La Mirada is a city in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of the Gateway Cities. The population was 48,527 at the 2010 census, up from 46,783 at the 2000 census. The city of La Mirada was listed on CNN Money Magazine's "Best Place to Live" list. La Mirada placed 34th on the list, with the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center as two of its main attributes. It is the home of Biola University, an evangelical Christian institution of higher education. It is also the home of the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The Elephant Bar restaurant chains offices are located there.
La Mirada (Spanish for The Look) was the creation of two men, Andrew McNally, a printer and mapmaker from Chicago (see Rand McNally) and his son-in-law Edwin Neff. In 1888, McNally purchased over of Rancho Los Coyotes, south of Whittier, for $200,000. He developed into his own home called Windermere Ranch and surrounded it with olive, orange and lemon groves. McNally built a plant to process the olive oil, which was of the best quality, as well as a railroad station on Stage Road. From here his olive oil and fruit were shipped all over the U.S.
In 1896, McNally turned his property over to his daughter and his son in law. McNally and Neff formed the La Mirada Land Company, which published a booklet entitled "The Country Gentleman in California", advertising parcels of land for sale including pictures, a map and descriptions of the scenic olive, alfalfa, lemon and grapefruit groves.
In 1946, "Along Your Way", a "Station by Station Description of the Santa Fe Route Through the Southwest," describes La Mirada with a population of 213, surrounded by orange, lemon, walnut and olive groves; oil wells; olive oil factory; and fruit packing houses.
The city received a lot of attention for the fact that it was going to be completely structured and planned out. Referred to as "the Nation's completely planned city" during the early 1950s, the city of La Mirada received a lot of attention from the State Fair. The Fair praised the city for planning for the future while still maintaining practicality for today.
In 1953, the land was sold to subdivisions for 5.2 million dollars, one of the largest real estate transactions in California. By 1960, the year the city was incorporated, La Mirada had grown from a mere 100 homes to over 8,000. The city was incorporated as "Mirada Hills" on March 23, 1960. On November 8, 1960, voters approved a change of name to the current La Mirada, which was officially certified on December 15, 1960.
Today, the current population is just over 50,000 with the addition of a new subdivision on the eastern portion of the town.
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