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Pico’s roots run deep in old Whittier

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – While most Whittier residents would associate their city’s history with the Quakers, one family claims their ancestors settled the area long before the city was founded in 1887. Whittier resident Carlos Santos Hartnell, 85, says he can trace his family roots back to the last governor of Mexican California – Pio Pico. Hartnell’s mother, Leonora “Nora” Zuniga Hartnell, was the great-great-granddaughter of Bernardino Guirado, one of the first settlers of the Los Nietos and Whittier areas. Guirado’s sister, Maria de Jesus, married John G. Downey, the namesake of the city of Downey, according to a Whittier Historical Society article by Virginia Mathony. Guirado also was known for his much-patronized Pioneer Store, located on what is now Los Nietos Road and Norwalk Boulevard. The Pioneer Store became a convenient place to stop for supplies for people traveling north along a path that ran from the Pacific Ocean to Workman’s Mill. The “North Walk” eventually was shortened to “Nor’walk” and became Norwalk Boulevard. “My mother was born in the old Mission in Whittier Narrows,” Hartnell said. “Now it’s the San Gabriel Mission.” Hartnell still lives next door to the 1840s house on Pasadena Street in Whittier in which he was born and where his granddaughter now resides. The house was originally owned by Guirado when it was located behind his Pioneer Store, but Hartnell’s mother bought it for $200 and moved it to Pasadena Street in 1905, according to a tax receipt for the house. Hartnell’s great grandfather was Edwardo Poyorena Sr., the constable of Los Nietos, who was on the first board of trustees for the Los Nietos Unified School District – an entity which he and his wife, Maria Colima Sanchez, helped to create. Poyorena also served on the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors from 1866 to 1869. Tim Miguel, Nora Hartnell’s great-grandson, has helped put together a family tree from his research. “Nora was related to Don Gaspar Zuniga, the viceroy for Mexico in the state of Monterey from 1595 to 1603,” Miguel said. “Unfortunately, we don’t hear about this history around here very much. You mainly hear about Whittier, Temple, Downey, but nothing about the Poyorenas.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029last_img read more

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