One hundred and forty-two years ago, on April 8, 1875, Baldwin purchased 8,500 acres from Harris Newmark for $200,000 or about $25 an acre. Baldwin immediately made plans for the development of the Rancho Santa Anita and paid vast sums for its improvement. By 1881 he was in dire need of cash and his Southern California property would become its source. (Shortly after Baldwin’s initial purchase from Newmark, the Los Angeles press reported that Baldwin’s plan for excess acreage would be sold as subdivisions.)
Thus, in February of 1881, six years later, Baldwin did indeed sell off part of his land. He sold 845 acres to Nathaniel Carter for $ 33,881, and on April 25th, the deed conveyed water rights as well. One year later, twelve families had settled in the village of Sierra Madre. In April 1884, William Monroe purchased 120 acres on the eastern edge of Baldwin’s property, and with his brother C.C. Monroe, purchased another 90 acres, and began creating, with other investors, the city they named “Monrovia.”
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Carol Libby & Karen Hou
Arcadia Historical Society