One of the most interesting thing that occurs when you’re undertaking historic research are the side stories that seem to come out of nowhere. While researching one particular subject you often run across information that is as interesting or at times even more interesting than what you may have looked for to begin with. If you find yourself researching the history of Los Angeles California, chances are this may happen to you.
What’s interesting is a comparison to it’s in-state sister city, San Francisco. San Francisco developed for two basic reasons. It is one of the best natural seaports in all of America. Aside from the fact that it’s also one of the most scenic areas of the U.S., San Francisco Bay seems made to be a seaport. Upon it’s initial discovery by the Spanish explorers, San Francisco Bay was recognized as a strategic coastal port.
The other well known reason for it’s rapid growth was the California Gold Rush starting in 1849. This monumental discovery came at a time when the Mexican-American War had ended and the United States was taking over what was then referred to as Alta California los angeles escorts. The close proximity of San Francisco to the early gold mine fields just east of Sacramento meant that the city by the bay would become a focal point of growth. Money from the gold mine areas found it’s way to the much larger and cultured San Francisco area of the 1850’s.
The case with the development of Los Angeles is a different story. For one thing, Los Angeles did not have a natural seaport. The seaport at San Pedro Harbor was a man made creation. Water resources were another big issue and would end up in a series of scandals later on. Available water is necessary for any city to survive and grow. San Francisco is fortunate to have a nearby water source from the American and Sacramento Rivers to the east. Los Angeles on the other hand was in essentially a desert environment. The enjoyable southern California climate was mild and dry but the water issue would always be a concern.
The Early Los Angeles Pueblo
Los Angeles was originally established by the Spaniards in 1781. They thought the area a good place to build a pueblo and establish their presence. The Spanish founding of Los Angeles would also serve as another reminder of their claim to this coastal territory, especially in regards to the British and the Russians who both were active in what is now the northwest United States. Part of the task for the Spaniards was to find settlers. This proved not easy. What all of us know today as the mild, scenic and beautiful beach locale of southern California was not that way in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds. The area was desolate, remote and to most people unattractive. Just traveling to get there wasn’t easy either.The Spanish of course offered incentives to settlers such as land grants and livestock. It wasn’t easy but eventually they found twelve families to settle in the pueblo. As many people know, one of the major undertakings of the Spanish in colonial Alta California as well as in what is now the states of New Mexico and Arizona was the establishment of missions. The first one was built in San Diego by Fray Junipero Serra in 1629 and eventually reached a total of twenty-one stretching north to Sonoma California just a short distance north of San Francisco Bay. The missions were established to Christianize the native population and to convert them into subjects of the King of Spain.