Content courtesy of https://lacountylibrary.org/agoura-hills-local-history/.
1800 - era Agoura Hills, Spanish settlers established large ranches on the property they received from the King of Spain. Here they grazed vast herds of cows, slaughtering the cattle not for their meat, but for the hides and tallow that could be shipped to distant markets. Sheep, too, became a common sight on the ranches near present-day Agoura Hills. Even into the early twentieth century, ranching was the area’s dominant industry. In the 1900s, technology, including an improved water pump and the Stockton plow, also helped farmers to maintain prosperous orchards and fields of vegetables and grains. Nevertheless, the agricultural industry eventually declined. In at least one instance, a local rancher decided to subdivide his property and sell it off for housing when an epidemic of hoof and mouth disease decimated his livestock. Changes in the local infrastructure also attracted a different kind of resident after World War II, and by the end of the twentieth century Agoura Hills was a solidly suburban community.
Content courtesy of https://pasadenahistory.org/
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The northeast corner of San Gabriel Mission, consisting of the 14,000 acres known as Rancho el Rincon de San Pascual, had previously been gifted in 1826 by the padres to Doña Eulalia Pérez de Guillen, noted for her advanced age as well as her devoted service to the mission.
On February 18, 1835, it was formally granted by the Mexican government to her husband, Don Juan Mariné. He and his sons subsequently lost the land which changed ownership a few more times before being granted on November 28, 1843, by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to his good friend, Colonel Manuel Garfias, son of a distinguished Mexican family.
In 1852, two years after California was admitted as a state to the Union, Garfias built an adobe hacienda on the east bank of the Arroyo, where he and his family proceeded to live in grand style, until he could not meet the interest payment due on a loan. Title to the land was then transferred in 1859 to his lenders, Dr. John S. Griffin and Benjamin “Don Benito” Wilson. Portions of the Rancho San Pasqual were thereafter sold, leaving Griffin and Wilson with 5,328 acres in 1873.
In 1886 Pasadena incorporated, largely as a measure to rid the city of its saloon. In the ensuing decade, amenities such as sewers, paved streets, and electric street lighting were installed. On January 1, 1890, the Valley Hunt Club initiated a mid-winter festival with a procession of flower-bedecked horses and carriages. This became a yearly tradition that in 1898 was formally sponsored by the Tournament of Roses Association. An added tourist attraction was the Echo Mountain incline railway which opened in 1893 and included a mountain chalet resort and the Alpine Tavern at Crystal Springs.
The cultural and educational side of the city was Throop Polytechnic Institute not neglected. The educational system expanded in both the public and private sector. Throop Polytechnic Institute (first named Throop University) was founded in 1891 and later became the California Institute of Technology.
Pasadena had a Shakespeare Club and a Grand Opera House (never very successful) and numerous civic and cultural organizations. In the early 1900’s more grand hotels were built. The city government was reorganized and in 1901 Pasadena became a charter city with an elected mayor. The city population grew from 9,117 in 1900 to 30,291 by 1910. The area of the city increased through annexations, first of sections to the north and east, then in 1914 San Rafael Heights and Linda Vista, which had been physically linked to the city by the Colorado Street Bridge in 1913. Some of the best architects settled in Pasadena, which became known for its fine architecture, particularly the Craftsman style, perfected by Greene and Greene
content courtesy of https://www.smconservancy.org/historic-places/history-of-santa-monica/
There were natural springs follow at 22,000 gallons per date discovered by the Gabrielinos tribe and seen as sacred by this tribe of Native Americans. The springs are part of how Santa Monica got it’s name…taken from a diary entry from Father Juan Crespi, the flowing water was a metaphor for Saint Monica’s tears for her son’s conversion. The founder’s of the city derived it’s name from the saint.
The town of Santa Monica was launched by two entrepreneurs:
Colonel Robert S. Baker, who made a fortune in mining equipment before taking up cattle and sheep ranching
Senator John P. Jones of Nevada, owner of silver mines. Both men purchased land along the coast, hoping to develop a prosperous industrial port.
The first commercial buildings appeared on Second Street in the 1870s and 1880s and moved up to Third Street by the early 1890s.
1886 saw the city of Santa Monica incorporated.
In1887, a rate war between the Southern Pacific and Sante Fe Railroads brought floods of people to Southern California, setting off a real estate boom. Much of Santa Monica was agricultural at this time, with flower barley and bean fields.
Electric trolleys began running in 1896, linking Santa Monica to Los Angeles and stimulating growth.
New residential subdivisions sprang up and the town of Ocean Park became part of Santa Monica. Piers were a great attraction for coastal cities – at one time Santa Monica had five. The current pier, built in 1909 and 1916, showcasing a historic landmark carousel, is the last remaining amusement pier on the west coast.
Movie-making also came here, with the Vitagraph Film Company setting up shop next to the Rapp Saloon and other companies filming in town and on the beach. By 1915 they left for Hollywood, fleeing the coastal fog.
The 1920s were years of explosive growth helped by the establishment of Douglas Aircraft at one of the abandoned film studios. The first around-the-world flight in 1924 by Douglas World Cruisers started from Santa Monica.
Residential development and the central business district expanded rapidly, with Henshey’s Department Store and the Criterion Theater opening.
