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El Monte topographic map

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About this map

Name: El Monte topographic map, elevation, terrain.

Location: El Monte, Los Angeles County, California, United States (34.04165 -118.07298 34.10095 -117.99747)

Average elevation: 292 ft

Minimum elevation: 207 ft

Maximum elevation: 410 ft

El Monte is situated between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Rivers; a marshy area roughly where the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area is now located. Residents claimed that anything could be grown in the area. Between 1770 and 1830, Spanish soldiers and missionaries often stopped here for respite. They called the area 'El Monte,' which in Spanish means 'the mountain' or 'the mount'. Most people assume the name refers to a mountain, but there were no mountains in the valley. The word is an archaic Spanish translation of that era, meaning "the wood". The first explorers had found this a rich, low-altitude land blanketed with thick growths of wispy willows, alders, and cattails, located between the two rivers. Wild grapevines and watercress also abounded. El Monte is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide. When the State Legislature organized California into more manageable designated townships in the 1850s, they called it the El Monte Township. In a short time the name returned to the original El Monte.

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