San Gabriel Valley
The San Gabriel Valley is one of the principal valleys of Southern California, lying to the east of the city of Los Angeles. Surrounding features include: San Gabriel Mountains on the north, San Rafael Hills to the west, with Los Angeles Basin beyond; the valley derives its name from the San Gabriel River that flows southward through the center of the valley, which itself was named for the Spanish Mission San Gabriel Arcángel built in the Whittier Narrows in 1771. At one time predominantly agricultural, the San Gabriel Valley is today entirely urbanized and is an integral part of the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, it is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the country. About 200 square miles in size, the valley includes thirty-one cities and five unincorporated communities. In 1886, Pasadena was the first independent incorporated city still located in Los Angeles County; the San Gabriel Valley is in Los Angeles County. The incorporated cities and unincorporated neighborhoods of the San Gabriel Valley include: Whittier, like Montebello, is considered both a San Gabriel Valley city and part of the Gateway Cities region.
An unincorporated portion of Whittier, Rose Hills, sits below the Puente Hills. Although these hills are small compared to the San Gabriel Mountains, the fact that most of the city sits around them makes Whittier a San Gabriel Valley city; this is similar to Montebello, a member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, despite geographically being part of the San Gabriel Valley. Claremont, Diamond Bar, La Verne, San Dimas and Walnut are adjacent to the San Gabriel Valley, although are properly considered part of the Pomona Valley, they are commonly considered part of the San Gabriel Valley; the 57 Freeway is considered the dividing line between the Pomona and San Gabriel valleys. However, for statistical and economic development purposes, the County of Los Angeles includes these six cities as part of the San Gabriel Valley; the community of El Sereno, in the city of Los Angeles, is situated at the westernmost edge of the Valley. Unofficial estimates place the combined population of the San Gabriel Valley at around 2 million—roughly a fifth of the population of Los Angeles County.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the land along the Rio Hondo River, a branch of the San Gabriel River, was populated by the Tongva part of the Uto-Aztecan family Native Americans. The Tongva occupied much of the Los Angeles basin and the islands of Santa Catalina, San Nicolas, San Clemente and Santa Barbara. In the northern part of the valley were the Hahanog-na Indian tribe, a branch of the Tongva Nation who lived in villages scattered along the Arroyo Seco and the canyons from the mountains down to the South Pasadena area. In 1542, when the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo arrived off the shores of San Pedro and Santa Catalina; the Tongva were the people. The language of the Tongva was different from the neighboring Indian tribes and it was called Gabrielino by the Spanish; the Tongva provide the origin of many current names. The Gabrielinos lived in dome-like structures with thatched exteriors. Both sexes tattooed their bodies. During warm weather the men wore little clothing, but the women would wear minimal skirts made of animal hides.
During the cold weather they would wear animal skin capes. European diseases killed many of the Tongva and by 1870 the area had few remaining native inhabitants. Today, several bands of Tongva people live in the Los Angeles area; the first Europeans to see inland areas of California were the members of the 1769 Portolà expedition, which traveled north by land after establishing the first Spanish settlement in today's state of California at San Diego. On July 30, the expedition crossed the San Gabriel River and continued north toward what is now the city of Los Angeles. To cross the river, the expedition built a rough bridge, which gave the name La Puente to today's San Gabriel Valley city, hills to the south are called the Puente Hills. A few years a mission was established near the river crossing. Mission San Gabriel Arcangel was founded by Franciscan Father Junipero Serra, first head of the Spanish missions in California, on September 8, 1771, its original location was near where San Gabriel Boulevard now crosses the Rio Hondo, near the present day Juan Matias Sanchez Adobe.
