Native American Time Period

Native American

Santa Fe Springs was once the home of the Tongva People, a highly successful tribe. This tribe established a village near the hot springs that once bubbled at the corner of Telegraph Road and Norwalk Blvd. Waterways that no longer exist connected the Tongva with other villages located throughout Southern California. Good weather, plentiful game and a wealth of plant material enabled this tribe to flourish and develop a complex society. The Tongva People thrived until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s. Forced labor ended hunting and gathering traditions of these natives. Their diet was changed to a less nutritious one, and diseases like small pox nearly made the tribe extinct. Even their name was changed; they became known as the Gabrieleños. An exhibit about their culture before the arrival of the Spanish covers a one acre site at Heritage Park.

"Totem" by Michael Amescua, 1999