The Asuksas Indians, a branch of the Shoshone nation, were the first residents of the land formerly known as unincorporated Duarte. Almost 7,000 acres of land in the upper San Gabriel Valley was granted from Mexico to Andres Duarte and his wife before California became part of the United States. Duarte named his property "Rancho Azusa de Duarte." Most of the original land was sold to pay debts and one of the purchasers was Lewis Leonard Bradbury, who acquired 2,750 acres. Bradbury built an elegant home accessible from Foothill Boulevard through impressive wrought-iron gates now located along "Deodar Lane," or Oak Avenue over the arched bridge above the historic Pacific Electric railroad tracks.
After World War II, large parcels of the Bradbury Ranch were sold to people seeking spacious building sites, natural beauty, tranquility and privacy. Property was subdivided into tracts providing modest and affordable living accommodations for the returning service men and women. Where California Rancheros once herded cattle, the area's citrus groves now blossomed on the foothill slopes, ripened by the California sun while local packing plants shipped the fruit throughout the nation.
In addition to its natural beauty, there are several interesting cultural venues nearby, such as the Duarte Historical Museum and the Monrovia Historical Museum. From a sleepy agricultural area to a sprawling suburb of "GI" tract homes to a private, upscale enclave of luxury homes, the city of Bradbury still retains its historical, small-town charm.
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