My daughter, Celine, gave us a 2009 calendar of Long Beach; the March page showed a backyard pathway at Rancho Los Cerritos, which we did not know, and decided to visit. So yesterday we went to Rancho Los Cerritos, (click on this site as it is very informative) which is about 4 miles from Celine’s condo. Coincidentally, yesterday was the spring special event, “Visitors from the Past” with tour guides in period costumes explaining the history of the 164 year old ranch. Our tour guide was representing Sarah Bixby Smith, a niece of the owners. This guide was an older lady speaking as if she remembered everything on the ranch as she had been there as Sarah, a little girl in the 1870.
The ranch is located near a country club and the area is so beautiful and green. At first the Tibahangna Native Americans lived there. Then a Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto, received a land grant of 300,000 acres which was subdivided later. One of his descendants received the Rancho Los Cerritos area then sold in 1843 the 27,000 acres to Massachusetts born John Temple (and part of this land became Long Beach). All of this interesting history is on the link above. We took many photographs of the formal gardens (first planted in the 1840’s and ‘50s) and containing beautiful flowers and wonderful old trees. There is also a little pond with a frog fountain.