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History of Rancho Los Cerritos

Rancho Los Cerritos, located on Virginia Road in Long Beach, California, is a National Historic Landmark that offers a rare glimpse into the life of Spanish, Mexican, and American California of the mid-19th century. The two-storied Monterey-style adobe home, built in 1844, contains within its walls the culture and heritage of early settlers and their families, who played a major role in transforming Southern California from its ranching beginnings to the modern, urban society that it is today. Rancho Los Cerritos is the last of the remaining two-storied adobe structures in Southern California. Once part of an early Spanish land grant, the 27,000-acre Rancho Los Cerritos evolved from a cattle ranch to sheep ranch, then to a private home before becoming a city museum in 1955. Now, the site is designated a State and Long Beach Historic Landmark as well. The site’s current 4.7 acres of landscaped grounds features trees from the mid-19th century, historic roses, exotic vegetation and an old water tower. The site also is home to a visitors center, museum gift shop, California history reference library and archives, and picnic area. The Rancho Los Cerritos is owned by the City of Long Beach and is operated through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine.