History of Long Beach, CA
Early Long Beach Area
The first people who lived in the area of long beach were Native Americans and their tribe was known as the Tongva or "people of the earth." As the area began to become colonized, they were eventually forced to move to other areas. The land was divided up between two landholders in 1794 by the Spanish king, Carlos III. For many years there were disputed over the boundaries of the two areas. Much of this was due to flooding of the Los Angeles River. Frequent floods would erode the banks and cause the boundary to change.
The area was purchased by John Temple in 1843. He moved to California from the east coast and decided to build a home there. The home is still standing and considered a historic site by the people of Long Beach, CA. He experienced much success as a cattle rancher in the area, becoming quite wealthy from his profits.
Flint Bixby and Company
After he tired of cattle ranching, he sold the area to a sheep farming company known as Flint, Bixby and Company. It was run by two brothers and a man named Lewellyn Bixby. The man they selected to manage the area was Lewellyn's cousin Jotham Bixby, who is often referred to as the father of Long Beach. Jotham eventually decided to become a partner in the company. Be bought in and formed a sister company known as the Bixby land company. Bixby eventually sold a portion of the land a real estate developer who had hoped to establish a farming community. The development failed and the sold land became property of the Long Beach Land and Water Company. They changed the name of the area to Long Beach and it became incorporated
Growth and Development
Over time the town began to grow. Many people were traveling to the area for the purposes of vacation and relaxation. The area began to get more of a resort reputation although it was still used somewhat for agriculture. An amusement park known as the pike grew on an area of the beach and remained until 1969. At the Pike you could find a variety of different rides and games. There was also an assortment of vendors who sold various food items. During the 1950s the beach areas began to be focused more on industrial commerce.
Effects of World War 2
In 1492, Long Beach was the site of an air raid. Shells were reported as being fired from the sea and artillery was used in retaliation however no planes were ever seen. Until this time, a substantial amount of the population was of Japanese descent. Unfortunately, racial prejudices at the time forced them to be removed and placed in internment camps elsewhere in the US. After the war some of them returned, but a number decided to go elsewhere. Today Long beach is a bustling center for trade and industry on the west coast and continues to thrive.