March 12, 2015 - Today we were back in Long Beach to see the Rancho Los Alamitos (Ranch of the Little Cottonwoods). The Rancho is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first listing is for the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna, the traditional birthplace of the native people of the Los Angeles Basin and the second listing is 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 to mid 20th century. We were dazzled by this site.
This image from the National Park Service shows the layout of the site. Building "A" is the original 1800 adobe core ranch house that has been expanded outward and upward over the years. The barns and animal areas are to the west and the gardens and the tennis court surround the house to the north, east and south.
This is the ranch house with two magnificent Morton Fig trees framing the structure. The enclosed screen porch goes along the entire length of the house. Our docent, Roger, is shown along with Judy who's just drooling over that porch.
Photos weren't allowed inside the house, which was absolutely beautiful! This is the courtyard between the north and south wings.
This is the south side view showing the size of the Morton Fig trees as well as a beautiful bougainvillea in bloom.
While the Jacaranda trees weren't in bloom, the wisteria was.
Now we're moving on to the barns and the animals. There are sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and beautiful draft horses called Shires.
This is a very friendly 1,800 pound Shire stud colt.
This is a shepherd's wagon that was pulled around the ranch back when it encompassed roughly 160,000 acres.
All of the gardens occupy over four acres of land and they all are wonderfully maintained. The gardens were created between 1920 and 1936 and while such notable designers as the Olmsted Brothers Firm, Florence Yoch and Paul Howard were involved, the guiding influence is clearly that of Florence Bixby.
The gardens surround the tennis court.
The City of Long Beach and the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation have to be commended in their obvious upkeep and maintenance of this beautiful facility.
Before our tour we had lunch at La Strada in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach. I had their Eggplant Parmesan since it's always so delicious and Judy had their Butternut Squash Ravioli with roasted sweet tomatoes and their signature lobster cream sauce. Everything was fantastic!
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