Great Value for Malibu Landlords
Malibu was originally settled by the Chumash, Native Americans whose territory extended loosely from the San Joaquin Valley to San Luis Obispo to Malibu, as well as several islands off the southern coast of California. They named it "Humaliwo" or "the surf sounds loudly". The city's name derives from this, as the "Hu" syllable is not stressed.
The village of Humaliwo was located next to Malibu Lagoon and was an important regional center in prehistoric times. The village, which is identified as CA-LAN-264, was occupied from approximately 2,500 BCE. It was the second-largest Chumash coastal settlement by the Santa Monica Mountains, with just Muwu (Point Mugu) being more populated. A total of 118 individuals were baptized in Humaliwo. Humaliwo was considered an important political center, but there were also additional minor settlements in today’s Malibu. One village, known as Ta’lopop, was located few miles up Malibu Canyon from Malibu Lagoon. Research have shown that Humaliwo (Malibu) had ties to other villages in pre-colonial times, including Hipuk (in Westlake Village), Lalimanux (by Conejo Grade) and Huwam (in Bell Canyon).
Explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo is believed to have moored at Malibu Lagoon, at the mouth of Malibu Creek, to obtain fresh water in 1542. The Spanish presence returned with the California mission system, and the area was part of Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit—a 13,000-acre (53 km2) land grant—in 1802. That ranch passed intact to Frederick Hastings Rindge in 1891. He and his widow, May K. Rindge, guarded their privacy zealously by hiring guards to evict all trespassers and fighting a lengthy court battle to prevent the building of a Southern Pacific railroad line through the ranch. Interstate Commerce Commission regulations would not support a railroad condemning property in order to build tracks that paralleled an existing line, so Frederick H. Rindge decided to build his own railroad through his property first. He died, and May K. Rindge followed through with the plans, building a line starting just inside the ranch's property eastern boundary at Las Flores Canyon, and running 15 miles westward, past Pt. Dume.
Few roads even entered the area before 1929, when the state won another court case and built what is now known as the Pacific Coast Highway. By then May Rindge was forced to subdivide her property and begin selling and leasing lots. The Rindge house, known as the Adamson House (a National Register of Historic Places site and California Historical Landmark), is now part of Malibu Creek State Park and is situated between Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Surfrider Beach, beside the Malibu Pier that was used to provide transportation to/from the ranch, including construction materials for the Rindge railroad, and to tie up the family's yacht.
In 1926, in an effort to avoid selling land to stave off insolvency, May K. Rindge created a small ceramic tile factory. At its height, Malibu Potteries employed over 100 workers, and produced decorative tiles which furnish many Los Angeles-area public buildings and Beverly Hills residences. The factory, located one-half mile east of the pier, was ravaged by a fire in 1931. Although the factory partially reopened in 1932, it could not recover from the effects of the Great Depression and a steep downturn in Southern California construction projects. A distinct hybrid of Moorish and Arts and crafts designs, Malibu tile is considered highly collectible. Fine examples of the tiles may be seen at the Adamson House and Serra Retreat, a fifty-room mansion that was started in the 1920s as the main Rindge home on a hill overlooking the lagoon. The unfinished building was sold to the Franciscan Order in 1942 and is operated as a retreat facility, Serra Retreat. It burned in the 1970 fire and was rebuilt using many of the original tiles.