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We haven’t forgotten about all of those undiscovered locales in SoCal. We were doing body shots and beer bongs in South Padre for spring break last week. Anyway, this week we're back and head to the small wonder of Signal Hill.

Those Spanish settlers were quite ingenious when they named the hill from which Native Americans signaled other tribes on Catalina Island. They creatively called it (translated) “Signal Hill.” Since smoke signals have gone out of fashion as a communication mechanism, Signal Hill has grown into a quaint community of 2.2 square miles floating in a sea of Long Beach. This South Bay city of approximately 11,000 is on a hill surrounded strangled, or hugged if you prefer, on all sides by Long Beach. Residents have “charming” views of the Port of Long Beach, the Long Beach airport, and freeways.

By the turn of the 20th Century, some pretty nice houses sat atop our charming little hill, but Almighty Oil appeared and oil drills replaced homes (the photo above is from 1923). The decision turned out to be a good one: the oil well is still gushing away and is one of the most productive in the world. Fearing a per-barrel oil tax from Long Beach, the formerly unincorporated area of Signal Hill incorporated in 1924 and has history of being a progressive city. We’re not so sure about that, but it does claim that it elected the first female mayor in California. According to another source, it is also the only city in the U.S. to be completely surrounded by one other city. We certainly hope that Long Beach doesn’t have any imperialistic tendencies.
· History of Signal Hill [City of Signal Hill]
· SIgnal Hill [Wikipedia]
· Signal Hill [Beach California]