RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

From sheep to sundials at Rancho Los Alamitos

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Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos house

Rancho Los Alamitos is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places: once as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna, the traditional birthplace of the native people of the Los Angeles Basin and second, for the evolution of its significant historic landscape over time. The site includes traces of the ancestral village, an adobe-core ranch house ca.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens developed during the 1920s and 30s, and the restored working ranch barnyard of the early-mid 20th century. With the opening of the Rancho Center, the film, new exhibits and room environments feature the landscape, the people and the place over time and within the context of the development of the region and the state.”

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos – starting the tour

I lifted that from the Rancho Los Alamitos website. Sounds pretty interesting, huh?

Rancho Los Alamitos patio entrance

Rancho Los Alamitos patio entrance with pelicans

Some friends and I joined the Sierra Club tour of the house, gardens and barns of the Rancho on June 16. The site was closed for a time while it underwent a meticulous renovation of the barns and had just re-opened on June 10.

Rancho Los Alamitos cool place to relax

A cool place to relax in the summer

In my estimation, it is really worth visiting—especially as I always love to hear about the history of southern California. Because of all the moving around I did as a child and teenager, I never managed to take a California history class and subsequently never realized there was any—history, that is.

Our group on the docent-led tour

Our group on the docent-led tour

To get to the Rancho you have to drive through the exclusive gated community of Bixby Hills (Fred and Florence Bixby were the last private owners) in the north Long Beach area. But when you tell the guard you are there for Los Alamitos they will let you through.

Tiled sundial with elephants

Ceramic tile sundial with elephants

We enjoyed a picnic in a shaded area before we started the tour. A hard-boiled egg always tastes so much better outdoors under the trees. Darn, once again I didn’t think to take a photo of our happy group!

Cactus garden

Cactus garden – no self-respecting garden in southern California can miss out on the opportunity for cactus and succulents!

We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the house but I hope you like some of my snapshots of the grounds.

Rancho Los Alamitos trees

Who knows their trees? Is that a California Oak dwarfing the house? I should have taken notes!

The group was split into two and my friends and I started with the ranch house tour, then the gardens, and ended with the barns.

Barn at Rancho Los Alamitos

Barn at Rancho Los Alamitos

Some more random photos:

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

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