Interesting map fragment from year 1857

or 1858.  I found it at the Library of Congress while looking around.

It looks like there's only one outflow at San Pedro, whereas more modern maps have the LA river where the Rio San Gabriel is on this map and the San Gabriel River / Coyote Creek flowing into Long Beach, just south.  Poor information? Change in river course?  Human intervention?  Things to ponder.


  1. I really like looking at old maps. It's interesting what happens to free flowing rivers in the modern era. The San Diego River used to flow into two different bays, depending on the year, but something that indecisive of course doesn't work for modern land use planning, and it's been channelized into this long ditch that ends at the ocean.

  2. The LA and San Gabriel Rivers changed coarse a few times. The LA once flowed west into Santa Monica Bay then changed to flow south into the San Gabriel (as in the map). Today's Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro and Wilmington was the delta region of the San Gabriel. The old coarse of the San Gabriel north of the LA is now the Rio Hondo.