AKA: Los Alamitos Sugar Company Beet Processing Plant, Los Alamitos, CA

Structure Type: built works - industrial buildings - factories

Designers: Frank Joseph Capitain (architect)

Dates: constructed 1897

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Los Alamitos, CA

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In 1896, former Senator William Clark of Montana, purchased 8,000 acres of land that formerly belonged to the 85,000-acre Los Alamitos Rancho; a year later, he opened a sugar beet processing plant, calling the enterprise, the Los Alamitos Sugar Company; Clark also laid out a company town, Los Alamitos, CA, near to the factory. The Los Alamitos Branch Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad served the new plant. The sugar beet industry was wiped out in Los Alamitos in the 1920s for a variety of reasons. Los Alamitos historian Larry Strawther summarized reasons for the plant's demise: "In 1926, droughts, competition from Cuban sugar, low prices, combined with the persistent nematode parasite ..., made it more efficient for the Clark family, the owners of the Sugar Factory, and the area’s largest farm (the 8,000 acre Montana Ranch) to close the factory and ship their still very substantial sugar beet crop to the Holly Company’s Beet factory in Dyer (now Santa Ana), near Dyer and Edinger Road." (See Larry Strawther, "1926-1943 – After the Sugar – The Los Alamitos Sugar Factory and Dr. Ross,"Accessed 11/22/2013.) While the Clark's plant had to close, the town of Los Alamitos had grown and economically diversified by 1926 sufficiently to survive the collapse.

PCAD id: 4049