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History of San Gabriel
 City Hall Tile  City Name Tile  Mission Tile

Birthplace of the Los Angeles Region

The City of San Gabriel is a unique, special place. The events that have taken place in San Gabriel for 238 years, and the kaleidoscope of peoples and cultures who have called San Gabriel home, have shaped our community into a rich, fascinating modern city.

With the founding of the Mission San Gabriel Archangel in 1771, San Gabriel became the heart and soul of the Los Angeles region and this great Valley that bears its name. The Mission San Gabriel, “Pride of the California Missions,” has long been a center for culture and art, and is the fourth of the California Missions built in Father Junipero Serra’s chain of 21 California Missions.

Diversity is not new to San Gabriel. From its earliest days, San Gabriel has been a place for peoples of different cultures, beliefs, and values to come together.

The community was created when Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish priest, and the Gabrielino-Tongva Indians came together to build a magnificent Mission in 1771, located in the mid-west portion of the City within the City’s historic core, known as the San Gabriel Mission District. The District contains City Hall, San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, and several other historic buildings and sites, which exhibit Spanish, Native American, and early American history.

Since its founding, San Gabriel has opened its doors to people of all races and cultures. One of our community’s greatest strengths is its diversity.

This enduring and rich history has allowed the City to grow with pride, vision, and imagination. By 1852, after American occupation, San Gabriel had become one of the first townships in the County of Los Angeles. When the 1860 census was taken, there were only 586 persons listed. The City of San Gabriel was incorporated as a City on April 24, 1913, with a population of 1,500.

Read more about our city's history.
Come join us for San Gabriel's Historical Walk