Angel Somera and Pedro Cambon were the first missionary priests at the new mission, which marked the beginning of the Los Angeles region's settlement by Spaniards. The San Gabriel mission was the third of twenty-one missions that would be established along California's El Camino Real; the San Gabriel mission did well in establishing cattle ranching and farming, but six years after its founding a destructive flood led the mission fathers to relocate the establishment to its current location farther north in present-day city of San Gabriel. The original mission site is now marked by a California Historical Landmark. During the early years of the mission, the region operated under a Rancho system; the lands which now compose the city of Montebello were parts of Rancho San Antonio, Rancho La Merced, Rancho Paso de Bartolo. The Juan Matias Sanchez Adobe, built in 1844, remains standin
Lomita is a city in Los Angeles County, United States. The population was 20,256 at the 2010 census, up from 20,046 at the 2000 census; the word "lomita" is Spanish for "little knoll". Lomita was part of Rancho San Pedro, granted by the Spanish Empire to Juan Jose Dominguez by King Carlos III of Spain in 1784. Lomita established a sister city relationship with Takaishi, Japan in October 1981. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles, all of, land. Lomita spanned 7 square miles. However, over time, much of this area was annexed by neighboring cities. A notable example is "Lomita Fields", now Zamperini Field. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lomita has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps; the 2010 United States Census reported that Lomita had a population of 20,256. The population density was 10,601.3 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Lomita was 11,987 White, 1,075 African American, 174 Native American, 2,923 Asian, 140 Pacific Islander, 2,680 from other races, 1,277 from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,652 persons. The Census reported that 20,089 people lived in households, 57 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 110 were institutionalized. There were 8,068 households, out of which 2,479 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,409 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,160 had a female householder with no husband present, 481 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 491 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 55 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,420 households were made up of individuals and 822 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49. There were 5,050 families; the population was spread out with 4,378 people under the age of 18, 1,743 people aged 18 to 24, 5,699 people aged 25 to 44, 5,904 people aged 45 to 64, 2,532 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.
There were 8,412 housing units at an average density of 4,402.5 per square mile, of which 3,738 were owner-occupied, 4,330 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.7%. 9,183 people lived in owner-occupied housing units and 10,906 people lived in rental housing units. According to the 2010 United States Census, Lomita had a median household income of $60,398, with 12.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line. As of the census of 2000, there were 20,046 people, 8,015 households, 5,033 families residing in the city; the population density was 10,572.7 inhabitants per square mile. There were 8,295 housing units at an average density of 4,375.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 66.16% White, 4.18% African American, 0.70% Native American, 11.41% Asian, 0.52% Pacific Islander, 10.79% from other races, 6.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.20% of the population. There were 8,015 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.0% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.2% were non-families.
30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.13. In the city, the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $51,360, the median income for a family was $53,003. Males had a median income of $41,582 versus $31,353 for females; the per capita income for the city was $27,748. About 9.3% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over. Fire protection in Lomita is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department with ambulance transport by McCormack Ambulance; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department operates the Lomita Station in Lomita.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Torrance Health Center in Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles, near Torrance and serving Lomita. In the California State Legislature, Lomita is in the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Allen, in the 66th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Al Muratsuchi. In the United States House of Representatives, Lomita is in California's 43rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Maxine Waters; the United States Postal Service Lomita Post Office is located at 25131 Narbonne Avenue. Lomita Railroad Museum, opened in 1966 by Irene Lewis, is a small museum in Lomita devoted to the steam-engine period of railroading. Mrs. Lewis, along with her husband Martin, operated "Little Engines of Lomita", which sold kits for live steam-engine locomotives, her engines appeared in movies, including "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "Von Ryans Express". This operation inspired Mrs. Lewi
Palos Verdes Peninsula
The Palos Verdes Peninsula is a landform and a geographic sub-region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, within southwestern Los Angeles County in the U. S. state of California. Located in the South Bay region, the peninsula contains a group of affluent cities in the Palos Verdes Hills, including Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates; the South Bay city of Torrance borders the peninsula on the north, the Pacific Ocean is on the west and south, the Port of Los Angeles is east. The population of the Palos Verdes Peninsula is 42,364; the hill cities on the peninsula are known for dramatic ocean and city views, distinguished schools, extensive horse trails, high value homes. The peninsula was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans people for thousands of years. In other areas of the Los Angeles Basin archeological sites date back 8,000 years, their first contact with Europeans occurred in 1542 with João Cabrilho. Chowigna and Suangna were two Tongva settlements of many in the peninsula area, a departure point for their rancherías on the Channel Islands.
