Durham’s Place-Names of Greater Los Angeles: Includes Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Countiesby David L. Durham
• The pueblo that became the city was established in 1781 as “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de la Porciuncula.” A hill located less than 1,000 feet from Los Angeles city hall was used as a base during the first American occupation of Los Angeles in 1846. Lieutenant Davidson built Fort Moore there in 1847 and named it… See more details below
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• The pueblo that became the city was established in 1781 as “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de la Porciuncula.” A hill located less than 1,000 feet from Los Angeles city hall was used as a base during the first American occupation of Los Angeles in 1846. Lieutenant Davidson built Fort Moore there in 1847 and named it to honor Captain Benjamin D. Moore, who was killed in battle at San Pasqual in 1846.
• Ventura County’s Pitas Point gets its name from los pitos which means “the whistles” in Spanish. Gaspar de Portola gave this designation to an Indian village at the place in 1769 after members of his party were kept awake at night by noise that Indians made with pipes or whistles.
• Bob Waterman, his wife Liz, and Perry Switzer climbed an unnamed 8,038-foot mountain in 1889. The men named it “Lady Waterman Mountain” for Liz, whom they believed was the first white woman to cross the San Gabriel Mountains, but over time, the name became simply Mount Waterman.
• Promoters laid out a subdivision in present-day Orange County in 1887 called San Juan-by-the-Sea, but the development failed. It was revived in 1925 under the name “Capistrano Beach,” and eventually the E.L. Doheny interests took over the enterprise.
...just a taste from the scads of fascinating facts to be mined from Durham’s Place-Names of Greater Los Angeles.
This gazetteer, one of fourteen volumes in the Durham’s Place-Names of California Series, is derived from California’s Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State, David L. Durham’s definitive gazetteer of California. Each volume of the series contains the complete body of entries contained in California’s Geographic Names for the counties covered.
Thousands of topographic features, such as ridges, peaks, canyons and valleys; water features, such as streams, lakes, waterfalls, and springs; and cultural features, such as cities, towns, crossroads and railroad sidings are included. Many entries include information about who named the feature, when and why, as well as alternate or obsolete names. A complete bibliography of sources is included.
Longitude and latitude are given for each feature, a boon to hikers wishing to use GPS devices to keep on track to their destinations.
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