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Welcome to Vernon, California.
The city of Vernon is situated 5 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, and is home to only 112 people. So few people live in the city because it is primarily composed of industrial areas. The City of Vernon refers to itself as Exclusively Industrial, with many meatpacking plants and warehouses. In 1902, farmers James J. and Thomas J. Furlong incorporated the city along with merchant John B. Leonis. The idea behind the incorporation was to promote industrial development along the nearby railroads, In 1880, John Leonis had come to Southern California to work under his uncle, and later established his own ranch southeast of downtown Los Angeles. As he saw the potential of the three major railroads in the area, he persuaded railroad executives to run spur tracks off the main lines. Subsequently, he and his partners incorporated the adjacent three miles as the first exclusively industrial city in the Southwestern United States; naming it after the bisecting dirt road Vernon Avenue. The city today consists almost entirely of warehouses and factories, with the primary production being in food service, metalworking and glass and plastic equipment. The few residences that exist are owned by the city and home to people who work within the city limits. The City of Vernon employs approximately 46,000 direct and 54,000 indirect skilled workers, and businesses include Bon Appetit Bakery, Papa Cantella's Sausages, Simply Fresh Fruit and True Religion. In addition, Vernon houses a multitude of rendering plants, food processors, smelters and metal working companies, and has a $4.5 billion employer payroll. In 2008, Vernon was named Los Angeles County's Most Business Friendly City, among cities with less than 50,000 residents. An interesting fact is that the second season of the popular HBO series True Detective is set in the fictional city of Vinci, California, which is loosely based on Vernon.
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