In 1846 José Dolores Sepúlveda and José Loreto received a Mexican land grant from Alta California Governor Pío Pico for a parcel from the huge original 1784 Spanish land grant of Rancho San Pedro to Manuel Dominguez. It was named Rancho de los Palos Verdes, or "ranch of the green sticks", used as a cattle ranch, it was a whaling station in the mid-19th century, albeit only for a brief period. By 1882 ownership of the land had passed from the Sepulveda family through various mortgage holders to Jotham Bixby of Rancho Los Cerritos, who leased the land to Japanese farmers. Frank Vanderlip, representing a group of wealthy east coast investors, purchased 25 square miles of land on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 1913 for $1.5 million. In 1914, Vanderlip vacationed at Palos Verdes in order to recover from an illness, he was astounded by scenery he compared to "the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Amalfi Drive." He initiated development of Palos Verdes. He hired the Olmsted Brothers, the landscaping firm of John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to plan and landscape a new subdivision.
The Olmsted Brothers contracted Koebig & Koebig to perform engineering work, including surveying and road planning. However, the project stalled as World War I started, Vanderlip accepted a chairmanship to the War Savings Committee in Washington, D. C. in 1916. By 1921, Vanderlip had lost interest in overseeing development of Palos Verdes and enticed Edward Gardner Lewis to take over the project with an option to buy the property for $5 million. Lewis lacked the capital to purchase and develop Palos Verdes. Instead, he established a real estate trust, capitalizing the project through the sale of notes which were convertible to Palos Verdes property. Under the terms of the trust, Lewis sought to raise $30 million for infrastructure improvements borrowing from investors for both the land and the improvements, he succeeded in attracting $15 million in capital, but far short of the $35 million needed. The trust dissolved and ownership of Palos Verdes reverted to Vanderlip. Vanderlip established a new real estate trust to purchase 3200 acres from his land syndicate and establish the subdivision of Palos Verdes Estates.
The new trust assumed not just the land, but the improvements made by Lewis. They were not complete, but they were substantial: many sewers, water mains, roads, they opened Palos Verdes for public inspection in June 1923. Palos Verdes Estates was organized and landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers and in their planning, they dedicated a quarter of the land area to permanent open undeveloped space, giving the subdivision its unique rural characteristic and culture of scenic beauty. Somewhat around the 1980s, Rancho Palos Verdes acquired Eastview, a unincorporated neighborhood of L. A. County with a San Pedro ZIP Code. Areas of commerce include historic Mediterranean Revival style Malaga Cove Plaza, the Promenade on the Peninsula. Smaller shopping centers include Lunada Bay Plaza and Golden Cove Plaza; the largest peninsula commercial district is in Rolling Hills Estates, with many shopping centers including The Promenade on the Peninsula with a megaplex movie theater and an ice rink. The Palos Verdes area has coastline views and city light views.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority provides bus service within and to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The Palos Verdes Peninsula is within 40 minutes of both Los Angeles International Airport and Long Beach Airport, which together provide access to most of the United States aboard all major carriers; the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District has one of the highest rated API scores in California and has one of the highest average SAT scores and one of the highest percentage of students completing the Advanced Placement exams in the county. There are three high schools, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Palos Verdes High School, Rancho Del Mar High School. Marymount California University, a co-ed Roman Catholic four-year college is located in Rancho Palos Verdes. A private K–12 school, Chadwick School, is located there. Rolling Hills Country Day School, adjacent to the Botanic Garden, offers a private K-8 education. In summary, there are 11 elementary schools, 3 intermediate schools, 3 high schools located on the peninsula.
