Rancho Los Cerritos
4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach, CA, USA
www.rancholoscerritos.org/in… - (562) 570-1755
Rancho Los Cerritos Long Beach Reviews
An Early Mexican-American Rancho in Long Beach Jun 13, 2013
The Los Cerritos Ranch House was headquarters of Rancho Los Cerritos, a rancho founded in the Mexican era of California. It is preserved an open as a historic house today.
Los Cerritos was part of the large Los Nietos land grant of 1784 that had passed to the Cota family. In 1843 Don Juan Temple (or Jonathan temple), purchased the rancho. Temple is a most interesting character of early California. He was from Massachusetts and had come to California by way of Hawaii. He settled in Los Angles and married into the Cota family,
In 1844 Temple built an adobe ranch house on the Los Cerritos property in what is now North Long Beach. The rancho was isolated then and had to be self-sustaining. It was built in a U-shape arrangement, with the main house at one end of a courtyard, flanked by workshops and storehouses. Temple raised cattle until a drought in the 1860s forced him to sell to the Bixby family. (California was by then an American state.) The Bixbys switched to sheep ranching and the house remained in the Bixby family until 1942.
Rancho Los Cerritos was significantly renovated in 1930, with a sloping Spanish tile roof replacing the original flat shingle and tar roof, a sunroom added, and modern amenities introduced.
The house and restored workshops can be seen on a docent-led tour. The historic house museum is furnished and interpreted in the time of the Bixbys, about 1880. The adobe walls are two to three feet thick and make up the core of the house and its dependent wings. An excellent introductory film allows the character of Sarah Bixby as a Victorian teenager to introduce the house and the rancho. There is also a large Mediterranean garden in front of the house, with plantings and trees from the time of the Temples and the Bixbys. I think the best part of the house is seen last, from the garden, the Monterrey style wooden veranda running the length of the house.
No admission charge. Interior photography is permitted.
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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