Descendants of the Three Sisters

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Californios

Californio Ysidro Reyes, shown here in this portrait, lived in Santa Monica Canyon. His father worked a large tract of land extending to what is now Hollywood. Ysidro Reyes was sent by his father to the La Br ea pits to sell tar to the residents of Los Angeles, who used it for their roofs.

Credit: California Historical Society

Californios

A portait of Californio Francis Sepulveda, who owned the 33,000-acre Rancho San Vincente. He settled in Los Angeles in 1815 and was granted title to his ranchos in 1839.

Credit: California Historical Society

Californios

Henri Penelon painted this portrait of Californio Don Jose Sepulveda, owner of Rancho San Juaquin, on his horse, Black Swan.

Credit: California Historical Society

Tongva Native Americans

These Native American artifacts were found in Topanga Canyon in the early 1900s.The Tongva, or Gabrielino, people were the first inhabitants of the Santa Monica area.

Credit: Santa Monica Public Library

Tongva Native Americans

Mrs. James V. Rosemeyre of the Tongva, or Gabrielino people, who are indiginous to the Santa Monica area.

Topanga Canyon

Looking south down Topanga Canyon. The Santa Monica Mountains and beach were formed millions of years ago from the eastward-moving Pacific Plate and the westward-moving North American Plate.

Credit: Security Pacific Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

Topanga Canyon

Seventeen miles north of Santa Monica, Frederick Hastings Rindge bought all the property in Malibu and north of Malibu for $0.25 an acre. Rindge hauled his lemons to the pier to ships and claimed they were the “best lemons in the world.”

Credit: Security Pacific Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

    The unique physical landscape of Santa Monica and its beach is the result of millions of years of tectonic plate movement that formed natural wonders such as the coastal mountain ranges, the Los Angeles Basin, and the Sierra Nevada. Santa Monica State Beach lies along the edge of these massive geological formations. Early inhabitants of Santa Monica were a non aggressive people who had an intimate connection with the natural world.

     The Tongva, or Gabrielino, people were among the densely populated cultures of California that first greeted the Europeans. The Californios, Mexican rancheros who received land grants from the Mexican government, followed the Tongva as the first private landowners of Santa Monica. Descendants of the Californios Francisco Sepulveda, Ysidro Reyes, and Francisco Marquez remain in the Santa Monica area.