Lakewood Boulevard

The “lake” in Lakewood was born in July 1891 when landowner Edward Bouton, an old Civil War general, struck a gusher of water while drilling an artesian well. (Curiously, a news report three months earlier mentioned “Bouton Lake”, so apparently there was already some body of water on the property.) In 1898, the lake was said to be 200 acres wide and 14 feet deep. Decades later, long after Montana copper baron William A. Clark bought 8,000 acres here to set up a sugar refinery, his family firm the Montana Land Co. (see Monlaco Road) decided to subdivide the land. Clark J. Bonner (1888-1947), William Clark’s great-nephew, was in charge – and he started with a golf course. The Lakewood Country Club was named in 1932 and opened the following year, with residential Lakewood Village announced in 1934. Long Beach City Council renamed Cerritos Avenue Lakewood Blvd. in 1937 upon Bonner’s urging. In 1950, the trio of Ben Weingart, Louis Boyar, and Mark Taper bought 3,375 acres from Clark’s and Bonner’s heirs and started developing Lakewood in earnest. It incorporated as a city in 1954.