This distinctive city located five miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles began as a carefully planned dream by three businessmen more than a century ago. Vernon was envisioned as a small city designed exclusively for businesses; a concept that had never been tried in the state. It is currently one of only two such cities in Southern California, along with the city of Industry.
Just after the turn of the 20th century, rancher James J. Furlong and his brother Thomas J. Furlong teamed up with merchant John B. Leonis to establish this special community where ranchers, merchants and the three major railroads could operate symbiotically.
The opposite of a typical bedroom community, where residential development dominates the landscape, the city of Vernon was incorporated in 1905 with the sole intent of attracting industry, hence the motto on the city seal: Exclusively Industrial.
According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, just 90 (stats available by April 1st) people currently call Vernon their home, making it the least populated charter city in L.A. County. However, nearly 50,000 people from neighboring communities spend their workdays at the more than 1,800 businesses located within Vernon’s city limits, making it a top employment provider in the region.