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Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum
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Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2004 - 2017.

Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum sits on a six-acre site in the City of Industry. The site represents an important part of the history of the young City of Industry and a significant part of California history.

The first overland party of eastern settlers arrived in the San Gabriel Valley on November 5, 1841. John Rowland and William Workman and their Mexican families left the Santa Fe area of Mexico three months earlier.

They acquired the 49,790 acre Rancho La Puente in 1842. William built a simple adobe home for his wife Nicolasa and their family.

During the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles was taken by the United States and the Workman homestead changed nationalities. Workman labored as a negotiator to end the hostilities. Following the discovery of gold in California, the Workman family prospered by selling beef and supplies to the Gold Rush 49ers. William was successful in ranching and formed a bank with son in law F. P. F. Temple. When their banking venture closed down the families were forced to sell much of their land, retaining only small portions of land. Workman's descendants bought some of his land back and restored the Workman House.

In 1850, an acre of land was dedicated as a family cemetery which they named El Campo Santo. It is one of the region's oldest private cemeteries. William's grandson, Walter P. Temple built a miniature Greek revival mausoleum at the entrance to the cemetery when he assumed ownership. Besides family members, Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California, and his wife, Ygnacia, are also buried in the cemetery along with many other prominent pioneer families.

In about the 1920s, Walter and his wife, Laura, also built a new Spanish Colonial Revival mansion near the original home. He named his new house, La Casa Nueva, Spanish for "The New House.". La Casa Nueva was completed in 1923 and was more imposing and richly appointed than the original home.

The Family suffered financial losses during the depression and leased the home to use as a boys military school but that failed. The family then lost the home.
The City of Industry began acquiring the property in 1960. The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum opened in May of 1981. Ongoing restoration began in the 1980s. The Museum is owned and funded by the City of Industry and managed by Historical Resources, Inc.

The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum is home to the Homestead Museum Research Library. This collection of historical manuscripts and other materials is available to the public by appointment. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum is located at 15415 East Don Julian Road in the City of Industry. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Tours of the museum are offered from 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday starting on the hour.

This picturesque gazebo stands near the pumphouse.

Water Tower.

Information plaque.

Two plaques at the gate posts, one to the Workman Homestead (left) and the other to Walter P. Temple (right).

Workman Home

Original adobe.

Entrance to the kitchen, in the basement.


Note how thick the adobe walls are. Adobe is a great insulator.

La Casa Nueva - Temple Home

Front yard.

Front door.

The beautiful stained glass window in La Casa Nueva.

Courtyard, the house surrounds the courtyard on three sides.

Barber shop.

Interior of Teepee.

El Campo


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This page last updated: Saturday, 06-Jul-2013 17:58:21 EDT

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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