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Places, Earth
Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens
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Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2008 - 2017.

Modern day Long Beach sits on remnants of two Spanish land grants one of which was Rancho Los Alamitos, the other was Rancho Los Cerritos. The core of both survive today as historic sites open to the public.
The land that became Rancho Los Alamitos was probably first settled about 500 A. D. by the Tongva who established a Povuu'nga on the mesa. These people lived a hunter/fisher/gather lifestyle until the Spanish arrived and moved them to the nearby Mission San Gabriel.
In 1790, Manuel Nieto, a Spanish foot soldier, received a 300,000-acre land grant in what is now the area around Long Beach. To settle a dispute with Mission San Gabriel, the holding was reduced to 167,000 acres. Nieto built a home for his family near modern day Whittier and died in 1804. The land was operated jointly by the family until 1834 when the land was divided by Nieto's heirs into six ranchos, Los Cerritos, Los Alamitos, Santa Gertrudes, Los Coyotes, Las Bolsas, and Palo Alto (Palo Alto seems to have disappeared into history). Nieto's eldest son, Juan Jose, operated the resulting Rancho Los Alamitos as an outpost ranch.
Governor Jose Figueroa bought the rancho in 1834, in turn, Don Abel Stearns bought it in 1842 for his family to use as a summer retreat. Following a devastating drought in 1862-1864, Stearns lost the rancho to the mortgage holder, Michael Reese.
John Bixby began leasing the property in 1878 and later partnered with Jotham Bixby and I. W. Hellman in 1881 to buy the property. John and his wife Susan built up the house and surrounding gardens and in 1906 their son Fred and his wife Florence moved in and developed the ranch and gardens further. Fred had a passion for breeding Shire horses and today the historic park stables several such horses. Fred died in 1952 and Florence followed in 1961. Seven years after Florence's death, their descendants gave the house, furnishings, buildings, andseven and one half acres of the ranch to the City of Long Beach. The once distant city now surrounds the historic site and docents tell visitors the story of Rancho Los Alamitos. Shire horse still wander the corral and Florence's gardens still provide a restful escape. Docent lead tours take visitors through the house, the original rooms of which are adobe and later wood frame additions were made.
Hours of operation are:
Wednesday - Sunday fro 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

Tours every half hour with the last leaving at 4:00 pm.

6400 Bixby Hill Road
Long Beach, CA 90815

Enter from Palo Verde Street at Anaheim Street, through the residential guard gate.

Today, the Rancho is in the middle of a large city with aircraft frying over and power plants beside.

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This page last updated: Saturday, 06-Jul-2013 18:18:44 EDT

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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