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Mojave Desert Communities - Antelope Valley:

Palmdale, California

Palmdale, located approximately 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is the offspring of long-defunct Antelope Valley communities Palmenthal and Harold. Palmenthal was founded in 1886 by westward Swiss and German settlers who in 1888 named their new community Palmenthal after mistaking the local Joshua trees for palm trees; initially prospering as grain and fruit growers, many settlers abandoned their homesteads after drought decimated their crops and land scams prevented them from clearing their property titles. Harold-also known as Alpine Station and Trejo Post Office-was founded at the junction of the Southern Pacific Railroad and what is now Barrel Springs Road; but it too went under after the railroad moved the site of its booster engine station north of town. Both abandoned communities blended into Palmdale, so-named in 1899, when residents jointly relocated to a new site near the Southern Pacific railroad station and the stagecoach line between San Francisco and New Orleans.

During the first quarter of the twentieth century, irrigation systems and dry farming techniques allowed Palmdale to flourish as an agricultural community known for its alfalfa, apples, and pears. After World War II, Palmdale’s economic base shifted to aerospace and defense industry with construction of Air Force Plant 42 and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Route Traffic Control Center. Palmdale became incorporated in 1962 as the Antelope Valley’s first city and in recent decades has experienced astounding growth: its geographic size increased from 2.1 square miles in 1962 to 102 square miles today, and its population soared tenfold from 12,227 residents in 1980 to about 122,400 people today, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing cities.

from; Antelope Valley Library

Palmdale, California
Palmdale, CA - Area Feature Tours

Ripley Desert Woodland
Poppy Reserve
Tropico Gold Mine
Vasquez Rocks
Saddleback State Park
Devil's Punch Bowl (Natural Arches)
Little Rock Reservoir

Community Tours
Llano del Rio
Little Rock

Roads and Highways
Highway 14
Highway 138

Antelope Valley

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