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Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site

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This is a contributing entry for Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

This UPSTAIRS space (now substantially renovated) was originally the largest room of the house.

  • 1840s-1860s: it was the salón de baile (ballroom) where the Temples entertained friends and business associates.
  • 1860s-1870s: it was the master bedroom for Jotham & Margaret Bixby.
  • 1880s-1920s: it was divided into smaller apartments for various tenants, including the Liera family.
  • 1930s: it became a two-story living room when the house was remodeled.
  • 1990s-2020: RLC showed the lower-level space as the 19th Century parlor (with a false wall and ceiling) and used the far end of the room as archival storage.
  •  2020s: the room was restored to its 1930s appearance, and currently awaits furnishings.

The Murillo/Coronado/Liera family has had a particularly long association with RLC, starting in John Temple’s time until today. Miguel Murillo, whose heritage was both Californio and Indigenous, learned to break horses on John Temple’s ranch as a teenager and then worked as a vaquero for Jotham Bixby. He lived in the adobe after the Bixbys moved out (1881). He moved out of the adobe when his cousin, Julia Coronado, moved in with her husband and children. Eventually, Julia's daughter Concepcion married Manuel Liera (1924), which formally united the families.

During the 1920s, the Liera family rented an apartment in the old adobe that spanned both the upper and lower levels. The upstairs room was demolished during the 1930s renovation, and the downstairs portion no longer looks as it did when Manuel Liera lived here. The upstairs portion was their sleeping area, and the lower portion was their common space. Both Manuel Liera and his father worked as groundskeepers at the Virginia County Club, next door.

Meanwhile, the Coronado family also rented a two-story apartment in the north side of this wing (including the spaces that are now presented as the 1870s dining room, child's bedroom, and master bedroom).

Living Room Balcony

Property, Building, Wood, Floor

1930s "Doorbell" Chimes

Building, Property, Window, Fixture

Manuel & Concepcion Liera (1924)

Sleeve, Coat, Gesture, Plant

Manuel & Concepcion Liera (1994)

Hat, Plant, Smile, Sun hat

Having met in 1922, Concepcion Coronado and Manuel Liera courted for several years. They were married at St. Anthony’s Cathedral in downtown Long Beach in 1924. Their wedding reception took place in the large upstairs room, which was known to them as "Temple's ballroom."

After Manuel Liera and Concepcion Coronado got married, they divided this upstairs space (which at that time was a very large room) by installing a wire across the center, so they could have a front room and a bedroom. According to their oral history, Manuel Liera also built a little kitchen on the south end of the upper veranda and a staircase for access to/from the apartment. They lived here until 1927. They had their first child, Rosie, before moving to a small house on the grounds of the Virginia Country Club.

Manuel and Concepcion Liera came back over the years to visit, once the adobe became a museum. Their 70th wedding anniversary was commemorated at the Rancho in 1994, as covered in local newspapers. Their second child, Agnes, celebrated her 90th birthday here with several generations of the family in 2017. Thus, this family (Murillo/Coronado/Liera) has had a connection to this place from John Temple’s time until today.