Arcadia’s beginnings go back over 3,000 years to the Tongva/Gabrielino Native American settlement whose members were attracted to the water rich, ripe Southern California land in which to hunt and gather.
Arcadia saw it’s first notable settler in Hugo Reid who was deeded the land by the Spanish government, making him the first individual land owner of the area and the first to make a modern impact on the land by stocking cattle and building the first structure.
A succession of owners followed and the one who made a lasting impression on the area was Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin who in 1875 bought a large area of land including what is known as Arcadia for $200,000 ($25 an acre). When Lucky Baldwin first saw the land of Arcadia with its beautiful foothill landscape, lush greenery and oak trees, fertile growing land and acres full of potential, Lucky Baldwin was amazed and declared "By Gads! This is paradise." Upon buying the land, Lucky chose to make the area his home and immediately started erecting buildings and cultivating the land for farming, orchards and ranches. It didn’t take log before he turned his sights to cityhood for the blossoming area he named Arcadia.
With a population of 500 and a booming economy that was somewhat based on entertainment, sporting, hospitality and gambling opportunities, Arcadia became a city in 1903. Since then, Arcadia has grown and matured into a city in which Lucky would have been proud – one of distinction, heritage, success and beauty.
If you are interested in learning more about Arcadia's history, please visit the following pages on this website:
Arcadia History Collection
The Ruth and Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum
History of Elected Officials