Although it has a sometimes humid, foggy, and cloudy climate, Lancaster's motto is "It's Positively Clear." Lancaster, located in Los Angeles County, forms the Antelope Valley with its sister city of Palmade. The city borders the beautiful Mojave Desert which is dominated by generally hot, dry summers. The desert landscape is also a fundamental part of the area's natural identity and outdoor recreation. Today, nearly 170,000 people call Lancaster home. Although it is a vibrant, modern city, it has a unique past that dates back thousands of years.
Native Americans initially inhabited Lancaster. Specifically, it was home to the Paiute tribe. The Paiute established a community in the area and lived a primarily subsistence lifestyle. In the 1800s, however, settlers arrived and changed the city's landscape. In the late 1870s, rail lines laid down for the Southern Pacific Railroad, which officially connected the greater Antelope Valley. The railroad also developed an official connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The origins of the city's name remain unclear, but some historians say it was named after a railroad clerk in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The introduction of the train to the Lancaster region brought significant changes. Among them was the growth of the city's economy and town center. Within the first decade after the railroad's arrival, the city's population surged to more than triple its original number. Imports and exports were expedited with the arrival of the railroad, and the city's tourism industry also emerged. Land, which was historically readily available, became less commonplace and more expensive as development continued. This attracted wealthy developers, who collectively played a crucial role in building and expanding the city's center. All the while, agriculture, and farming remained a vital part of the city's economy, as the climate was conducive to the growth of crops and produce. By 1890, Lancaster's farmers were some of its most successful residents. They played a large part in establishing the city's barley and wheat-based economy.
Despite the initial role that farming played in Lancaster's economy, a series of natural events slowed the area's farming production. In 1894, a drought began to plague the area. The drought lasted for ten years, which was long enough to destroy once-successful local businesses and Lancaster's economy. The drought also forced many farmers to move elsewhere in search of better farming lands. In the decades that followed, Lancaster's economy shifted from farming to more modern activities. This was facilitated by the construction of the Edwards Air Force Base in the late 1950s, which brought many new jobs and residents to the area. The Air Force base brought new life to the area's economy. More recently, in 2005, Hyundai Motors opened a large testing facility that covers thousands of acres.
Attractions in Lancaster
Given its prime location in Los Angeles County, it probably comes as no surprise that there are many great attractions and amenities in Lancaster. From museums to natural places, there are many things to see in the city regardless of whether you are a resident or a visitor.
If you're looking for a chance to get outside and get some fresh air in Lancaster, the Antelope Valley is certainly worth exploring. Hiking trails wind throughout the area, and it is home to many unique plants and wildlife. One of the valley's biggest draws is its poppies, which are especially dramatic in spring.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
At this museum, visitors can get a taste of the area's natural beauty while also learning about its history. The museum contains a variety of Native American artifacts, and several exhibits explain the culture of the Native Americans in the area.
Museum of Art and History
The artwork is another essential component of Antelope Valley's composition. The Museum of Art and History contains a blend of contemporary artwork and art collected from Native American inhabitants who once lived in the area. There are also collections of artifacts in the museum that show the cultures of local tribes.
Despite its proximity to Los Angeles, Lancaster is still an area characterized by tremendous natural beauty. As a proud resident, you can help it stay that way by maintaining your lawn and garden. If you're struggling with weeds or need help planting a garden with native plants, call on Lawn Love, your local lawn care specialists, for assistance.