Valencia Boulevard

The community of Valencia was established, like this boulevard, in 1965, under the leadership of Atholl McBean (1879-1968). It was initially called “Valencia Valley” and in fact the name had been registered for a local golf course the previous year. City planners made it clear that they looked to Valencia, Spain for inspiration – the mayor of that city was flown out for our Valencia’s dedication – but they may have also been thinking of the Valencia orange, once a major SoCal cash crop. The orange itself did not originate from Spain, but accounts differ as to how it came by the name. Some say California citrus pioneer William Wolfskill named it. Unlikely. A 1915 book by pomology expert Dr. John Eliot Coit claimed instead that Los Angeles lawyer/developer A.B. Chapman imported the orange from English nurseryman Thomas Rivers in the 1870s and that a Spanish orchardist working for Chapman named it. (Rivers himself had dubbed the orange “Excelsior”.) Maybe. Finally, an 1886 news article – the first printed mention of this particular orange, officially known as the Valencia Late – stated that while it was indeed grown on Wolfskill’s Los Angeles orchard, it was a brand new variety named by one “Don Vasquez of Valencia”, who sounds like a made-up person.