In the Eastview neighborhood of Rancho Palos Verdes, residents have the option to choose either PV schools or the surrounding LAUSD
Hermosa Beach, California
Hermosa Beach is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County, United States. Its population was 19,506 at the 2010 U. S. Census; the city is located in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles area. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east; the city's beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, paddleboarding, bars and running. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa's average temperature is 70 °F in the summer and 55 °F in the winter. Westerly sea breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county and help keep the smog away 360 days of the year. A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa's beach from Torrance Beach in the south twenty miles north to Santa Monica; the Hermosa Beach pier is at the end of Pier Avenue, one of the beach community's main shopping and partying areas.
Hermosa Beach was part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that became the ten-mile Ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo. In 1900 a tract of 1,500 acres was purchased for $35 per acre from A. E. Pomroy owner of the greater part of Rancho Sausal Redondo. Messrs. Burbank and Baker, bought this land for Sherman and Clark who organized and retained the controlling interest in the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company, In early days, Hermosa Beach — like so many of its neighboring cities — was one vast sweep of rolling hills covered with fields of grain barley. During certain seasons of the year large herds of sheep were grazed over this land, corrals and large barns for storing the grain, as well as providing shelter for horses and farm implements, were located on the ranch between Hermosa and Inglewood; the Spanish words Rancho Sausal Redondo mean a large circular ranch of pasture of grazing land, with a grove of willow on it. The first official survey was made in the year 1901 for the board walk on the Strand, Hermosa Avenue and Santa Fe Avenue.
In 1904 the first pier was built. It was constructed of wood to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean; the pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was washed away and torn down and a new one built to replace it; this pier was built of concrete 1,000 feet long, paved with asphalt its entire length. Small tiled pavilions were erected at intervals along the sides to afford shade for fishermen and picnic parties. A bait stand was built out on the end. Soon after, about 1914, an auditorium building was constructed; this pier is municipally owned. The Los Angeles Pacific Railway, a "trolley" system, was the first railway in Hermosa Beach, running the entire length of Hermosa Ave. on its way from L. A. to Redondo Beach. A few years it was merged with most all other "trolley" companies in the region to form the new Pacific Electric Railway Company, informally called the Red Cars; the Santa Fe Railway was next through Hermosa Beach. It was seven blocks from the beach.
The street that led to the tracks was called Santa Fe Avenue, but was renamed Pier Avenue. There was no Santa Fe railway station for Hermosa, but Burbank and Baker built a railway platform on the west side of the tracks near Santa Fe Avenue, the Railroad Company donated an old boxcar to be used as a storage place for freight. In 1926, the Santa Fe Company built a modern stucco depot and installed Western Union telegraph service in it; the first city election for city officers was held December 24, 1906. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County. Hermosa is a Spanish word meaning "beautiful". Hermosa Beach is located at 33°51′59″N 118°23′59″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles, all of it land. Average air temperature - Average water temperature - 60 °F Hermosa Beach has an average of 325 days of sunshine a year; because of its location, nestled on a vast open bay, morning fog and haze is a common phenomenon in May and early July.
Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but the strong sun burns the fog off by noon. Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June as other parts of the Los Angeles area will enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun shines east of PCH; as a general rule, the temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees. A typical spring day is sunny and about 68 °F. In the summer, which stretches from May to late October, temperatures can reach to the mid-80s Fahrenheit at the beach. In early November, it is about 68 °F. In late January, temperatures are around 63 °F, it is winter, when the hot, dry Santa Ana winds are most common. In mid-December 2004, temperatures soared to 84 °F (
Dominguez Rancho Adobe
The Dominguez Rancho Adobe is California Historical Landmark Number 152, in 1976 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. The adobe of Manuel Dominguez, on the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pedro, was completed in 1826; the home features heavy timbers and a flat, tarred roof. Much of the furniture is original to the Dominguez family; the Friends of Rancho San Pedro operate the adobe ranch home as the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum. The Friends provide guided tours of the house, as well as host many educational programs about ranch life and early California history; the museum's address is Rancho Dominguez, California. The Rancho San Pedro is the site of the First Spanish land grant in California; the land was granted in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez, a retired Spanish soldier who came to California with the Portola expedition and with Father Juniperro Serra. This grant included the entire Los Angeles harbor. Due to a lack of heirs, the land was passed to Cristobal Dominguez, a nephew of Juan Jose.
