About the City of Artesia
Artesia was established on May 3, 1875 after the Artesia School District was completed, and was incorporated on May 29, 1959. The village was named after the several naturally flowing Artesian wells that are found in this area. In fact, these wells made Artesia ideal for agriculture and farming. During 1920s and '30s, the area was developed by Portuguese and Dutch farmers and became one of the most significant dairy districts in Southern California. After the Second World War, several residential tracts were built in Artesia.
Artesia features an International Cultural District, a stretch of Pioneer Boulevard known as Little India that includes a number of Indian beauty salons, clothing and jewelry stores as well as Indian restaurants.
The only link to the Artesian wells remaining is an archaic water tower just east of Pioneer Boulevard, near 183rd. Not much is known about the tower or when it was constructed, but it has been featured in film, “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare,” and television, “My name is Earl.”
The city is working to have the water tower, which can hold 50,000 gallons of water and was once owned by the Southern California Water Company, declared a historical landmark.
Remnants of the Portuguese community in the area can be found at the Artesia D.E.S., otherwise known as the Portuguese Hall. The D.E.S. stands for Divino Espírito Santo (Divine Holy Spirit). The organization was originally founded in 1927 and they remain active with events throughout the year.
Artesia is the home of the East West Ice Palace, an ice rink which is co-owned by two-time Olympic medalist in figure skating Michelle Kwan. It was also the childhood home of former First Lady Pat Nixon, who lived in Artesia from 1914 to 1931, though the property on which she grew up is now part of neighboring Cerritos.
In 1993, the Artesia Historical Society was formed, with the mission of preserving and protecting the archives and historic sites of the city. In 2002, the Historical Society salvaged and restored one of the last remaining Spanish-styled homes in the city into a historical civic museum open to the public.
Population – 16,522 (Census 2010)
Landmarks – Water Tower, Portuguese Hall