La Palma's original name was Dairyland--and with good reason. There were more cows in the community than people.
Farmers decided to incorporate Dairyland in 1955 because they feared creeping urbanization.
The farmers believed they could best protect their dairies from development by creating a city of their own.
According to a history of La Palma published by the city, "one of the first ordinances was to increase the (permissible) number of cows per acre from 10 to 20." Nevertheless, in the 1960s, cow pastures rapidly gave way to housing tracts. The community's name was changed to La Palma in a special election Feb. 9, 1965.