Skip to Main Content

LA as Subject Collection

The LA as Subject collection contains material from a selection of L.A. area community-based archives and organizations that were digitized and shared in partnership with CSUDH.

Selected Images

Collection Description

The Rancho Los Cerritos Oral History Collection is composed of recordings about the history of Rancho Los Cerritos, life in Long Beach and surrounding areas, and information about the adobe and grounds, including interviews with members of the Bixby family, former residents of the adobe, and other long-time Long Beach residents. The bulk of the interviews were conducted in the 1960s and 1970s in collaboration with the Long Beach Public Library, but periodic interviews, lectures, and other recordings were made in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.  

About the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation

At Rancho Los Cerritos (RLC), we open doors to Southern California's rich and vibrant history for more than 30,000 visitors each year and serve thousands of students with our award-winning educational programs and immersive field trips. We are transforming into a center for learning and research that serves as an important conduit between the past, present, and future; a place where living history and innovative technology meet to tell engaging stories about the people who have lived and worked here. As a National, State and Local Historic Landmark, we invite our guests to share in this cultural asset with the hope that it will continue to inspire learning, reflection, celebration, and research as it has it done for the last two centuries.

Our mission is to restore and preserve the ranch house structure and grounds; collect appropriate resources; and interpret the relationship of the Rancho's diverse communities, beginning with the Tongva, the indigenous people who live in the Los Angeles Basin, to the development of Long Beach City. This is accomplished through a broad spectrum of educational programs, exhibits, and publications designed to provide local residents, students and visitors with an understanding of the forces that shaped this region. We value and strive to be good stewards in support of the preservation, education, and innovation of Rancho Los Cerritos with a focus on diversity equity and inclusion. Our vision is to be the catalyst that promotes critical thinking and lifelong learning by inspiring students and visitors to explore their history, culture, and environment by cultivating a dialog between the humanities and STEM disciplines.

Rancho Los Cerritos was originally the Tongva village of Tevaaxa'nga. In 1784, Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto received one of the largest land grants by Governor Pedro Fages. Heirs of Manuel Nieto sold the property to John Temple (1843), who established the Monterey style two story adobe home and a thriving cattle ranch. Temple sold the land to Flint, Bixby & Co. (1866), which raised sheep on the property. The City of Long Beach was founded on this land in 1884. In 1930, when Llewellyn Bixby Jr. renovated and landscaped RLC, the configuration of the original adobe structure remained intact. In 1955, the remaining 4.7-acre property was deeded to the City as a museum of history.

The nonprofit Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation was formed in 1994 to assist the City's efforts in preserving the historic site and enhancing educational programming and outreach efforts. The Foundation assumed management and operation of Rancho Los Cerritos in 2014 under a 25- year Lease Agreement with the City of Long Beach. The Foundation is in charge of developing new exhibits, providing access to the archives and the California research library, and raising support for cutting-edge educational programs that weave history, social sciences, arts, and STEM-focused initiatives into an enriching curriculum for students. RLC is free and open to the public.