Los Cerritos Ranch House


Los Cerritos Ranch House, also known as Rancho Los Cerritos or Casa de los Cerritos, in Long Beach, California, was "the largest and most impressive adobe residence erected in southern California during the Mexican period". Los Cerritos means "the little hills" in English. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.HistoryThe structure, a Monterey Colonial adobe, was built in 1844 by merchant Jonathan Temple, a Yankee pioneer who became a Mexican citizen. The house was once the headquarters for a 27000acre ranch; the major activity on the ranch was cattle and sheep.The land was part of the 167000acre Rancho Los Nietos land grant to Manuel Nieto that was eventually divided into six parcels, one of which was Rancho los Cerritos. In 1843, Temple purchased the rancho and built the adobe house in 1844 as headquarters for his cattle operations. In 1866, Temple sold the rancho to Flint, Bixby & Co. which converted the ranch from cattle to sheep. Jotham Bixby, the brother of one of the company's founders, managed and resided at the ranch from 1866-1871. Jotham Bixby, known as the "father of Long Beach", eventually purchased the property for himself and raised seven children at the adobe. One of Jotham's children who was raised at the ranch house was Fanny Bixby Spencer, who later became known as a poet and pacifist.Beginning in the late 1870s, Bixby began leasing or selling portions of the ranch, which became the cities of Downey, Paramount and Lakewood. Between the 1870s and 1920, the adobe fell into disrepair. In 1929, Llewellyn Bixby (Jotham's nephew) purchased the property, and made extensive renovations to the house, including plaster cement coating, a new red-tiled roof, electricity, plumbing, fireplaces, a sun porch, new floors and much of the landscaping. Llewellyn Bixby died in 1942, and the family sold the house to the City of Long Beach in 1955. The City turned the house into a museum dedicated to educating the public about California's rancho period.


4600 N Virginia Rd
Long Beach, CA


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