The Story of Cerritos: A History in Progress

written by Marilyn Cenovich, 1995

Every place has a “history.” Someone had to explore and settle it. The geography and the climate affected the settlers, and they in turn adapted the land to their needs. We look at Cerritos now and find very few traces of the people who lived here before us. Modern needs have erased the past. The land has been here for a long time and many different people have lived on it in different ways. Each has added to Cerritos' “history.”

We are also part of a rich historical region. Governments have changed from Spanish, to Mexican, to that of the United States. The State of California was founded. Decisions made in Madrid, Mexico City, Washington, Monterey, and Sacramento have in turn affected our area. As the Southern California region has been developed and as Los Angeles has become one of the world's great commercial centers, Cerritos has changed and grown. This is a sketch of Cerritos' story.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Geography, Climate and Natural History
Chapter 2 Spanish Exploration and Settlement
Chapter 3 Ranches under Spanish, Mexican, and American Rule
Chapter 4 Farms and Towns Replace Cattle; Early Artesia
Chapter 5 1900-1950 -Artesia Grows and Becomes a Dairy Center
Chapter 6 Dairy Valley Becomes a City for Cows
Chapter 7 Zoning Changes and a New Name -Cerritos
Chapter 8 1976-1986 -Growth, Development and an Unnatural Disaster
Chapter 9 1987-1996 - A decade of difficulties and satisfaction

Cerritos Library Home Page