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La Puente Fast Facts:
La Puente is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 39,816 at the 2010 census. The city lies approximately 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
In 1769, the Gaspar de Portolà expedition (the first European exploration party in the Los Angeles area), along with Father Junípero Serra, built a bridge over the San Jose Creek. In 1884, the area was named Puente (bridge in Spanish; in old Spanish the noun was often feminine, as opposed to modern Spanish el puente). The community began in 1841 when John Rowland and William Workman were granted the 48,000-acre (190 km2) Rancho La Puente.
The area was known for its fruit and walnut groves during the 1930s. The city was even home to the world’s largest walnut packing plant. Today, the city is heavily urbanized, but the area still has some historical landmarks from its founding days nearby, for instance, the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in neighboring City of Industry.
Redevelopment of the business districts in La Puente have been ongoing. However, the local government has been relatively unsuccessful in its attempts to attract big-box retailers and restaurant chains. La Puente retains many aging 1950s-era strip malls.