North Inglewood

CITY OF CHAMPIONS

Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, southwest of downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 109,673. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. The city is in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles Area. Los Angeles Entertainment Center is under construction in the city and when finished around 2019 will be the home of the Los Angeles Rams, which moved back to the Los Angeles area in 2016 (the Rams former and current home from 1946 to 1994 and again since 2016).

The earliest residents of what is now Inglewood were Native Americans who used the natural springs in today’s Edward Vincent Jr. Park (known for most of its history as Centinela Park). Local historian Gladys Waddinghamwrote that these springs took the name Centinela from the hills that rose gradually around them and which allowed ranchers to watch over their herds “(thus the name centinelas or sentinels)”.

Waddingham traced the written history of Inglewood back to the original settlers of Los Angeles in 1781, one of whom was the Spanish soldier Jose Manuel Orchado Machado, “a 23-year-old muleteer from Los Alamos in Sinaloa”. These settlers, she wrote, were ordered by the officials of the San Gabriel Mission “to graze their animals on the ocean side of Los Angeles in order not to infringe on Mission lands.” As a result, the settlers, or pobladores, drove some of their cattle to the “lush pasture lands near Centinela Springs,” and the first construction there was done by one Ygnacio Avila, who received a permit in 1822 to build a “corral and hut for his herders.”

Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela Adobe, 1889

Later Avila constructed a three-room adobe on a slight rise overlooking the creek that ran from Centinela Springs all the way to the ocean. According to the LAOkay web site, this adobe was built where the present baseball field is in the park. It no longer exists.

In 1834 Ygnacio Machado, one of the sons of Jose Machado, built the Centinela Adobe, which sits on a rise above the present 405 San Diego Freeway and is used as the headquarters of the Centinela Valley Historical Society. Two years later, Waddingham writes, Ygnacio was granted the 2,220-acre (9.0 km2) Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela even though this land had already been claimed by Avila.


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