Friday, January 18, 2008

The Begining

The start of Bell Gardens' history begins with the Lugo Family and its impressive San Antonio Ranch Land Grant received by the first Lugo in California, Francisco Salvador Lugo, from King Carlos V of Spain, amounting to 29,514 acres in 1771, as recompense for his military services during the establishment of the Franciscan Missions in California and the attendant colonization of the area.

While stationed at San Antonio de Padua Mission near Salinas, California, his most famous child, Don Antonio Maria Lugo, was born in 1783; one of nine children born to the couple. Under Don Antonio Maria's stewardship the rancho prospered. Cattle was numbered by the thousands. Two of his sons received Land Grants in San Bernardino County. several adobe homes were built by him in the Grant; one he erected before 1810 is still standing at 7000 E. Gage, Bell Gardens, now known as the Gage Mansion.

One of his nine children, who married familiar well-known names in the County, Vicente, built the 2 story adobe home in 1850 at 6360 E. Gage which burned down in September of 1983.

A dauthgter of Don Antonio married Stephen C. Foster who served as Mayor of Los Angeles in 1854 and 1856, who allegedly lived in an adobe house just east of 6820 Foster Bridge Road, now marked by a parking lot. A grand daughter of Antonio Maria Lugo, married Wallace Woodworth, early day merchant and civic leader, in Los Angeles, whose eldest son Joseph Woddworth built in 1924 the imposing 2 story colonial style house at 6820 Foster Bridge.

by: Madeline Barberena
updated by: Raymundo Corona

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