Pico Rivera is a fast-growing city of about 65,200 people in a more than eight-square-mile area located on the eastern border of the Los Angeles basin and southern border of the San Gabriel valley. Called Sejat by Native Americans who believed that the world began in the area where the city is now, Pico Rivera today has changed from its original forested and bucolic state into an urban region easily accessible by car (via the Pomona, Santa Ana, and San Gabriel freeways), plane (via Los Angeles International Airport), and train (via the Union Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Line, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company).
The towns of Pico and Rivera, from which the city originated, officially began in the 1880s when the Union Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads built rail lines through the region. Blessed with fertile soil, both communities became known for their walnuts, avocados, and other crops, and retained their agricultural character through the mid-1940s. When a growing influx of new residents came to Pico Rivera after the end of World War II, development began supplanting farming as the landscape became dotted with housing subdivisions, schools, stores, and churches.
As the population grew, so did residents’ collective sense of civic duty and desire to blend the two separate towns. On January 7, 1958, the majority of voters in Pico and Rivera voted to incorporate as one municipality and with the decision becoming official that January 29, Pico Rivera became Los Angeles County’s 61st city.