Rancho Los Cerritos
Rancho Los Cerritos is a historic site that tells the story of one of Long Beach’s earliest and most important communities. Located at 4600 Virginia Rd, Long Beach, CA 90807, the park features several historic buildings that provide a glimpse into the daily lives of early Rancho Los Cerritos settlers. These buildings represent one-third of the original rancho and include three adobes and two 21st-century structures: The museum offers visitors an interpretive walk through the history of Rancho Los Cerritos. Visitors can also view information about key historical events in Rancho Los Cerritos as well as displays of ranch life during that time period. Guided tours are available for groups by appointment, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
History of Rancho Los Cerritos and the Pueblo-Spanish Homestead Grant
Located in the city of Long Beach, Rancho Los Cerritos came into existence in 1843. The rancho was the site of the city’s first Spanish settlement. The grant that made it all possible came from King Carlos IV of Spain. The grant was given to Jose Chico (or Jose Antonio Chico, depending on your source) and John Thomas, who had been trading with the Chumash Indians. The grant consisted of two square leagues of land, which is roughly 0.6 square miles. Before the signing of the grant, the Chumash Indians had lived on the land for thousands of years. The Spanish, on the other hand, only made it to the area in 1782 when Juan Manuel de Eliza and his expedition first reached the scene. The Spaniards built a mission in the area, but it was abandoned later on as the Spanish settlers moved inland.
Rancho Los Cerritos in the 19th century
In 1843, Jose Chico, a Spanish soldier, and John Thomas, a British sailor, became the first settlers in the area. Thomas brought his wife, Sarah Alexander, to the rancho and built the original adobe house. Known today as the Thomas House, this structure was used as the home of Alexander and her family. The Alexander House was very important in the area’s history because it was the first building in Southern California to be used as a school. In fact, Alexander was the first school teacher in the area. She taught in the adobe until she was eighty-two years old. Alexander’s home eventually fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1863. In 1851, Alexander’s sister, Mary Robinson, and her husband, John Robinson, moved onto the rancho with their two children, Robert and Fanny. The Robinsons built a new adobe house on the property that still stands in its same location today.
The 21st Century at Rancho Los Cerritos: A Meeting Place, School, and Community Center
Today, the 21st Century at Rancho Los Cerritos is a cultural destination that tells the story of one of Long Beach’s oldest communities. The museum is used for many different purposes and serves as a meeting place, community center, and historical landmark. The 21st Century at Rancho Los Cerritos hosts a variety of events, including classes for all ages, art exhibitions, and community events. The museum also serves as a meeting place for organizations and local governments. The facility is a great place to host civic events, dinners, weddings, barbecues, and other social gatherings.
Rancho Los Cerritos is a living museum that tells the story of one of Long Beach’s earliest and most important communities. The museum also serves as a meeting place, community center, and historical landmark. Visitors can learn more about life on the rancho in the 19th century and how it has evolved into the 21st century.
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