The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum


The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum

15415 East Don Julian Road

City of Industry, California 91745-1029

(626) 968-8492

Written by Scott Messmore

The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum is one of the oldest and best-kept historical secrets in the entire state of California. The Workman Museum consists of the Workman House, El Campo Santo (the old private cemetery), the Spanish Colonial revival home La Casa Nueva and extensive outdoor gardens. More than 100 years of history involving California, the Mexican-American War and the development of the City of Los Angeles are housed in the Workman Homestead Museum.

The Workman Family

The six-acre site has seen the history of California and Los Angeles march past from the early 1800s. The family of William and Nicolasa Workman fled the turmoil of the Texas Territory during its secession battles with Mexico. Workman and John Rowland traveled to southern California and bought land from the Mexican governor in 1842. During the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles was taken by the United States and the Workman homestead changed nationalities. Workman labored as a negotiator between the warring nations at the end of hostilities. When the Gold Rush hit California, the Workman family prospered by selling beef and supplies to the 49ers. Workman 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 small portions of land. Workman's descendants bought some of his land back and restored the Workman House, the old wineries and built La Casa Nueva, a Spanish Colonial House. From the 1930s to 1960s the Homestead site served as a boys military school and convalescent home. The City of Industry bought the Homestead land and restored it to its place in California history. Today the Workman Family Homestead Museum entertains thousands of visitors and holds corporate and special events.

Homestead Museum Research Library

The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum also houses a fine collection of historical manuscripts, archives and artifacts relating to museum and California history. Topics include architectural history, California history, stained glass, ceramic tile and cast iron history, costume and fashion. The library has materials relating to the restoration of the museum and a photographic collection numbering around 1,000. The library is available to the public but only by appointment. No library items are loaned out to anyone. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To contact the library or make an appointment, call 626-968-8492.

Hours of Operation and Location

The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum is located at 15415 East Don Julian Road in the City of Industry. The museum and grounds are open from 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. Tours start once an hour. Groups with 10 or more visitors must call two weeks in advance. For visitors with special needs or requiring translators, call three days in advance of visit. Admission to the museum is free. There are some areas of the museum and grounds that are not handicapped accessible.

For more information about the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, call 626-968-8492.

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