Located on the beautiful Southern California coast within Orange County, Huntington Beach, CA is a beautiful community that boasts of a rich history going back to before the coming of the European settlers who arrived here towards the end of the 18th century. The city is located a little over 30 miles from the heart of Los Angeles city and is named in honor of Henry E. Huntington, one of the richest and most influential pioneer settlers in the area. This beach city has a fast-growing population that is expected to be in excess of 200,000 people by 2020, a figure that will make Huntington Beach the most populous and fastest-growing waterfront on town in Orange County and one of the most populous cities in the local Metro-Statistical Area.
Walking down history lane, the area that came to be modern-day Huntington Beach city was originally a territory occupied by Tongva tribesmen. The European settlers didn't arrive until the mid-1780s when Spanish military man, Manuel Nieto, was granted over 300,000 acres as a reward for his service in the military and as a way of encouraging more people to settle in the Spanish colonial territory of Alta California. This land was known as Rancho Los Nietos. Even after Nieto's land was reduced to avoid disputes with Mission San Gabriel in 1790, he still owned a big stretch of land running from the Santa Ana River all the way to the current Los Angeles River and from the hilly northern part of Whittier to the Pacific Ocean.
The only notable thoroughfare that existed during the early stages of the City's development was a simple cattle route that headed right into the heart of Rancho Los Nietos. Henry E. Huntington came into the picture when the city, then under the name Pacific City, granted him enormous power in the area in exchange for access to the elusive Pacific Electric Red Car lines. This corporate sponsorship went a long way in boosting the city's development and popularity.
Prior to the discovery of oil within the city's premises in the early 1900s, Huntington Beach was a prominent agricultural community Holly Sugar being one of the main employers in the area. Upon the discovery of oil, Holly Sugar's processing plant was turned into an oil refinery. Despite the end of an era in oil production and processing, oil pumps can still be seen in various locations within what is now a prominent residential community.
Throughout its history from its era under the Spanish settlers, Huntington Beach has undergone around six name changes with the most recent ones before Huntington Beach being Pacific City, and Fairview.
Return to Coastline's homepage here.