Answer Man: Whatever happened to Monkey Island in La Habra?

After World War II, citrus grower F. Dewey Lockman created a lake with an island in its center near the northeast corner of Imperial Highway and Idaho Street. “Monkey Island,” as locals called it, was where Lockman’s exotic animals ran free—including ostriches, a camel, a zebra, and numerous monkeys. The city shot down plans for an adjacent ostrich racetrack. Although fondly remembered, the monkeys didn’t stay long. Lockman’s attentions were increasingly absorbed by his Lockman Foundation, which translated, printed, and distributed Bibles around the world. Among the foundation’s projects was the New American Standard Bible, which by 1977 was the best-selling version of the Bible in the U.S. Lockman gave his land to the foundation, which sold it to support the organization’s mission. Parts of the ranch became Fashion Square and the La Habra Drive-In. Lockman died in 1974, and the last of his land—the actual site of Monkey Island—became a post office. The monkeys lost out to God and the federal government.

Chris Jepsen is the Answer Man. Have a question? Send it to

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