DescriptionModern-day Whittier came about when Aquilla H. Pickering set out from Chicago to establish a new Quaker settlement in California. He traveled throughout the state before buying a 1,270-acre ranch in 1887—for a reported $55 an acre—and naming it in honor of Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier. That same year the settlers enticed the Southern Pacific Railroad to build a spur to their fledgling agricultural community, resulting in a real estate boom soon after. They also set aside a parcel of land for what eventually became Whittier College, a 4-year liberal arts college and alma mater of hometown boy Richard M. Nixon.
The past is brought to life by Whittier Historical Society & Museum, 6755 Newlin Ave., which depicts the history of the greater Whittier area in permanent and rotating exhibits. A Victorian cottage shows what life was like in the city a century ago; phone (562) 945-3871. The society also operates the nearby Jonathan Bailey House and Park, home of Whittier’s first settlers as well as the era’s business and social center.
Visitor InfoWhittier Area Chamber of Commerce 8158 Painter Ave. WHITTIER, CA 90602. Phone:(562)698-9554
ShoppingUptown Whittier, a pedestrian-friendly shopping district centered on Greenleaf Avenue, retains the feel of a small town Main Street. The Quad at Whittier (Whittier Boulevard and Painter Avenue) and Whittwood Town Center (Whittier Boulevard and Santa Gertrudes Avenue) are anchored by major department stores.
The Certified Farmers Market (13018 Philadelphia St.) recalls the city’s farming days—when Quaker Brand citrus was known worldwide—selling fruits, vegetables, homemade breads, fresh flowers and homegrown plants and herbs Fridays 8-1.
Things to SeePío Pico State Historic Park