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Pioneers traveling in the former Shoshonean lands that became the city of Downey in eastern Los Angeles County were drawn to the water sources of the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo. In 1837, historian Hugo Reid described a village called Carpenters Farm along the banks of the Rio Hondo. Don Carpenter's Rancho Santa Gertrudes occupied a portion of the original 300,000-acre Nieto land grant of prime ranch and farmlands, a fertile "garden spot." In 1859, a year before becoming California's youngest governor at age 32, John Gately Downey and druggist James McFarland effectively closed the era of missions and ranchos by buying 17,600 acres of Rancho Santa Gertrudes at a sheriff's auction for $60,000. Downey offered land at $10 an acre with a low interest rate, claiming it "the best land for homesteads and vineyards in this section of the state." The community of Downey began shaping up in 1873 as the Southern Pacific Railroad connected the early settlements of Gallatin and College.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781531647056
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 03/03/2010
Pages: 130
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

Author Larry Latimer is a lifelong Downey resident and historical researcher. This evocative volume of vintage images is a journey through Downey's bygone days made possible through a generous collaboration with the Downey Historical Society.

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