In 1906, the Hurst family purchased 50 acres of property in Covina. The family which included Josiah Newell, Anna Belle his wife, and their three children all lived on the land. The property soon was fashioned with country living, embellished with a proper ranch home, complete with a large barn, and brand new engine and pump houses.
The family maintained and lived off the property, and eventually Charles Josiah grew up and married. His wife whose name was Maude soon bore their two children at the ranch. With lots of hard work and strong community ties, the ranch prospered, the children grew up and attended Pomona College. After college, and building their own families, the farm life remained a way of living for the Hurst Family. Farming carried on as the property continued to expand from the middle of the 1930s through the end of the 1950s. The primary crops changed, but farming continued. For approximately ten years between 1919 and 1929 the property prospered through its walnut crops. With a surge in citrus crop farming during 1930-1950, the Hurst Ranch grew oranges for the famed label Sunkist. Other varieties of crops were planted with success, and the ranch expanded to 70 acres.
By 1950 things really began to industrialize, the housing industry and migration of people created difficulty for the Hurst family to maintain their farming operation in Covina, and they ultimately moved their cropping to the San Joaquin Valley. Today after more than a hundred years since it was established, and due to its rich ties to the community’s development, The Hurst Ranch is a tribute example of the evolution of Californian culture in Los Angeles. It is a historically important attraction in the Los Angeles community today as it stands well-maintained, and proudly displaying the testament of times passed.
The Hurst Ranch is now a smaller 3-acre piece of what once grew to more than 150 acres before it was parted off for housing and commercial development. It is a fascinating place that local residents and tourists can explore, and additionally serves as a valuable educational resource center for community use, that presents a historical picture of early ranching in the west.
The Hurst Ranch holds events throughout the year including the Harvest Festival, and Food and Wine Festival. With lots of fun activities for the family and kids, the Harvest Festival- held annually in October is a must for families in the Los Angeles area to explore the rich heritage of the community. The Ranch frequently welcomes the schools for field trips and adventures where the children can do some gold panning, visit the General Store, explore the barn and crop field, learn how to make butter and orange juice, and do some crafting. These educational field trips teach about important local heritage as well as some Native American history of the community. Hurst ranch provides a beautiful scene for weddings, and the property can be rented for special occasions. If you are a local or are visiting Los Angeles, you should stop by the Hurst Ranch, and get your hands on the special culture and heritage of Southern California.