Alhambra's boomtown history was featured Friday in KCET's "L.A Letters" column. Writer Mike Sonksen traced the roots of the "Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley" back to the 1880s, when fans of Helena Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel "Ramona," a Spanish and Mission era romance, flocked to the San Gabriel Mission. Southern Pacific Railroad built a station in 1887 at Garfield Avenue and Mission Road, and a cluster of residents settled in the area.
The area followed the overall development of the region in the 20th century. Its orange groves were divided into housing tracts, according to Sonksen. A country club and Victorian hotel were early tourist attractions, and Alhambra's airport helped bring visitors to the area.
In the last two decades, redevelopment has helped attract more residents to Alhambra, but many of the older attractions and buildings are gone.
Read the full article from KCET.