California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. That year 27 original counties were created; since then boundaries have been redrawn to form new counties, bringing the total to 58.
Today, Los Angeles County is immensely populated. In 1850 Los Angeles County–which included portions of today’s Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties—had 3,530 residents. Abel Stearns, an American who had married into one of the old, aristocratic Spanish families, owned Rancho Los Alamitos. His wife’s first name was Arcadia.