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How to Use the Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



Photo 1 & Drawing 1
Photos 2–4
Photo 5


Table of

Visual Evidence

Drawing 2: Floor plan of Rancho Los Alamitos.
[Graphic] Drawing 2 with link to higher quality drawing.

Drawing 2 indicates the evolution of the original adobe into the Bixby ranch house.

Phase 1: Original adobe.
Phase 2: Changes made by Abel Stearns in the 1850s, shortly after California became part of the United States.
Phase 3: Small additions made by the Bixby family between 1878–87.
Phase 4: Changes made between 1887–1925.
Phase 5: Last changes made by the Bixby family.

Questions for Drawing 2

1. Examine phase 1, which shows the original adobe. What do you notice about the thickness of the walls? Why was this the case? What can you surmise about the occupants' way of life from examining this original portion?

2. Examine phases 1 and 2 together. What do you notice about the thickness of the walls in phase 2? What might have accounted for the change in construction methods? How do the additional rooms reflect a change in the living habits of the occupants?

3. Examine phases 1, 2, 3, and 4 together. How have the functions of some rooms changed? Which changes might have been the result of the increasing prosperity of the ranch?

4. Examine the plan as a whole. What indications are there that the ranch continued to prosper? Which changes do you think were made for the comfort of the Bixby family and which for utilitarian purposes?

* The drawing on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Drawing 2, but be aware that the file will take as much as 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.



Comments or Questions

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