Once part of a 300,000-acre land grant from the Spanish Crown, Rancho Los Alamitos began as the nearly 30,000-acre inheritance of Juan Jose Nieto, who sold the land to Governor Figueroa. Deeded to the City of Long Beach in 1967, the historic site has been reduced to 7.5 acres and includes the original adobe home and four acres of historic gardens. When John and Susan Bixby arrived in 1878, the outdoor living space developed organizational habits that continue to this day.
Daughter-in-law Florence Green Bixby moved into the ranch house in 1906, and hired Pasadena landscape architect Florence Yoch to design a gazebo and belvedere walk around 1922. Five years later, Olmsted Brothers was commissioned to design a walled garden. They also developed an Oleander Walk, designed to screen out the encroaching industrial city. Today the understated elegance and modest domestic tranquility of the ranch includes a collection of garden spaces, including the Cactus, Cutting, Friendly, Rose, and Jacaranda Gardens, the Oleander and Geranium Walks, and the Cypress Steps, as well as a Native Garden, designed in 1929 by landscape architect Paul Howard and native plant expert Allen Chickering.
Rancho Los Alamitos was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.