Rancho Los Alamitos
6400 East Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, CA, USA
www.rancholosalamitos.com - (562) 431-3541
Rancho Los Alamitos Long Beach Reviews
The Bixby Ranch of Long Beach Jun 13, 2013
Like nearby Rancho Los Cerritos, Rancho Los Alamitos traces its origins to Manuel Nieto and the Los Nietos Spanish land grant of 1784. Los Alamitos was inherited by Nieto's son Juan Jose in 1833, through a partition that created six ranchos out of the original grant. In 1844, Abel Stearns, an American who had married into the Bandini family n Southern California, purchased Los Alamitos. He raised cattle, as was common for the rancho of that era. As the rancho bordered on the ocean, hides were traded with American ships that had sailed around Cape Horn. Following the drought of the 1860 that ended cattle ranching in Southern California, Rancho Los Alamitos was acquired by John Bixby. He was a cousin of Jotham Bixby who had bought neighboring Rancho Los Cerritos. Members of the Bixby family lived at Rancho Los Alamitos, operating it as a working farm and ranch, known as the Bixby Ranch, until 1967. Oil was discovered on the ranch in 1921, fueling the commercial development of the Long Beach region.
The Los Alamitos ranch house can be visited on a docent-led tour. It grew out of a four-room adobe dwelling built between 1785 and 1806. The adobe may have been built by Manuel Nieto himself. Subsequent owners continued to expand the house and add rooms. Dependency wings were added for the kitchen, quarters, and workshops and the house took on the U-shaped appearance of a rancho headquarters. In the early 20th century, a second floor was added.
The house museum is interpreted and furnished today in the 1930s to 1950s period, at the time Fred and Florence Bixby lived there. It was still a working farm, and the large kitchen and farmhands' dinging hall in the north wing are displayed. The original 18th century adobe walls are exposed in several places to show the construction practices. So, the original adobe indeed remains inside the present-day house. Visitors can also walk the extensive gardens.
The visitor center has an excellent floor-sized map of the Los Nietos grant and the partitioned ranchos, overlaid with present day cities, freeways and points of interest. It really puts the development of Southern California into perspective.
There is no charge for admission. Interior photography is not permitted.
The historic house is located inside a gated residential community. Tell them at the gate that you are visiting the rancho and there is no problem with access.
Part of the Southern California 2013 travel blog
Part of the list Historic Houses
Part of the list Andy's Greater Los Angeles
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