History of Long Beach, California

The Elaborate History of the Long Beach in California

Long Beach California―this is where the action begins. Boat cruises, spectacular aquariums, historical ranches, and scrumptious food. California is even richer than its vivid scenes you witness today. Take a trip down memory lane, and know what actually lies behind the scenes of this gorgeous city.
Historyplex Staff
Last Updated: Dec 9, 2017
At Long Beach California, you can let your imaginations soar. Don't just watch the sun go down, because that is passé. Spice up your day with the peppy reggae numbers or lounge around and create your personalized pottery. If you are waiting to explore your adventurous side, then rent a helicopter and get a bird's-eye view of the place. Or take a plunge into the dazzling blue seas. Spend some time at the historic Queen Mary Seaport for a peek into the past.

So, what makes Long Beach really one of the hottest destinations? It has a very colorful history, which is evident in the spirit of the people and the changing colors of the place. Long Beach is located in the southern part of Los Angeles County, California, USA. You would probably have to travel at least 20 miles from the south of downtown Los Angeles.

History of Long Beach

The area was initially known as the 'Bay of Smokes'. This was because in the 1500s, an explorer named Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo observed smoke signals rising from atop the hill (known as Signal Hill today). The Native Americans originally occupied it and they were known to employ the practice of using smoke signals as a form of communication with people who lived across the Santa Catalina Island.

The late 1700s saw the division of the land that was owned by Spain. It was divided between two landowners. The Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos (as it was named) had a boundary between them that ran through the center of Signal Hill. In 1843, John Temple bought the Rancho Los Cerritos. Today, the Rancho Los Cerritos, also known as Ranch House, stands as an important historical landmark. Temple sold off the ranch house in 1866 to Flint, Bixby & Co. Portions of the Rancho Los Cerritos was sold by the 1880s. Finally in 1880, Bixby sold Rancho Los Cerritos to William Wilmore, who founded Wilmore City and subdivided and developed some of these areas. Although he hoped to create a farm community, he did not taste success, and the area was later renamed to the City of Long Beach.

John W. Bixby later leased the land at Rancho Los Alamitos. He also started the development of the coastal front of this place. He began planning the layout of the streets and parks of the new city. But The Rancho Los Alamitos saw itself being split between the heirs, with the sad demise of J. W. Bixby in 1888. The remaining area of this ranch was further subdivided into different areas.

The early 1900s saw tremendous growth of the town. It grew in its reputation as a popular seaside place, and also as a port-of-call. It was now home to 'The Pike', which was one of the most famous beachside amusements parks at that time. Lots of visitors thronged to enjoy the roller coasters and other major attractions.

The unfortunate earthquake in 1933 did a lot of damage to life, and caused loss of property in this area. Due to all the damage caused by this earthquake, The Field Act of 1933 was passed. According to this, it was mandatory to have earthquake resistant design and construction to be implemented for all public schools.

It still continued to have a sizable Japanese-American population for a certain period of time. But with a lot of interracial marriages, they form the minority between the existing populations at Long Beach today.

Today, Long Beach draws lots of visitors from across the globe. People even throng to visit the sites and attractions close to Long Beach. Apart from the Queen Mary, the Long Beach aquarium with its huge collection of plant and marine life always tends to be a favorite among most tourists flocking to this area. The Long Beach Airport offers direct flights throughout the United States with easy domestic and international connections. Among the busiest airports, it also remains to be an important aircraft manufacturing and flight-training center. Today, it has beautiful parks, historical sites of interest, and major sailing events. It is therefore no wonder that Long Beach, CA, remains the most popular tourist destinations for people around the world.