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Palmdale is a fairly large city in Los Angeles County, separated from the city of Los Angeles by the San Gabriel Mountains. It's home to a diverse population and many young families. It's thriving aerospace industry has earned it the nickname of the"aerospace capital of the United States," and it provides a number of jobs in the area. Palmdale is home to the well-known Musical Road, a road that is designed with grooves to create the effect of playing the "William Tell" Overture as you drive over it.
The History of Palmdale
Long before Palmdale was ever established, the Kitanemuk Indians called the area home. Many believe that other tribes, such as the Shoshone, Chumash and Yokuts, also inhabited what is now called Antelope Valley. Around 1772, Captain Pedro Fages was the first European explorer to travel through the area. Even so, the area stayed quiet and unsettled until engineers built the railroad in the late 1870s.
The city now known as Palmdale started out as two different communities: Harold and Palmenthal. Since Harold was located in the middle of two major railroad routes, it was home to many railroad employees. However, by the late 1890s, many residents had moved away when the larger Southern Pacific railroad station was built in what is now the center of Palmdale.
Palmenthal got its name in 1886 when around 60 families of German and Swiss descent from Illinois and Nebraska made their way to the area. They were told that when they saw palm trees, the Pacific Ocean was close. However, as they entered Antelope Valley, they mistook the Joshua tree for a palm tree and settled in the area. Unfortunately, they lacked the experience to farm in the arid climate, and they abandoned their homes by the late 1890s.
As the population of the two towns continued to dwindle, a new community was growing around the Southern Pacific railroad station. Residents settled on the name Palmdale for this new community. On Aug. 24, 1962, Palmdale incorporated as a city. At the time, it was just 2.1 square miles, but it eventually grew into an area that now spans over 100 square miles.
Living in Palmdale
Palmdale has plenty to offer in terms of both work and play, with a variety of amenities, attractions and jobs to take advantage of. If you're in search of a job in Palmdale, you'll find a number of options within the aerospace industry, including jobs in research, testing, maintenance, development and assembly. Several large aerospace and aviation companies have large operations in the city, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. If you're looking for jobs in retail and service, the Antelope Valley Mall provides plenty of options and is one of the city's largest employers.
If you're looking for ways to spend your free time in Palmdale, you have plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment to choose from. In addition to a variety of restaurants, local shops and movie theaters, Palmdale is home to one of the most popular shopping malls in the region, the Antelope Valley Mall. If you prefer outdoor activities, you can explore any one of the many parks in the city. Dry Town Water Park and the Joshua Ranch Trail offer extensive natural space and walking trails.
The Westside School District, the Palmdale School District, the Keppel Union School District and the Antelope Valley Union High School District manage the public schools in Palmdale. The Palmdale Aerospace Academy is an independent, district-run charter school that offers a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-focused, project-based learning program.
If you're looking for somewhere to pursue a college degree, you'll find plenty of choices in Palmdale. It's home to several university satellite campuses, which provide a mix of two- and four-year degree programs. If you're considering pursuing a degree in aerospace or engineering, the AERO Institute provides specialized study programs.
Resources for Moving to PalmdaleHere's some basic information to help you plan your move to Palmdale:
- Utilities: The Palmdale Water District and the Los Angeles County Waterworks manage residential water services in Palmdale. Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas are the city's energy providers.
- Garbage and Recycling: Your trash, recyclables and organic waste will be collected by the city on a weekly basis.
- Transportation: The Palmdale Transportation Center is the city's central public transit hub. Here, you can utilize bus service, Metrolink commuter lines, Amtrak service and more.
The median home price in Palmdale is below the California state average, making it an affordable option if you're looking to move to the Golden State. While housing costs are still well above the national average, there are a variety of options that can make it easier to find something budget-friendly.