encinitas Ave., 1913
  • 252 N. Encinitas Ave., 1922
  • 256 N. Encinitas Ave., 1921
  • 260 N. Encinitas Ave., 1921
  • 263 N. Encinitas Ave., 1914
  • 271 N. Encinitas Ave., 1922