great place to take your kids in the San Fernando Valley is Los Encinos
State Historic Park. You can feed the ducks at the pond for a
quarter. Lay on the cool grass and listen to the fountain.
If you’re lucky, you may see the Turtle King sunning on the shore.
Los Encinos State Historic Park, in Los Angeles California sits near
the intersection of Ventura and Balboa Blvds in the San Fernando
Valley. This buildings have undergone major earthquake
restoration and will 'reopen' on Sunday, July 22. I thought it
would be fun to put up a few photos I took on my last visit
there. It is small, as State Parks go, but is a beautiful little
oasis right off busy Ventura Blvd.
Brief History of
The Park sits on the
ancestral lands of the Tongva Nation. The surrounding area was
the site of a huge settlement extending under Ventura Blvd. and the
office buildings across and down the street. The numerous oak
trees provided acorns for bread and other food. A spring on the
land was a water source for the village. Los Encinos is at the
northernmost boundary of the Tongva, whose ancestral lands extend
south past Laguna Beach. In the lands north of the Tongva lived the
Chumash, whose region extends north past Gaviota.
Explorers originally named the village 'Los Encinos' after the numerous
oak trees growing in the area. Later, the area became known as
the 'Lost City of Los Encinos'. The Tongva were split up and
renamed the "Fernandenio" and "Gabrielino" Indians after the missions
they were sent to by the Spanish.
Los Encinos State Historic Park has a FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/LosEncinosSHP
The California Bell denotes this
as as stop on Old Spain's King's Road (El
Camino Real). Ventura Blvd. was part of this old indian footpath
followed by Portola and other Spanish explorers on their way north. The
road starts in San Diego and ends in San Francisco. I found an
interesting site about the California
Bells at CAHighways.
The next time you're on a trip along the 101, it might be a fun idea to
see how many State Bells you can find along the way!
Here's my glamor shot of the two buildings.
De La Osa Adobe, built in 1849 is in the foreground. In the
background, under a towering date palm is the two story Garnier
Building, built after 1868.
Here's a not-so glamorous storage house. It is made of limestone, not
adobe, so it doesn't need to have a protective layer of whitewash.
California Pepper (Schinus) trees grow on the grounds. Pepper is a pretty (albeit messy) tree
with lacy leaves and long clusters of white flowers that turn into the
red berries of commercial pepper fame. The wood smells spicy and the branches
droop down like willow trees. The trunk becomes gnarled and the
branches grow in interesting directions.
Another idyllic view of Los Encinos. The trees near the benches
are olive. In the background are pine trees. Both were a
vital source of food.
Los Encinos Links
Official Los Encinos State
Encinos Docents Association
Los Encinos Page
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