In 1882, Charles Cook Hastings purchased 1,100 acres of land between Pasadena and Sierra Madre for $7.00 per acre. He named his ranch "Mesa Alta Rancho" and began the planting of 300 acres with grape vines and the construction of a mansion. Soon after he died, his son, Charles Houston Hastings, assumed responsibility for the land. Charles Houston Hastings imported unusual specimens of plants and trees and populated the ranch with peacocks, pheasants, cats, dogs (32 collies) and champion horses. In 1928, the Hastings mansion caught fire and burned to the ground. After that, the ranch fell into a state of disrepair and its operation was left to managers.
Following the death of Charles Houston Hastings in 1942, the ranch was sold by the Hastings Foundation to a syndicate for over $1 million. The land was subdivided into luxury housing tracts. In the late 1940s, about 600 homes were built in lower Hastings; in the early 1950s, 800 houses were constructed by Coronet Homes, Inc.; and in the early 1960s, the top northern portion of the ranch was developed.
There was a great need for a library branch in the Hastings Ranch area, and on February 17, 1959, Hastings Branch first opened its doors. It was the eighth and last library branch to be built, completing the plan to bring library service within a mile of every home in Pasadena. Demand for books, particularly children's books, quickly exceeded the supply. Students flocked to the library for help with their assignments and on some evenings, every seat in the library was filled. In April, 1967, a necessary addition to the library was completed, nearly doubling the size of the public area and providing twice the parking.
In this reading and library-oriented community, the Hastings Branch continues to be the busiest in terms of circulation and the number of walk-in patrons. The collection includes approximately 65,000 volumes and an average of 15,000 of them circulate each month. The library's catalog is fully computerized and provides access to the entire Pasadena Public Library collection as well as the Glendale Public Library's system.
The branch subscribes to over 60 periodicals, and offers access to hundreds of periodicals, journals, and newspapers through the InfoTrac electronic resource. Free access to the World Wide Web is offered through the library's Internet terminal.
Hastings Branch serves seven elementary schools and eight preschools and one high school in the immediate area, offering outreach storytimes and library skills lessons or in-library visits with book checkout.
The branch attracts its youngest patrons with Pajama Storytimes every Monday evening at 7:00 and Preschool Storytimes every Wednesday morning at 10:15 and 11:15. Summer Reading Club had approximately 900 members in 2001, and over 14,000 attended a variety of special programs, including puppet, animal, and magic shows, and storytime and craft events over the last year. Programming for adults includes Internet classes, genealogy programs, and a series of library skills lessons for homeschool families.
Source: 2000 Census. Hastings' service area is represented by tracts 4600, 4625, 4629, 4630, 50% of 4626, 20% of 4627, and 50% of 4628. This area includes 19,860 people, of whom approximately 22% are age 17 & under.
Public SchoolsDon Benito FundamentalField Elementary Norma Coombs Alternative SchoolPasadena High School
Private Schools Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chaim Weizmann Community Day School High Point Academy Living Way Christian Academy
Preschools Faith Lutheran Child Care Center Hastings Ranch Nursery School Joy Christian PreschoolLiving Way Day Care Center Our School Step-By-Step Sunrise PreschoolVilla Esperanza
California Rose Court AssociationDaisy-Villa Homeowners' AssociationEast Eaton Wash Neighborhood AssociationEast Orange Grove Neighborhood AssociationEaton Canyon Wash Homes AssociationFort Outpost Homeowners AssociationFriends of the FoothillsLower Hastings Ranch AssociationSierra Madre Villa Neighborhood AssociationUpper Hastings Ranch Association