Long Beach Parks Honor History and Heroism

October 29, 2017

 

Whaley Park
5620 Atherton St, Long Beach, Ca. 90815

Without Lloyd Whaley, there would be no East Long Beach. So it’s only fitting that he should have a park named after him. However, it wasn’t originally that way. Though Lloyd S. Whaley himself donated the land for the park to the City in 1950, it was originally named Los Altos Recreation Center. In December 1954, the name was changed to Whaley Park in honor of the man who built more than 11,000 single family home residences – or as his advertisements proclaimed, “more than 150 miles of homes” – and turned vast amounts of farmland into the thriving East Long Beach we know today.

 

 

Bluff Park
Ocean Boulevard, Between Loma and Junipero Avenues

There’s no mystery behind the naming of Bluff Park, since it was established on the bluff. The Alamitos Land Company gave this park to the City in 1919. At that time, the population of Long Beach was about 57,000. During World War II, the Navy occupied Bluff Park. It is home to the Long Beach Lone Sailor statue, a bronze statue that overlooks the Pacific Ocean at Paloma Avenue. It was dedicated on December 11, 2004, the 229th anniversary of the creation of the United States Navy. It also commemorated the men and women who bravely gave their lives at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. 
 

 

Hilltop Park
2351 Dawson Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755

Standing approximately 200 feet above sea level, Hilltop Park, also known as Lookout Park, is a hidden gem and favorite local spot for catching the sunset. Not only does the park derive its name from the magnificent views of the city, but also because of the fact that it was the center of the greatest hill of oil fields in California.

 

Bouton Creek Park

East Atherton Street and Tulane Avenue

 

Bouton Creek Park, located on Atherton Street, was named for Civil War veteran Edward Bouton, who was among the many entrepreneurial types in the late 19th Century seeking to exploit the good weather and availability of cheap land to develop in Southern California. Edward wanted to transform an empty farm lot into a thriving city and needed water to do it. He knew there was water in the surrounding area—there had been artesian wells in what is now Artesia and there were even naturally flowing wells in East Long Beach. But there were no naturally flowing springs in the area Edward planned to develop, where the present day Lakewood Country Club Golf Course and surrounding land is located. Edward had the belief that if there was water in the neighboring lands, there must be water at his site too. He took a risk and eventually struck water gold, drilling a gusher that was a phenomenon to behold. The well was dubbed the Bouton Well and for a while, supplied the emerging City of Long Beach with water. Edward developed a water company around his Bouton Well and set aside the idea of building a city or selling real estate, opting to concentrate on running his water company instead. Edward later sold the water company to the City of Long Beach. Bouton Creek Park was donated to the City in 1965 and originally named Atherton Street Park. But as the park follows a portion of the former location of Bouton Creek, which has since been converted into a modern storm drain channel, it was later renamed to honor the original water supplier of Long Beach, Edward Bouton.

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