Cristobal’s son, Manuel Dominguez, would succeed him in taking control of the land upon his father’s death. It was under Manuel’s guidance that the Rancho as it is seen today was constructed in 1826. During this time Manuel was focused on acquiring a United States land patent, which would solidify ownership of the Rancho under United States’ law; the patent was granted and signed by President James Buchanan on December 18, 1858, more than 7 years after it was first requested and nearly 75 years after the original land grant. This was the first U. S. land patent granted in California. However, throughout the years of political turmoil in California, prolonged court battles over ownership of the Rancho, numerous surveys of the land, the sale of some parcels, the United States land patent stated that the Rancho now encompassed 25,000 acres, far fewer than the 75,000 acres included in the original land grant. Manuel Dominguez was a business-savvy young man who could speak both Spanish and English as a result of successful trade.
He was the only one of his siblings who could read and write. At the age of 29, he was elected as Mayor of Los Angeles. Manuel became one of 47 delegates in California to sign the State Constitution. Not long thereafter, President James Buchanan signed the first land patent granted in California to Manuel Dominguez, solidifying the grounds in use by the museum today. During the Mexican–American War in 1846, the Battle of Dominguez Rancho or Battle of the Old Woman’s Gun occurred on the eastern side of Dominguez Hill, its location being a factor in the temporary defeat of American troops by a band of Spanish Californians; this one-hour altercation took place on October 8 near the home of Manuel Dominguez, with the Rancho buildings being occupied from the previous night by Captain Mervine and his marines. Upon Manuel’s death in 1882, the passing of his wife one year the Rancho lands were partitioned among his six surviving children, all daughters. Three of the married daughters continued the Dominguez legacy through the Carson, Del Amo and Watson families By the time the railroad came into the lives of the Dominguez family, in 1869, the family had a lucrative cattle business.
In fact, the cattle were slaughtered in the fields on the spot. When the railroad was built running through Rancho lands that practice came to a halt. Manuel donated 100 feet, to the railroad. In 1902, the Pacific Electric Railway was set to cut through Watson land. In the agreement, the Dominguez family requested there be a Dominguez Junction at Alameda Street; this is. Teams of men and mules built the railway at a rapid pace. On July 4, 1902 the railway opened; the Pacific Electric Railway would pass by the Dominguez Junction every hour, thereby increased the value of the rancho lands. As a passenger train, people were able to frequent the rancho more and more often; the Dominguez family became known for their large family barbecues, which were made possible by the advent of the locomotive. However, the trains had their downsides. Raising livestock and agriculture was made more difficult, people throughout the area complained through Robert Watson to reach the Pacific Electric Railway Company. However, the railroad was beneficial to the Dominguez heritage, as Carson was able to ship over 70,000 pounds of wool at a time The Rancho has a collection of antique large-scale model trains located in their carriage house as well.
