Blogger Larry Strawther has started what he calls the Los Alamitos-Rossmoor History Project, featuring a wide variety of articles about the area's past. He emailed me about this new site awhile ago, but I lost the message (along with all my other email) when my hard drive crashed. Anyway, mosey on over and check it out.
Today's image comes from an old City of Los Alamitos promotional brochure. They take a bit of liberty in declaring their city "founded" with the first "Spanish Grant" in 1784. The town sprang up in the late 1890s, supporting the nearby sugar factory. The city wasn't incorporated until 1960.
Also, as we historical folk like to point out, there were no actual Spanish land grants. Grazing rights might be granted for a particular area, but the King of Spain owned all Spanish territory. (In 1784, retired soldier Manuel Nieto was given such rights on land that included the Los Alamitos area.) It wasn't until the Mexican government was in charge that California land was actually granted to citizens.
That said, I do like the jaunty, hand-painted, "Welcome to," part of the sign. And it's interesting that they chose a more motherly, less cheese-cakey woman to stand next to their sign. Whether that was planned or not, it certainly fit the family-friendly middle-class vibe Orange County exuded in the middle part of the 20th Century.