Until the early 1920s California Heights was part of the Bixby Ranch (now Rancho Los Cerritos) and was used primarily as grazing land. It was the discovery of oil on Signal Hill and the ensuing land boom in 1921 that caused the Jotham Bixby Company to subdivide and sell off lots in the California Heights tract. In 1927, California Heights included Chateau Thierry (the subdivision on the west side of California Avenue) and petitioned the City of Long Beach for paved streets, sidewalks, curbs and ornamental lighting. The California Heights-Chateau Thierry area grew rapidly, with approximately 250 families moving into the neighborhood between 1925 and 1927. The area continued to attract new families, and by 1939 most of the building was complete.