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Willowbrook Local History Information
Willowbrook Local History Information

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Exterior of the first county library in Willowbrook, 1929 Willows and a slow, shallow brook distinguished this portion of the Los Angeles plain long before it was given the name "Willowbrook." A lone-standing streamside willow tree near the present intersection of 125th Street and Mona Boulevard was an original rancho boundary marker in the 1840s. Willowbrook was probably named after the willows that grew around the many springs that watered the area prior to extensive agricultural and suburban development, beginning in the late 1800s. In earlier years, the land that is now Willowbrook was part of the 4,500 acre Rancho Tajauta, granted to Anastacio Abila in 1843.

The first subdivisions in the Willowbrook area were filed in 1894 and 1895 and the first official use of the name Willowbrook came in 1903, when the Willowbrook Tract was recorded with the County Recorder. The deep lots in the Willowbrook subdivision enabled residents to grow fruits and vegetables, run hogs, and raise chickens behind their homes. This mixture of suburban and rural land uses continued in Willowbrook into the early 1980s. At that point, Willowbrook began to lose its rural character due to redevelopment that introduced an increasing number of new commercial and residential facilities into the area. As a result, present-day Willowbrook appears similar to other communities in the South Central section of Los Angeles.