Only one thing from Tropico, California, still remains: the post office. Though the city this post office now serves swallowed the lost agricultural town a century ago, you can still send mail at the site of Tropico’s former downtown. Just don’t address your envelope to Tropico, California … it’ll never get there.
Tropico first appeared on maps in 1887 as a stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad’s route in the West and was likely named for California’s reputation as having a warm and “tropical” climate. Back then, Tropico was a prosperous town with a bright future.
It was known for its delicious strawberries, which were affectionately named “Tropico Beauties.” At its height, it had 3,000 residents (one of which was famed photographer Edward Weston), a bank, city hall and, of course, a post office.
But as it turns out, Tropico’s future was short-lived, as it was annexed by nearby Glendale and gone by early 1918. Glendale’s annexation of Tropico didn’t come without pushback. In fact, around 1911, there was split opinion in the town about whether Tropico should incorporate as its own city, merge with Glendale, or become a part of Los Angeles proper.
As the years went on and Tropico faded into the past, many of its landmarks changed. The Glendale Public Library’s Tropico branch closed more than 20 years ago, and the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Tropico station is now Metrolink’s Glendale station. Now, only a United States Postal Service location still bears the name of the lost town.
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