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City in the San Gabriel Valley. It is the end of the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico and was founded in 1851 originally by Texans. In 1905 it recieved its current name which in Spanish means "the thicket," and 7 years later was formally incorporated.

Originally, it was full of strawberry fields, dairy farms, and walnut groves. In the post-war years of World War II, like much of the San Gabriel Valley, it became a generic suburbia.

Today, many parts of El Monte, despite having signs that say "Welcome to Friendly El Monte," are prone to violence. One of my friends who used to live there told me that one of the "friendly signs" was riddled with bullets, and that there were gang fights quite often. Hm...

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