In 1910, Dominguez Hill served. It is estimated. An open grandstand was erected, more than six hundred feet in length. Use of the field was provided without rental charge by the Dominguez family, though the family asked to have front row seats for the entire event. Many of the early aviation pioneers were present, including the Wright brothers, Martin and Willard. Roy Knabenshue flew in one of the first blimps; the aviation meet lasted for 10 days, establishing endurance records. Manuel and his family were very devout Catholics. All of the daughters made major donations to the construction of St. Vibiana’s, the former Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. In 1922, the two remaining daughters, Susana Del Amo and Reyes Dominguez, deeded seventeen acres adjacent to the family home to the Claretian Missionaries. In 1924, the Claretian Missionaries began using the adobe home as a graduate school for Claretians and a
Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate; as of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,456. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Downtown Compton, Richland Farms; the city is a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, is home to a young population, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 38. In 1784, the Spanish Crown deeded a tract of over 75,000 acres to Juan Jose Dominguez in this area; the tract was named Rancho San Pedro. Dominguez's name was applied to the Dominguez Hills area south of Compton; the tree that marked the original northern boundary of the rancho still stands at the corner of Poppy and Short streets. The rancho was subdivided and parcels were sold within the Californios of Alta California until the lands were ceded after the Mexican-American war in 1848.
American immigrants acquired most of the rancho lands after 1848. In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of 30 pioneers to the area; these families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California, in search of ways to earn a living other than the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton. Compton's earliest settlers were faced with terrible hardships as they farmed the land in bleak weather to get by with just the barest subsistence; the weather continued to be harsh and cold, fuel was difficult to find. To gather firewood it was necessary to travel to mountains close to Pasadena; the round trip took a week. Many in the Compton party wanted to relocate to a friendlier climate and settle down, but as there were two general stores within traveling distance—one in the pueblo of Los Angeles, the other in Wilmington—they decided to stay put.
By 1887, the settlers realized. A series of town meetings were held to discuss incorporation of their little town. Griffith D. Compton donated his land to incorporate and create the city of Compton in 1889, but he did stipulate that a certain acreage be zoned for agriculture and named Richland Farms. In January 1888, a petition supporting the incorporation of Compton was forwarded to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, who in turn forwarded the petition to the State Legislature. On May 11, 1888 the city of Compton was incorporated with a population of 500 people; the first City Council meeting was held on May 14, 1888. The ample residential lots of Richland Farms gave residents enough space to raise a family, food to feed them, along with building a barn, caring for livestock; the farms attracted the black families who had begun migrating from the rural South in the 1950s, there they found their'home away from home'. Compton couldn't support large-scale agricultural business, but it did give the residents the opportunity to work the land for their families.
The 1920s saw the opening of the Compton Airport. Compton Junior College was founded and city officials moved to a new City Hall on Alameda Street. On March 10, 1933, a destructive earthquake caused many casualties: schools were destroyed and there was major damage to the central business district. While it would be home to a large black population, in 1930 there was only one black resident. From the 1920s through the early 1940s, the Compton area was home to a sizable Japanese American population, a large proportion of whom were farmers. Shortly after President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, Compton residents of Japanese descent were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated for the duration of World War II. Most were detained at the Santa Anita Assembly Center. In the late 1940s, middle class blacks began moving into the area on the west side. Compton grew in the 1950s. One reason for this was Compton; the eastern side of the city was predominately white until the 1970s.
Despite being located in the middle of a major metropolitan area, thanks to the legacy of Griffith D. Compton, there still remains one small pocket of agriculture from its earliest years. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the Supreme Court declared all racially exclusive housing covenants unconstitutional in the case Shelley v. Kraemer, the first black families moved to the area. Compton's growing black population was still ignored and neglected by the city's elected officials. Centennial High School was built to accommodate a burgeoning student population. At one time, the City Council discussed dismantling the Compton Police Department in favor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in an attempt to exclude blacks from law enforcement jobs. A black man first ran for City Council in 1958, the first black councilman was elected in 1961. In 1969, Douglas Dollarhide became the mayor, the first black man elected mayor of any metropolitan city in California. Two blacks and one Mexican-American were elected to the local school board.
