History of El Sereno


A couple of historical corrections may be in order on the El Sereno profile (“Price, Convenience, Friendliness Exert Pull,” Feb. 16) that indicated the community began 160 years ago as Rancho Rosa de Castillo after a river that once ran through the area.

A historical marker in place at Cal State L.A. and data in the university’s archives identifies the region as Rancho Rosa Castilla (Rose of Castile), a name inspired by native wild roses that grew near an adobe home acquired by Basque farmer Juan Bautista (not Batista) Batz who had immigrated from the Castile region of northern Spain.

The river, actually a creek, had no name and is today enclosed in a flood control channel that parallels the eastern boundary of the campus.



San Diego

The writer is a former public affairs officer at Cal State L.A. who conducted extensive research on the campus and El Sereno district, including exhaustive interviews with (then) living members of the Batz family.