America's Best History Spotlight 

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area.  And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find.  You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't.  It'll be fun.  Visit them.

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Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site
Long Beach, California

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site
Rancho Los Cerritos Visitor Center
(photo courtesy Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site)

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What is There Now

Rancho Los Cerritos

Rancho Los Cerritos

What's There

5 acres of history and grounds.
The 2 story adobe house, built in 1844.
Beautiful formal gardens patterned after those first planted in the 1840s.
Tours guided by living history expert.
Exhibits and collections about the ranch and home.
Gift shop for your momento of the site.


When Did it Open

The museum first opened in 1955.  It is currently open Wednesday to Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with the last tour going out at 4:15.  They've got a lot planned for the future, too, including one already there, the new Visitor Center open in 2012.

How Much to Visit

Free - Donations accepted.

How to Get There

Easy access from the various freeways of the area, whether you are coming in from the 405, 710, or 91.  Look for Long Beach Boulevard, then deke west onto San Antonio Drive.  At the stop sign, take a right on Virginia Road.  Not hard at all.  You can get easy directions on mapquest.com or other tour direction sites.

Long Beach is not far from Los Angeles, only 25 miles, so if you're in that city, visiting the historic attractions of Long Beach is not far afield.


How Many Acres

5 acres.


How Many People Visit

23,000 people per year

 

Website:  Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site




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About Them

Rancho Los Cerritos


When visitors from far off think of Long Beach, their impression is often far off what actually lies ahead, that is, beyond the beach and a large ship.  Yes, the Queen Mary, is there.  But what lies just beneath that first impression are historic sites that tell the story of how the area began, and perhaps the best place to get a start on that history or your visit to Long Beach even before the beach or ship, is Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site.  In many ways the history of the California that we know of today began with sites like this, making the transition from the mission days to the agricultural lands that permeated the landscape as well as the economy and now given over to suburbia.  

Rancho Los Cerritos


Rancho Los Cerritos started as a small ranch, if you think 27,000 acres is small, in 1804.  It had originally been part of the Rancho Los Nietos, which was a 300,000 acre land concession from the King of Spain.  As the smaller ranch, it would grow to hold 15,000 head of cattle, a bunch of sheep, see the birth of the town that now bears the Long Beach name (town was actually founded on part of the ranch in the 1880s), and eventually become a musuem, back in 1955, that would tell the story of all. There's the two story adobe home, built in 1844, one of the few that remain in Southern California from the Mexican Rancho period. That home was built by Juan Temple in the cattle days.  Later, in the sheep ranch and birth of Long Beach days, Jotham Bixby owned the ranch.  He's known as the father of the town.  There are gardens to visit, tours to take with guides that know that history, and a lot of special events to return to for repeat visits.

Of course, we've skipped a large part of its history, which should not be forgotten, and this is its native american history, which reaches back to B.C. times, plus the newer Tongva tribe heritage.

Rancho Los Cerritos is located right next to the Virginia Country Club on Virginia Road, not far from the 405, 710, or 91 freeways.  

There's no food on site, but you can bring a picnic.

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Acadia National Park
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1700's

* 1770-1779 - The American Revolution
* 1780-1789 - The Nascent Democracy
* 1790-1799 - America Builds

1800's

*
1800-1809 - Exploration
* 1810-1819 - The War of 1812
* 1820-1829 - A Decade of Compromise & Doctrine
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1900-1909 - The World Begins to Fly
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2000's

*
2000-2009 - The Fight against Terrorism
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Pre-Revolution
1490-1499 - Columbus/Cabot
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