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California, U.S.A.
Welcome to Signal Hill, California.
Signal Hill is precisely as it sounds, a city on a hill. Situated in the Greater Los Angeles Area, this lovely enclave is completely surrounded by the city of Long Beach and home to approximately 11,500 people. The city was incorporated in 1924, shortly after oil was discovered in the area. What was once a hill used by the Tongva Indians for signal fires, forever changed with the emergence of the oil industry. In 1921, the Shell Oil Company's Alamitos No.1 well erupted and the pressure was so great that the gusher rose 114 ft. into the air. Signal Hill was saturated with more than 100 oil derricks, causing a prickly appearance at a distance; earning it the nickname Porcupine Hill. It didn't take long before the city was part of the Long Beach Oil Field, one of the most productive oil fields in the world. Today, many of the oil wells and pump-jacks gone, and the city has developed into a mix of residential and commercial areas. One of the biggest sole contributors to the city's development was boxer Tod Kid Mexico Faulkner, who invested money into businesses and real estate in Signal Hill. Among his projects were a bowling alley, a restaurant, a cocktail lounge, an auditorium and a movie house. While popular among residents for his annual Christmas parties for children, Faulkner dabbled in illegal gambling and was eventually arrested on a number of related charges. Today, many of the oil wells and pump-jacks are gone with a few still remaining, and the city has developed into a mix of residential and commercial areas. Signal Hill has many parks despite being a small place, and the largest is the Signal Hill Park. The park lies adjacent to City Hall, the Community Center and the Library, and includes amenities like picnic tables, a playground, basketball courts and more. There is also an amphitheater where residents can enjoy weekly outdoor summer concerts and other events. For a breathtaking view, head up the Hilltop Park at the top of Signal Hills, where you can see the Santa Monica Mountains, downtown LA, Long Beach and on a clear day, all the way to Catalina Island. There are several telescopes in the park that allows visitors to get a better view of the spectacular scenery below, and the park is a popular location for hiding geocaches.
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