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Forgotten French Colony of 19th Century L.A. and the SFV - presented by Dinna Rivera-Pitt

April 15th at 7:00 p.m. - at the Andres Pico Adobe.

There was a time when French was the second most-commonly spoken language in Los Angeles, after Spanish. Why did Los Angeles hold such an attraction for people from France? Many came from the Basque region, including Miguel Leonis who at one time was a major landowner in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas. How did the French help develop what was then a rough and tumble town? Why did so many of them settle in the Valley? Our April speaker, Dinna Rivera-Pitt, will share what happened and what has been the legacy of this interesting time in our local history.

Dinna Rivera-Pitt is the Historian and Curator at the Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas. She received a B.A. in Classical Civilization from UCLA and an M.A. with Distinction in History from CSUN. Her graduate research focused on both early California History and Ancient History. Her award-winning research on French Basque rancho owners of the San Fernando Valley was published in the prestigious California History, the state’s official historical journal. Her current research focuses on the French population of 19th century Los Angeles and its role in the city’s formation. Dinna is an entertaining and lively speaker who will take us on a fascinating journey to this little-known chapter in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley history.


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