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Learn About Covina, CA

Covina is a city that is located 22 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It has a population of about 50,000 people all who live in an area of just 1 square mile. It should not be confused with West Covina which is a bigger city that lies to its south and Westside. Covina’s slogan is “One Mile Square and All There.” If you are looking to move to California without breaking the bank you may want to consider Covina – it is more affordable than many other American cities.

The area on which present day Covina stands was initially settled by the Tongva tribe for about 8,000 years. Its modern day history can be traced back to Rancho La Puente in the 1770s which was established through land grants. The area remained a ranch for more than 40 years after which Covina was born. According to Wikipedia, “The city of Covina was founded in 1882 by Joseph Swift Phillips, on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) tract that was purchased from the holdings of John Edward Hollenbeck, one of the 1842 grantees of Rancho La Puente. In 1875 Hollenbeck had purchased a failed coffee plantation from 3 Costa Rican brothers, Pedro Maria Badilla, Julian Badilla, and Pedro Antonio Badilla, the latter who purchased it from the heirs of Hollenbeck’s 1842 co-grantee John A. Rowland. The City of Covina was named by a young engineer, Frederick Eaton, who was hired by Phillips to survey the area. Impressed by the way in which the valleys of the adjacent San Gabriel Mountains formed a natural cove around the vineyards that had been planted by the region’s earlier pioneers, Eaton merged the words “cove” and “vine”, and in 1885, created the name Covina for the new township.” The city was incorporated in 1901.

The economy soon moved from relying on vineyards to orange and grapefruit groves. They flourished so much that by 1909 Covina was the third largest producer of oranges in the world. They were also known as the sweetest oranges in the world ad production continued well into the 50s. At around this time most farms were transformed into residential areas and these stand to date.

Covina is mainly a bedroom town – many people who live here work in neighboring cities. Residents are friendly and take part in many community events. The great thing about Covina is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy a home or live there. The cost of living is 1% lower than the California average, median income is 5% higher and median home value is only 15 higher. If you want a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home, for example, you can get one for about $350,000. If you want something bigger like a 5 bedroom home you will pay around $1 million – this is lower than you would find in many other cities in California. About 60% of residents of Covina are white but there is a healthy mix of other races as well including Hispanics and African Americans. Covina is very family-centric – about half of all people who live there have families. There is a great school district as well – there are many great schools that you can enroll your child in and the high school graduation rate is 7% higher than the California average. Crime in Covina is low – it is 18% lower than the state average. Neighborhoods come together to make sure that there is little or no crime. The city authorities are also keen to make sure that they keep it low.

Covina is proud of its history. According to, “Special attention has been given to preserving Covina’s old-town Downtown feel. The Downtown Specific Plan was developed to promote pedestrian and transit oriented development while honoring its downtown historical character. Visitors enjoy “mom and pop” shops and can spend a nostalgic day in downtown dining in fine eateries, visiting vintage clothing stores, hobby shops, antique stores, and ice cream shops. The renovated Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) is a $10 million facility that serves as the architectural and entertainment cornerstone of Downtown. Downtown serves as a gathering spot for citizens to participate in special and charity events. Such occasions bring the community together and foster goodwill between Covina’s elected officials, City staff and the community.”

In 2008 there was a massacre in Covina that put it on the map. According to Wikipedia, “On December 24, 2008, a shooting and arson occurred in Covina, in which a man, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, dressed in a Santa Claus costume entered a Christmas party at his ex-wife’s residence and proceeded to open fire. When he left, nine family members were dead and the house was engulfed in flames. The slayings left 15 children without one or both parents. After the shootings, Pardo unwrapped a Christmas package containing a homemade flamethrower and used it to spray racing fuel gasoline to set the home ablaze. Nine people were killed during the massacre. After the massacre, Pardo drove his rental car to his brother’s house in Sylmar, approximately 30 miles (48 km) away from the attack. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Don’t let this cloud your judgment of this wonderful, little town. It is mostly safe and you can be sure that you will be too so long as you take ordinary precautions. You will enjoy the fact that there is a lot of fresh produce. If you don’t want to buy it in the farmers market you can get it on the streets. Residents are particularly proud of the fruit which comes from surrounding areas – it is as sweet as back in the day when Covina was known for its oranges.

As for things to do there are plenty. Since the city enjoys good weather you can head outdoors for a hike or on your bike and explore the countryside. There are plenty of events on weekends and the nightlife is vibrant.