La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce, La Habra, CA
The Chamber in La Habra had its roots in the farming industry back in the early 1900's. The Farmer's Club was active in promoting the agriculture of La Habra Valley and was a predecessor to the local Chamber of Commerce according to the book, 'La Habra, The Pass Through the Hills', written by Esther Cramer in 2003.
In 1914, F.R. Aldrich represented La Habra at the Orange County Associated Chamber of Commerce, making this our first official representation in that body. With that appointment, The La Habra Farmers Club became the local Chamber of Commerce and changed its name to The Chamber of Commerce in La Habra. In 1916, a Merchants and Manufacturers Association formed in La Habra with Dr. Frank Coltrin as its president and Henry Price as Secretary. This was a separate body from the Chamber at first, as membership in this new organization was limited to businesspersons in town while the Chamber of Commerce included all businesspersons interested in promoting La Habra and its products.
Interest lagged in the Chamber of Commerce as the Merchants took the lead in promoting further development of the town. Some members belonged to both groups in 1917 and voted to dissolve the older organization. The name, Chamber of Commerce, was assumed by this organization in 1920 because, Merchants and Manufacturers, seemed inappropriate for La Habra, a small town with little manufacturing. After this date, all interested persons were invited to join, while the newly reorganized Farm Bureau handled the Farmers' needs.
The La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce officially started in 1920, but after reading this history, one can see that the true foundation ties back to 1914 with the promotion of agriculture in the La Habra Valley. According to Federal records, the Chamber incorporated in 1940 as a non-profit organization and in 1980, the Chamber found its permanent home through the efforts of local businesses, community leaders and the assistance of the City of La Habra.