Los Angeles County is one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850. The county originally included parts of what are now KernSan BernardinoRiverside and Orange counties. As the population increased, sections were split off to organize San Bernardino County in 1853, Kern County in 1866, and Orange County in 1889.

The history of Los Angeles city and county begins with a small Mexican town that changed little over the three decades after 1848, when California became part of the United States. Los Angeles expirienced great growth with the completion of the Santa Fe railroad line from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1885. Immigrants flooded in. LA had a strong economic base in farming, oil, tourism, real estate and movies.

In 1542 and 1602 the first Europeans to visit the region were Captain Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and Captain Sebastián Vizcaíno. It would be another 166 years before another European would visit the region. The one person most responsible for the founding of Los Angeles was the new Governor of California, Felipe de Neve.

In 1777 Neve toured Alta California and decided to establish civic pueblos for the support of the military presidios. The new pueblos would reduce the secular power of the missions by reducing the dependency of the military on them. At the same time, they would promote the development of industry and agriculture.

His plan for the city followed a set of Spanish city-planning laws contained in the Laws of the Indies promulgated by King Philip II in 1573. The Los Angeles Pobladores (“townspeople”) is the name given to the 44 original settlers, 22 adults and 22 children from Sonora, who founded the town. The official date for the founding of the city is September 4, 1781.

In December, 1777 Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa and Commandant General Teodoro de Croix gave approval for the founding of a civic municipality at Los Angeles and a new presidio at Santa Barbara. Croix put the California lieutenant governor Fernando Rivera y Moncada in charge of recruiting colonists for the new settlements. After an exhausting search that took him to Mazatlán, Rosario, and Durango, Rivera y Moncada only recruited 12 settlers and 45 soldiers.

For its first 120 years, the Los Angeles River supplied the town with ample water for homes and farms. Sometime between 1899 and 1903, Harrison Gray Otis and his son-in-law successor, Harry Chandler, engaged in successful efforts at buying up cheap land on the northern outskirts of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. At the same time, they enlisted the help of William Mulholland, chief engineer of the Los Angeles Water Department (later the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power or LADWP), and J.B. Lippencott, of the United States Reclamation Service. On the occasion of the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct on November 5, 1913 Mullholland’s entire speech was five words: “There it is. Take it.”


#127: Casa de Governor Pio Pico
#144: Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Angeles
#145: Avila Adobe
#147: Banning Park
#150: Brand Park (Memory Garden)
#151: Campo de Cahuenga
#152: Dominguez Ranch House
#156: Los Angeles Plaza
#157: Mission San Fernando Rey de España
#158: Mission San Gabriel Arcangel
#159: Pico House (Hotel)
#160: Plummer Park and Oldest House in Hollywood
#161: Site of Mission Vieja
#167: La Mesa Battlefield
#168: Oak of the Golden Dream
#169: Drum Barracks
#170: Hancock Park La Brea
#171: Merced Theatre
#172: Pioneer Oil Refinery
#235: Casa Adobe San Rafael
#289: First Home of Pomona College
#301: Lugo Adobe (Site Of)
#302: Old Mill
#362: Romulo Pico Adobe (Ranchito Romulo)
#363: Centinela Springs
#367: E.J. Baldwin Queen Anne Cottage
#368: Reid-Baldwin Adobe
#372: Adobe de Palomares
#373: Old Salt Lake
#380: Site of Home of Diego Sepulveda
#381: Site of Old Whaling Station
#383: Site of Adobe Home of Jose Dolores Sepulveda
#384: Timm’s Point and Landing
#385: Rio San Gabriel Battlefield
#386: La Casa De Carrion
#451: The Ortega-Vigare Adobe
#514: Pomona Water Powerplant
#516: Well, CSO 4 (Pico)
#516.2: Mentryville
#522: Serra Springs
#531: Lummis Home
#536: Original Building of the University of Southern California
#554: Cecil B. DeMille Studio Barn
#556: Rancho San Francisco
#567: St. Vincent’s Place
#580: Well, Alamitos 1
#590: Lang
#632: Old Short Cut
#637: Catalina Adobe
#646: Grave of George Caralambo (Greek George)
#653: The Cascades
#655: Portola Trail Campsite (I)
#656: Bella Union Hotel Site
#658: Western Hotel

#664: Heritage House
#665: Portola Trail Campsite (2)
#669: Governor Stoneman Adobe, Los Robles
#681: Paradox Hybrid Walnut Tree
#688: Lyons Station Stagecoach Stop
#689: Los Encinos State Historic Park
#716: Griffith Ranch
#717: The Angeles National Forest
#718: Site of the Initial United States Air Meet
#730: Old Plaza Firehouse
#744: The Mirror Building (Site of Butterfield Stage Station)
#753: San Fernando Cemetery
#789: Site of the Los Angeles Star
#822: First Jewish Site in Los Angeles
#840: Old Santa Monica Forestry Station
#871: The Gamble House
#874: Workman Home and Family Cemetery
#881: Site of Port of Los Angeles Long Wharf
#887: Pasadena Playhouse
#894: S.S. Catalina
#911: Chatsworth Calera Site
#912: Glendora Bougainvillea
#919: St. Francis Dam Disaster Site
#920: Casa de San Pedro
#933: Site of Llano Del Rio Cooperative Colony
#934: Temporary Detention Camp – Santa Anita Assembly Center
#934: Temporary Detention Camp – Pomona Assembly Center
#939: Twentieth Century Folk Art (Thematic) – Old Trapper’s Lodge
#947: Reform School for Juvenile Offenders (Fred C. Nelles School)
#960: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
#961: Harold Lloyd Estate (Greenacres)
#963: The Mojave Road
#965: Point Dume
#966: Adamson House at Malibu Lagoon State Beach
#972: Navy and Marine Corp. Reserve Center
#975: El Monte –First Southern California Settlement by Immigrants from US
#978: Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site
#984: Casa de Rancho San Antonio (Henry Gage Mansion)
#988: Pacific Asia Museum
#990: Christmas Tree Lane
#993: Watts Tower of Simon Rodia
#997: Tuna Club of Avalon
#1006: Beale’s Cut Stagecoach Pass
#1011: Frank Lloyd Wright Textile Block Houses (Thematic) – Ennis House
#1011: Frank Lloyd Wright Textile Block Houses (Thematic) – Freeman House
#1011: Frank Lloyd Wright Textile Block Houses (Thematic) – Storer House
#1011: Frank Lloyd Wright Textile Block Houses (Thematic) – Millard House
#1014: Long Beach Marine Stadium
#1018: Manhattan Beach State Pier
#1021: Liberty Hill Site
#1038: Hay Tree
#1041: Site of the Childhood Home of the Beach Boys
#1046: Savannah Memorial Park