The Whittier Public Library's collection of historical photographs consists of photographic prints, physically owned by the library, donated piecemeal by various donors over the years. These are organized by subject, and document the growth of the Whittier community from the late 1880s to the present.
Shades of Whittier was created by community members who generously lent the library their family photographs for digitization.
Murphy Ranch, located on the south slope of the Whittier Hills, was one of the best-known citrus properties in Southern California. It was developed by Simon J. Murphy, who acquired it in 1890, the same year he brought water to East Whittier from the San Gabriel River. Once water was available, he subdivided portions of the East Whittier district into 5- and 10-acre lots. The name Murphy is familiar to many Whittier residents, as Murphy Memorial Hospital was a gift to the city of Whittier by Simon J. Murphy, Jr.
The First Friends Church was built at a cost of $1,600 in 1887 by the Pickering Land & Water Company. Whittier was established as a Quaker colony, and the Friends Church was foundational to the establishment and growth of the City of Whittier. Its early history is in many ways the City's early history.