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Welcome to Montebello, California.
Montebello is a city located in the southwestern area of the San Gabriel Valley, just 8 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The city, which is considered part of the Gateway Cities, belongs to the Los Angeles County and is home to around 63,500 people. Montebello means beautiful mountain in Italian, and the city has a long and rich history. When Spanish explorer Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo arrived off the shores of Santa Catalina in 1542, the Tongva Indians inhabited the land. The language of the Tongva differed from neighboring tribes, and hence the Spanish called it Gabrielino. Sadly, because many non-natives arrived and brought foreign diseases, much of the indigenous population had died from illness by 1870. In 1771, the Franciscan missionaries Father Angel Somera and Father Pedro Cambon founded the original Mission San Gabriel Acangel on the location near today's intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and the Rio Hondo River. The establishment is historically significant because it marked the beginning of the Los Angeles region's settlement by Spaniards. The mission thrived as a farm and cattle ranch, but unfortunately a flood wiped it out six years after its inception. The mission fathers relocated to present day San Gabriel, but the original site is memorialized as a California Historical Landmark. The city of Montebello thrived as a production hub for flowers, berries, fruits and vegetable, and incorporated Montebello in 1920. In honor of its agricultural background, the city's official seal contains a red poinsettia in the center. Modern day Montebello features a beautiful rolling landscape, and the Montebello Parks and Recreation Division provides numerous recreational amenities for every age. Their mission statement is Creating Community Through People, Parks & Recreation. Kids may especially enjoy a day at the Grand Rea Park, which houses the Montebello Barnyard Zoo and offers pony rides, train rides and a merry go round. The park is also home to the Montebello Batting Cages, with 6 hitting cages, and hardball, fast-pitch and lobs softball machines. The oldest park is Montebello City Park, which was once home to quiet fishponds, and now features the highly rated Montebello Skateboard Park. History buffs may want to stop by the Sanchez Adobe Park, which is home to the Juan Matias Sanches Adobe; the oldest standing structure in the city, built in 1845.
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