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Parks Make Life Better
Los Alamitos (Spanish for “The Little Cottonwoods”) is a city in Orange County, California. The city was incorporated in March 1960. The population was 11,449 at the 2010 census, down from 11,536 at the 2000 census. The adjacent unincorporated community of Rossmoor uses Los Alamitos in its mailing address, but is not part of the city. The Los Alamitos Race Course is named for the city, but lies in the neighboring city of Cypress.
The USA Water Polo National Aquatic Center is located on the Joint Forces Training Base – Los Alamitos.
The town of Los Alamitos was established in 1896 by Lewellyn Bixby to support the new sugar beet factory in town built by the extremely wealthy Clark Brothers. William Andrews Clark, a future Senator from Montana, had built his fortune in mining, banking and logging in that state. His younger brother, J. Ross Clark, managed their operations in California after he moved to that state for health reasons. Lewellyn Bixby, whose family owned the surrounding land on the Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos, had been trying to build a sugar beet factory in that area for a few years but, due to financial losses in the 1880s, he no longer had the financial capital to undertake the sugar beet factory complex on his own. Bixby had made his fortune back in the 1850s when he and his cousins Benjamin and Thomas Flint, formed Flint, Bixby & Co. which became a thriving entity in mutton and wool, all originally housed on the Rancho San Justo, south of San Jose. After making an additional fortune from selling wool to the government during the Civil War, the Flints and Bixby bought up many properties in Southern California. One was the future Irvine Ranch and another was the Rancho Los Cerritos which makes up much of the western half of Long Beach. Flint, Bixby hired Lewellyn’s younger brother Jotham to manage the Cerritos. When Flint, Bixby broke up Lewellyn assumed their Southern California properties and moved to Los Angeles and became the senior partner in his operations with his brother Jotham.
Just prior to and during early World War II, the area around Los Alamitos became a major center for the aircraft industry. The Clark heirs arranged for Donald Douglas to begin construction of a major aircraft plant just north of the Long Beach airport . At the same time the Navy decided it needed an auxiliary airfield for its Reserve Training facility at the increasingly crowded Airport. A touch and go field was built on the level ground just east of Los Alamitos in August 1940. This was the first military post in Orange County. In February 1941, the Navy decided to move all their reserve aviation training from Long Beach and purchased what would become a 1300-acre facility. Trainees and cadre began using the new facilities as early as November 1941, but it wasn’t until May 1942 that NRAB Long Beach formally transitioned all operations to NRAB Los Alamitos. The new base provided many jobs and spurred growth in the town. After World War II, NRAB Los Alamitos was the busiest reserve air base in the nation for a while, especially during the Korean War, but by the late 1950s encroaching surrounding suburban residential development began to curtail its activity. The Navy moved out in 1972 and in 1973, the California National Guard took over management of the base, re-designated an Armed Forces Reserve Center. Today, it is a reserve support center for units of the Army, Navy, National Guard and Marines, but is also a home to many other government agencies, including Homeland Security, FEMA and the State of California Office of Emergency Services.
The small city has been the hometown for a number of noted athletes including baseball Hall of Famer Bob Lemon(although he spent more time in Long Beach), and Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby. The Los Alamitos youth baseball leagues, which began in 1958 as the Rossmoor Little League and, after moving its fields to the Navy base, eventually changed its name to Los Alamitos Youth baseball – LAYB) has been home to many future major leaguers including Andy Messersmith, who challenged baseball’s reserve clause and helped established free agency in professional sports . At one point in the late 1980s, six former league players were playing baseball in the major leagues—Robb Nen, J. T. Snow, Greg Harris, Dennis Lamp, Greg Pirkl, and Mike Kelly. The area is also home to record holding long distance swimmer Lynne Cox. It was also home to California Supreme Court Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas while he served on the Court, and to award-winning mystery writer Jan Burke.
Member of the California Newspaper Association
Member of the California Newspaper Association
We are a local independent weekly newspaper group serving Orange County, published every Friday. We are not owned or operated by any of the big daily newspapers. The views and opinions expressed are those of the publisher and not any organization. No reproduction, in whole or in part is permitted without the express written permission of Orange County Newspapers. Legal Advertising: We have been adjudicated by the Orange County Superior Court as a newspaper of general circulation pursuant to Government Code 6000 case #A202554 on July 6, 2000 and as such is the appropriate newspaper to place legal and public notices for the Orange County Judicial Districts.
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Coto de Caza, California 92679