Downey, California

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Downey is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, 21 km (13 miles) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 107,323.



Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in Alta California, the area that now comprises Downey was inhabited by the Tongva ethnic group, which came to be called the Gabrielino by the Spanish.

Spanish colonial history of the area today known as Downey dates back to 1771 with the founding of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, a California State historical landmark. The founding of the mission and mission lands establishes the birthplace of the modern Los Angeles region.

In 1784, Governor Pedro Fages granted to former soldier Manuel Nieto (1734–1804) the largest of the land concessions made during the Spanish control of California. Its 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) stretched from the Santa Ana River on the east to the Old San Gabriel River (now the Rio Hondo and Los Angeles River) on the west, and from the mission highway (approximately Whittier Boulevard) on the north to the ocean on the south. Its acreage was slightly reduced later at the insistence of Mission San Gabriel on whose lands it infringed. The Spanish concessions, of which 25 were made in California, were unlike the later Mexican land grants in that title was not transferred, but were similar to grazing permits, with the title remaining with the Spanish crown.[1]

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