“Los Angeles River and agriculture” 1900 – Security Pacific National Bank Collection (Order Number 00030885) This early photo shows the Los Angeles River and surrounding farmlands near Elysian Park, looking toward Cypress Park and Glassell Park. The river afforded abundance to newly-arrived farmers in Los Angeles, as it always has for Gabrieleño Tongva, Fernandeño Tataviam, and Ventureño Chumash peoples. All enjoyed the ready water supply and richer alluvial soils. In the mid nineteenth century, grape vines would flourish near Vernon, eventually becoming wine that would be shipped to French royalty. Other crops included alfalfa, oranges, apples, peaches, pears, strawberries, walnuts, blackberries, grains, and vegetables. Farming by newcomers to the growing city jeopardized the river with over-extraction of water, the digging of canals for irrigation, and land clearing that destabilized the riverbanks causing erosion.

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