Four years in 1973, Doris A. Davis defeated Dollarhide's bid for re-election to become the first female black mayor of a metropolitan American city. By the early 1970s, the city had one of the largest conce
Alta California, known sometimes unofficially as Nueva California, California Septentrional, California del Norte or California Superior, began in 1804 as a province of New Spain. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had comprised the province of Las Californias, but was split off into a separate province in 1804. Following the Mexican War of Independence, it became a territory of Mexico in April 1822 and was renamed "Alta California" in 1824; the claimed territory included all of the modern US states of California and Utah, parts of Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico. Neither Spain nor Mexico colonized the area beyond the southern and central coastal areas of present-day California, small areas of present-day Arizona, so they exerted no effective control in modern-day California north of the Sonoma area, or east of the California Coast Ranges. Most interior areas such as the Central Valley and the deserts of California remained in de facto possession of indigenous peoples until in the Mexican era when more inland land grants were made, after 1841 when overland immigrants from the United States began to settle inland areas.
Large areas east of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges were claimed to be part of Alta California, but were never colonized. To the southeast, beyond the deserts and the Colorado River, lay the Spanish settlements in Arizona. Alta California ceased to exist as an administrative division separate from Baja California in 1836, when the Siete Leyes constitutional reforms in Mexico re-established Las Californias as a unified department, granting it more autonomy. Most of the areas comprising Alta California were ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War in 1848. Two years California joined the union as the 31st state. Other parts of Alta California became all or part of the U. S. states of Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. The Spanish explored the coastal area of Alta California by sea beginning in the 16th century and prospected the area as a domain of the Spanish monarchy. During the following two centuries there were various plans to settle the area, including Sebastián Vizcaíno's expedition in 1602–03 preparatory to colonization planned for 1606–07, canceled in 1608.
Between 1683 and 1834, Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries established a series of religious outposts from today's Baja California and Baja California Sur into present-day California. Father Eusebio Kino missionized the Pimería Alta from 1687 until his death in 1711. Plans in 1715 by Juan Manuel de Oliván Rebolledo resulted in a 1716 decree for extension of the conquest which came to nothing. Juan Bautista de Anssa proposed an expedition from Sonora in 1737 and the Council of the Indies planned settlements in 1744. Don Fernando Sánchez Salvador researched the earlier proposals and suggested the area of the Gila and Colorado Rivers as the locale for forts or presidios preventing the French or the English from "occupying Monterey and invading the neighboring coasts of California which are at the mouth of the Carmel River." Alta California was not accessible from New Spain: land routes were cut off by deserts and hostile Native populations and sea routes ran counter to the southerly currents of the distant northeastern Pacific.
New Spain did not have the economic resources nor population to settle such a far northern outpost. Spanish interest in colonizing Alta California was revived under the visita of José de Gálvez as part of his plans to reorganize the governance of the Interior Provinces and push Spanish settlement further north. In subsequent decades, news of Russian colonization and maritime fur trading in Alaska, the 1768 naval expedition of Pyotr Krenitsyn and Mikhail Levashev, in particular, alarmed the Spanish government and served to justify Gálvez's vision. To ascertain the Russian threat, a number of Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest were launched. In preparation for settlement of Alta California, the northern, mainland region of Las Californias was granted to Franciscan missionaries to convert the Native population to Catholicism, following a model, used for over a century in Baja California; the Spanish Crown funded the construction and subsidized the operation of the missions, with the goal that the relocation and enforced labor of Native people would bolster Spanish rule.
The first Alta California mission and presidio were established by the Franciscan friar Junípero Serra and Gaspar de Portolá in San Diego in 1769. The following year, 1770, the second mission and presidio were founded in Monterey. In 1773 a boundary between the Baja California missions and the Franciscan missions of Alta California was set by Francisco Palóu; the missionary effort coincided with the construction of presidios and pueblos, which were to be manned and populated by Hispanic people. The first pueblo founded was San José in 1777, followed by Los Ángeles in 1781. By law, mission land and property were to pass to the indigenous population after a period of about ten years, when the natives would become Spanish subjects. In the interim period, the Franciscans were to act as mission administrators who held the land in trust for the Native residents; the Franciscans, prolonged their control over the missions after control of Alta California passed from Spain to independent Mexico, continued to run the missions until they were secularized, beginning in 1833.
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