Cheviot Drive

The original Cheviot Hills separate Scotland from England and were named by the 12th century; L.A.’s Cheviot Hills came around much later – in 1923, to be precise – as a subdivision sold by Frans Nelson and Sons. Frans Nelson (1859-1948) was born in Sweden but grew up in Omaha, where he made his money as a life insurance exec. He and his family moved to Long Beach in 1922 to get into real estate. The following year, they bought 127 acres here from A.L. King and his wife Frankie, who had owned this land since 1898. Nelson later claimed that he held a contest amongst his salespeople to name this subdivision – and that one of them, a Scotsman named Simpson, suggested “Cheviot Hills” in honor of his homeland. I found no Simpsons on the company’s roster, so the story might be hogwash, but the moniker suited these golf course-adjacent hills and the Nelsons heavily played up the Scotland theme, with streets named after Scottish locales – Cheviot Drive was the first – and even bagpipers performing at sales events.