Norwalk is located 17 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and has an approximate population of 105,240 (2006). Like many other Southern California cities, Norwalk was predominately agricultural before World War II, but is now a well-established suburb of L.A. The Latino and Asian populations of Norwalk have grown significantly over the years. This is primarily due to an influx of immigrants from Mexico and families priced out of wealthier Orange County communities.
Norwalk is home to the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office which is responsible for voter registration, voter file maintenance, the conduct of federal, state, local and special elections, as well as the verification of referendum, initiative and recall petitions. Furthermore, the office deals with filing and recording legal documents, issuing approximately 75,000 marriage licenses and processing 125,000 fictitious business name filings each year. This busy office also processes two million real and personal property documents and 750,000 birth, death and marriage records annually, while serving approximately 2,000 customers per day.
Visitors and residents of Norwalk enjoy touring the historic Hargitt House, located at 12426 Mapledale. Built in 1891 by the D. D. Johnston family, the Hargitt House is an 1891 Victorian Eastlake, which was donated to the people of Norwalk by Charles ("Chun") and Ida Hargitt, who pioneered the first school system in Norwalk. D.D. Johnston was also a pioneer of the first real industry in Norwalk, a cheese factory. The Museum is open on the first and third Sunday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Another important part of Norwalk's history is the Sproul Museum, named after Gilbert Sproul who was a surveyor of the area that was to become Norwalk. Today, the Sproul Museum contains much of Norwalk's history.