Downey is a city located in the territory of California. It is located in Los Angeles County. The city is best known as the birthplace of the Apollo space program. The population of the city of Downey is about 112 000 people.
Before the Spaniards appear in the place where today is located the town of Downey, there were people living here, of the ethnic group Tongva. There were settlements located for the Chokiishnga and Huutnga group of Tongva Indians.
Amid the concentrated population was erected the Tongva Mission of San Gabriel Arcangel in 1771. Five years of severe flooding caused the mission to move to where it is today - in San Gabriel.
In 1784 former soldier Manuel Nieto received a gift parcel of land by Governor Pedro Fages. This was the largest parcel, donated during the Spanish control of California. The plot represents three hundred thousand acres of land. They range from the Santa Ana River to Old San Gabriel River. Today, the rivers are called Rio Hondo and Los Angeles.
Ranch Los Nietos passed a legacy to four children of Manuel Nieto after his death. In 1833 his heirs asked the Mexican Governor José Figueroa to divide the land.
The most northern part was given to the widow of Manuel’s son - Antonio. This part was called Rancho Santa Gertrudes. Santa Gertrudes stretched over twenty-one thousand acres. At the ranch is located Manuel Nieto’s house, where social life developed at that time.
Unlike many other cities in Southern California, Downey boasts that its roots are Irish. The city was founded and then named in honor of the youngest governor of California - John Gately Downey. He was born in Ireland. He was an Irish Democrat, but supported the Republican Lincoln. Downey was a man who was convinced that oranges will grow well in Southern California.
He imported several varieties of orange trees, which brought huge success to the state. In the thirties of the twentieth century Downey city was renowned as the city of oranges. Rail industry invaded the city in 1873 and in the forties of the twentieth century it was known as the cradle of farming.
In 1956 Downey was officially recognized as a city. After World War II, factories and houses in the suburbs sprung up to replace former farms. In the city began to rise offices of NASA and Downey developed at a turbulent pace an aerospace industry. In the nineties of the twentieth century limits in the defense budget reflected very badly on the city of Downey. Over thirty thousand people in the city worked in the aerospace industry, and in 1992 they were less than five thousand employees. In 1999 came the end of the jobs in this area for the city of Downey, after the city having a living mainly from this for many years.
Today in the town of Downey is located Rancho Los Amigos, which is a national center for rehabilitation and is a major rehabilitation hospital within the county of Los Angeles.
In the city of Downey is a farm market, open since 2008. This is the biggest attraction. The market offers a huge amount of fruits and vegetables and other food products. Farmers' markets in Downey work every Saturday.