Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden History of Ownership



  • 500BC A native village later identified by Hugo Reid as Aleupkigna (place of many waters) is established near the natural lake on today’s Arboretum’s site.


  • 1771 Mission San Gabriel is founded. Native inhabitants are referred to as Gabrielinos and establish an agricultural outpost of the Mission on today’s Arboretum site.


  • 1839 Hugo & Victoria Reid applied for a land grant for Rancho Santa Anita and was approved for that grant by Governor Pio Pico in 1845.


  • 1847 Henry Dalton purchases Rancho Santa Anita from Hugo Reid for $2,700.

  • 1854 Dalton sells Rancho Santa Anita to Joseph Rowe for $33,000.


  • 1858 Rowe sells Rancho Santa Anita at a loss to Albert Dibblee and William Corbitt.


  • 1865 William Wolfskill purchases 11,319 acres of Rancho Santa Anita for $20,000.


  • 1872 William’s son Luis Wolfskill sell about 8,500 acres of Rancho Santa Anita, including the lakeside property, to Harris Newmark for $85,000.


  • 1875 Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin purchases Rancho Santa Anita for $200,000.


  • 1877 Baldwin renovates the Hugo Reid Adobe, creating an 8-room, L-shaped home with a new wooden wing attached to the old adobe structure.

  • 1909 Lucky Baldwin dies of pneumonia in his Adobe home.


  • 1936 Anita Baldwin sells the remaining 1,300 acres of Rancho Santa Anita to Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times.


  • 1936 Chandler’s real estate organization, Rancho Santa Anita, Inc. undertakes subdivision -47 of the old ranch lands.


  • 1947 With the urging from Dr. Samuel Ayres’ Arboretum Committee of the Southern California Horticultural Institute, the State of California and County of Los Angeles jointly purchase 111 acres from Rancho Santa Anita, Inc. to create an arboretum around the Baldwin home site.

  • 1953 Two additional parcels of land are purchased along Baldwin Avenue and increased the size -55 of the Arboretum to its present 127 acres.


  • 1955 The Arboretum formerly opens to the public on January 9th.


  • 1994 The State of California relinquished title and control of the Arboretum solely to the County of Los Angeles and the official name becomes Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.