The thriving LA suburb of Corona, California is fast becoming a bedroom community for many of the larger cities in Orange County’s Inland Empire. Named for its distinctive street layout that is centered around the nearly 3-mile circular street known as Grand Boulevard, the former Lemon Capital of the World has found a new identity as a high-class place to live and raise families outside of all the hectic urban environments. But- it wasn’t always so!
The area was originally settled by a citrus grower’s organization at the height of the Southern California citrus boom in 1886 and was initially known as South Riverside. But, this small farming community, located in between the major cities of Los Angeles and San Diego at the upper end of the Santa Ana Mountain Range was renamed Corona only ten years later in 1896. In the early 1900’s, the town became famous for three international auto races that took place on their distinctive circular Grand Boulevard. While many wanted the races to continue, unfortunate deaths and the general mess left behind afterward led the city to stop hosting the races. However, they were among the first international events of its kind since the invention of the automobile and it remains an integral part of Corona’s history.
As the century progressed, the agricultural economy of Corona grew to include ranches and dairy farms. But, as the 1980’s rolled around, the rising real estate prices in LA drove industrialists and land developers to their neighbor’s rich and affordable land and by the 1990’s, Corona was considered a major suburb of the Los Angeles area. With the development of the 91 and 71 Freeways ( Also known as the Chino Valley and Riverside Freeways) through the city, it was then connected to an even broader spectrum of the Orange County area, which continued to accelerate its economic and commercial development. Today, the city’s population has soared to over 167,000 residents and continues to grow. With a typical California climate of hot summers and mild winters, it’s a sun-worshippers paradise! It is also home to Monster Energy Drink headquarters, as well as the Fender Guitar Factory and Visitors Center, where they have their custom shop and museum. Both of which are major employers in the area, along with Watson Pharmaceuticals and Kaiser Permanente. There are at least eleven different areas and neighborhoods with their individual distinctions that make up the larger Corona area, including North, South and Central Corona and their Downtown/North Main blocks where you can drive the Grand Boulevard. The Dos Lagos area is great for all your shopping and dining needs, while the rest are residential areas for various class neighborhoods.
If you’re intrigued by the heritage you’ve read about, then check out the Corona Heritage Park and Museum to learn more about how this sweet little farming town grew to become one of LA’s major suburbs and cultivated an identity all its own. Whether you’re considering a move, or merely curious, there is plenty more to learn and discover!
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