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Long Beach - Mud Mania at Rancho Los Cerritos

My family and I had the most fun on Sunday August 21st, 2011. We dressed in our best play clothes and headed to Long Beach to play with mud. Mud Mania event at Rancho Los Cerritos happens only once a year. So we got there early enough to be in front of the line. With our money in hand and our towels in another. We signed up for all the events. Here is a list of what we did that day:
Build a house with mud and bricks
Shell decorating
Paint a Clay wiggles
Make your own fossil
Make a nature crown
Plant a tree with Tree Lovers
Make a clay house
Learn about rocks and stones
Paint your own t-shirt
Crush seashells to coat and cover an Adobe Oven
Race to make a brick from mud
Throw tennis balls with mud
Run and walk in the mud

The entire family got to participate in all the events and got creative. The day flew by so fast that when we finally got to seat under a large tree to listen to live music. Our feet hurt so bad from walking all day long.  As we sat there, we enjoyed watching the butterflies that flew above us. There was the yellow Mimosa Butterfly, Monarch Butterfly and others I had never seen before. The beauty of the ranch is in the fruit trees and rose bushes. It is like a little forest in the middle of a large city. You can feel the history that once lived there. This place holds secrets from the past.  Everyone should go there to sit and listen to the wind run through the trees.

Important Dates In The History Of Rancho Los Cerritos
2000-3000 BC Native Americans live on lands that become Rancho Los Cerritos. Little is known about these peoples, however, eleven cogged stones from this period were discovered at Rancho Los Cerritos in 1930.
500-1769 Tongva people (Gabrielino Indians) live on lands later known as Rancho Los Cerritos; village of Tibahangna said to be north of present ranch house.
1769 First Spanish settlement in California at San Diego
1771 Mission San Gabriel founded
1781 El Pueblo de Los Angeles founded
1784-90 Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto receives land encompassing about 300,000 acres; this is reduced to 167,000 acres
1804 Manuel Nieto dies; his land is inherited jointly by his four surviving children
1821 Mexico achieves independence from Spain in 1821, California comes under Mexican rule
1834 Mission lands are secularized and the missions are closed
1834 Nieto’s land is formally divided into smaller ranchos. Daughter Manuela de Cota receives the 27,000-acre portion known as Rancho Los Cerritos
1834-35 Manuela and husband Guillermo Cota build a small adobe on the Rancho Los Cerritos for their family.
1843 John Temple purchases Rancho Los Cerritos from the Cota family in December 1843 for $3,000
1844 John Temple builds the present two-story Monterey-style adobe as headquarters for his cattle-ranching operations, and stocks the land with as many as 15,000 head of cattle
1846-48 Mexican-American War
1848 California becomes a U.S. territory
1848 Gold is discovered in northern California
1849 The Gold Rush begins
1849 Benjamin Flint comes to California to seek his fortune in the gold fields
1850 California becomes a state
1851 Thomas Flint and Lewellyn Bixby arrive in the gold fields
1852-53 John Temple successfully defends his title to Rancho Los Cerritos before the U.S. Land Commission
1852 Jotham and Marcellus Bixby, brothers of Lewellyn Bixby, arrive in the gold fields
1853 Benjamin and Thomas Flint, and Lewellyn Bixby, form Flint, Bixby & Co. and bring sheep to California
1861-65 Civil War
1862-64 Period of severe floods and droughts in southern California that devastate the cattle industry
1866 John Temple sells Rancho Los Cerritos to Flint, Bixby & Co.
1866 Jotham Bixby and his family move to Rancho Los Cerritos to manage Flint, Bixby & Company’s sheep ranching operations
1869 Jotham Bixby buys a half interest in Rancho Los Cerritos and forms J. Bixby & Company
1874 Jotham Bixby buys an interest in Rancho Palos Verdes
1877 Reverend George Hathaway, Jotham Bixby’s father-in-law, and sister-in-law Martha Hathaway move to Rancho Los Cerritos
1878 John Bixby, a cousin of Jotham and Lewellyn Bixby’s, leases Rancho Los Alamitos
1881 Jotham Bixby and his family move to Los Angeles
1881 J. Bixby & Company, together with John Bixby and I.W. Hellman, purchase Rancho Los Alamitos
1881 Jotham Bixby provides lease with option to buy of 4000 acres to William Willmore for the founding of a town, Willmore City, and agricultural community
1884 William Willmore is unsuccessful in promoting his town, but the Long Beach Land and Water Company purchases his option and renames the town Long Beach
1884-85 Jotham Bixby family moves back to Long Beach and builds a home on Ocean
1887 Long Beach is incorporated
1897 7,000 acres of Rancho Los Cerritos lands sold to Senator from Montana; later becomes Lakewood
1906 1440 acres of Rancho Los Cerritos lands sold; City of Bellflower founded
1930-31 Rancho Los Cerritos is remodeled by Llewellyn Bixby, Sr. for a family residence
1942 Llewellyn Bixby, Sr. dies
1955 Rancho Los Cerritos is acquired by the City of Long Beach and opened to the public as a museum
1970 Rancho Los Cerritos is placed on the National Register of Historic Properties and is also designated a National Historic Landmark
1979 Rancho Los Cerritos is designated a City of Long Beach Historical Landmark
1988 Rancho Los Cerritos is designated State Historic Landmark No. 978


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