Rich Archbold: Rancho Los Cerritos celebrating 175 colorful, historic years of “Adobe Days” — Orange County Register

When she was just a toddler, Long Beach legend Jean Bixby Smith remembers what could have been a dangerous incident at historic Rancho Los Cerritos but fortunately turned out to be only an amusing one, instead…

via Rich Archbold: Rancho Los Cerritos celebrating 175 colorful, historic years of “Adobe Days” — Orange County Register


California presentation at SUNY Oneonta Monday

Artist, tribal scholar and community activist L. Frank will offer a presentation  "The Continuance of Indigenous California: History, Politics, Art" at 7 p.m. Monday in the Center for Multicultural Experiences in Lee Hall at the State University College at Oneonta. The event is free and open to the public.


Prospector Pete opens dialogue about racism

The Daily 49er, the student newspaper of Cal State Long Beach, publishes an editorial on the forgotten history of the schools mascot, Prospector Pete.

The paper writes, Here on campus, a symbol of California’s horridly racist past dances around in costume. To many people of color, the Prospector Pete mascot and the ominous miner statue on the upper campus, combined with the “49er” school spirit iconography — emblazoned on everything from coffee mugs to our beloved sports teams — represent a violent history. During the Gold Rush, Anglo forty-niners wiped out 80 percent of the American Indian population. 

Read the editorial Here and give us your opinion.

Landscaping with native plants is lecture topic

Discover insects, birds, animals and the native plants that support them at a lecture and plant sale at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach today.

Mike Evans talks about the nuts and bolts of getting California native plants to thrive. Evans has been a longtime proponent of a natural landscape and comes from Tree Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano, the largest native plant supplier in California. The gates open at 9:30 a.m. and the cost is $3 for members and students; $5 for nonmembers and includes light refreshments.

It’s part of the 2009 Winter Lecture Series at Rancho Los Cerritos historic site that is exploring the Southern California environment. The four-part series runs through April.

Mark your calendars for March 21 to attend a presentation on “The Birds of Spring” and April 18 as “The Nature of Wildworks” brings you up close and personal to amazing birds and mammals native to the Golden State.

The rancho is at 4600 Virginia Road. For information or to make reservations, call 562-570-1755 or visit

February 15 marks opening of Cooper Museum’s Tongva exhibit

The Cooper Museum in Upland, California will hold a special event February 15 to mark the opening of its 2009 Tongva exhibit in the Nichols Gallery.

The opening event will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the museum. There will be ethnic food, entertainment, storytelling and face painting.

The museum and the Gabrieleno Tonga San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians will open the exhibit, "Conversion and Conflict: Missions and Indians."

While the museum has had exhibits about the customs and culture of Indians of the Los Angeles Basin, this exhibit looks at the subject of "missionization" of them by Spanish settlers and church leaders. "The original peoples were cut off from their own ancestral land and went from ‘neophyte’ to slave, to serf, to cheap laborer and finally to almost invisible status."

Cooper Regional History Museum

217 A St
Upland, CA 91786
(909) 982-8010

A short history of Puvungna and California State University, Long Beach

Although more than 40,000 students and faculty attend CSULB today, few know that the land was once an Indian village called Puvungna.

Settled for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years by native Americans, by 1972, Puvungna was all but forgotten. At least until the accidental discovery of the remains of an Indian boy were found by university construction workers that year, according to an article in the college paper, the Union Weekly.

Subsequent research by amateur and professional anthropologists determined that the original village probably spanned most of the hill now covered by the university, the veterans hospital, the remains of Bixby Ranch, as well as many hundreds of homes, a mobile village, a junior high school, and apartments. Today, all that remains is an undeveloped, 22-acre parcel on Bellflower Boulevard, just south of Stearns Street.

While it was rediscovered as an ancient burial site in the early 1970s, it wasn’t until 1979 that Puvungna was commemorated by American Indian students when they reburied the remains of the boy at Puvungna. The site has become a spiritual place for the modern-day Tongva, who believe their god, Chinigchinich, taught from the site.

Puvungna was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Controversy arose in 1992 and 1993, when efforts to develop the grounds into a strip mall and community garden. The plan was strongly opposed by the Tongva, who subsequently founded the “Puvungna Sacred Site Struggle of 1993-1995.”

In 1995, then-CSULB President Robert Maxson vow to never disrupt the Puvungna. Unfortunately, eleven years later, tension resumed between the university and the Tongva when the newly-elected university president, F. King Alexander, no longer recognized the previous treaty.