Rancho Los Alamitos is nestled on top of a small hill at the end of a privatized road from S. Palo Verdes Ave. Neighboring CSULB, interestingly this rancho once owned the entire school grounds. Actually, this rancho once controlled a huge expanse of Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Stanton, Garden Grove, etc. Rancho Los Alamitos is a good starting point to understand the history of even CSULB.
The same breed of horses are raised here on the ranch to this day
For the past few centuries, this ranch has been successful in producing crops and raising livestock. In 1844, Rancho Los Alamitos was purchased by Abel Stearns. In order to increase his land, Stearns married an elite Spanish daughter who compounded his landholding areas by marriage. For roughly fifteen years, the Stearns clan raised cattle. Due to economic hardships, Stearns was forced to sell Rancho Los Alamitos to his Bixby neighbors in the 1880’s.
John Bixby and his family then moved on to the ranch and remained until the property was sold in 1967 to the city of Long Beach, while the Bixby family continues to control the rights to the lands resources. The property is currently maintained in its 1940’s themed decor. On March 6, 2016 I went on a free guided tour of Rancho Los Alamitos. The history of land ownership was explained, with a mere mention of the original Native Americans owners. Instead, the focus remained on the Bixby family after mentioning Abel Stearns.
On site Blacksmith’s shop, especially for creating horse shoes
A microcosm for the entire city of Los Angeles’ movement to eradicate the Mexican influences from the landscape, the house’s original walls were made from adobe. With white property homeowners, more European-styled walls were erected in front of the adobe walls. In the same way, white culture has built over the Mexican and Native American culture in California. Also, the ranch depended upon the poor labor source of mostly Mexicans and some whites. The ranch still shows the different living and eating quarters of the workers.
Thankfully, Rancho Los Alamitos is preserved for the public. Rancho Los Alamitos reflects much of Southern California’s history. While the ranch does discuss the history, I would like to see the focus shift from the white Bixby narrative, to include more narratives of the ranch’s past.
I visited Rancho Los Alamitos on 03/06/2016