Commercial development progressed eastward onto Fourth Street. A number of prestigious beach clubs opened and film celebrities built beach houses north of the pier in an area dubbed the Gold Coast.
Content courtesy of https://arcadiahistoricalsociety.org/arcadia-history/Arcadia
Arcadia was founded by Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin in 1903. He was the city’s first mayor. At that time, Arcadia was known as a fairly lawless and politically tumultuousness. As the historical society writes, Arcadia’s second decade saw large land holdings that were subdivided and, on the smaller lots, poultry raising became the largest business. Many large poultry ranches supplied eggs and meat to the Los Angeles markets. City streets were graded and paved, street lights were erected and the city became an urban community.
Alcohol was outlawed, saloons were closed, retail business was encouraged, and a bank opened. Toward the end of the World War I, Ross Field, the ‘Balloon School,’ was established in the center of Arcadia. This brought in thousands of servicemen and strained the resources of Arcadia, notably water and police protection. In the third decade, Arcadia became known as a poultry-raising capital, and poultry men had significant influence in the policy-making and civic decisions of the city. Ten to 12 hatcheries were located within the city limits, as well as a cannery. The businesses along First Avenue slowly developed and spread to Huntington Drive.
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Spanish explorer Don Jose Gaspar de Portolà translated the Tongva tribe name “gathering of the waters” for Beverly Hill area into Spanish as El Rodeo de las Aguas. Portola, traveling along native trails in 1769; following the route that is now Wilshire Boulevard. In 1838, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the widow of a Spanish soldier was deeded 4,500 acres by the governor of Mexico. The property was named Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas. Her adobe home, cattle and horse ranch were located at what is now the intersection of Alpine Drive and Sunset Blvd. In 1852, Mrs. Valdez Villa sold her rancho to Henry Hancock and Benjamin Wilson. A long drought killed their livestock, (https://stacker.com/stories/2789/history-droughts-us), however Hancock and Wilson are known for the Hancock Park neighborhood and Mount Wilson. In 1868, land owner Edward Preuss farmed lima bean fields, however another drought ended the fields. During the 1880s, Henry Hammel and Charles Denker acquired the land with plans of creating a subdivision with a North African theme. However, the U.S. economic collapse of 1888 put a quick end to that scheme. See: https://www.britannica.com/place/United-States/The-Populists.
In 1900, Burton E. Green encouraged oil-speculating investors to buy the bean field on behalf of the Amalgamated Oil Company. Green did not strike oil, rather enough water to create a town. Green and invester remade their company to be the Rodeo Land and Water Company. Green and his wife renamed the bean field Beverly Hills. Street plans for Beverly Hills were designed in 1907 by landscape architect Wilber D. Cook. There were large lots on the north side and small lots on the south side, with a triangle-shaped commercial district between. Trees were planted along the streets and parks and schools were part of the plan.
Since home sales were slow in 1912, to promote the area, construction of the Beverly Hills Hotel ensued. Home sales were slow, and in 1912, to bolster the interest of potential buyers, Green completed construction of the Beverly Hills Hotel on the site where the waters once gathered. The hotel served
travelers but the locals as a city hall, community center, movie theatre, and religious worship venue. Sitting in what was then the middle of nowhere, the hotel was reached by the specially-constructed Dinky Railroad. According to https://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Beverly_Hills.html:
“A one-trolley car system known as the “Dinky” conveyed guests from a Pacific Electric station at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Canon Drive up Rodeo Drive to the Hotel.” (see the picture of the trolley station in front of the hotel on the waterandpower.org site)
In 1914, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks,built Pickfar on Summit Drive. The Los Angeles Speedway was constructed in 1919, the site of auto races second in importance only to Indy. The course span most of the southwest quadrant of the city. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel emerged in 1928. Shortage of water in 1923 was fought by Mary Pickford. Will Rogers became honorary mayor of Beverly Hills in 1925.
Content courtesy of https://hslb.org/
In 1784, Long Beach was first part of a Spanish land grant to a soldier named Manuel Nieto; his ranch covered the 28,000-acre Rancho Los Alamitos and 27,000-acre Rancho Los Cerritos.
In 1866, Rancho Los Cerritos was sold to Lewellyn Bixby, to be managed by his brother Jotham. The Bixby family soon became prominent ranchers and developers of Long Beach.
In 1882, Long Beach's original plan was to be Willmore City. Named after developer William Willmore the area formed along the coast.
In 1885, a competition between the new Santa Fe Railroad and the Southern Pacific Railroad attracted visitors to Long Beach.
In 1888, residents of Willmore City renamed their town Long Beach. The city was incorporated.
In 1902: The Pacific Electric trolley created city growth, as a resort and commercial center.
From 1902 to 1910 Long Beach was the fastest growing city in the United States.
In 1911, the Port of Long Beach was established.
In 1921. oil was discovered on Signal Hill and Long Beach, spurring a million-dollar-per-month building boom downtown.
In 1933, Long Beach was struck by a major earthquake. Downtown Long Beach was rebuilt in Art Deco style.
In 1941, the U.S. Naval Shipyard dry dock wasbuilt to service the largest naval ships.
In 1947, the first and only flight of Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, the world's largest airplane, happened over Long Beach Harbor.