With budget cuts threatening the closure of Whittier's Pio Pico State Historic Park, L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to KCET.org shares the story of Don Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California:
On June 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a budget cutting $22 million from the state's Department of Parks and Recreation. The cuts have resulted in the planned closure of seventy state parks, including one in Whittier that honors the memory of one of Brown's predecessors: the last governor of Mexican Alta California, Pío de Jesus Pico.
Perched above the east bank of the San Gabriel River in Whittier, Pío Pico Historic State Park includes the historic adobe where the former governor and land baron once held court. It is scheduled to close on July 1, 2012.
The son of a Spanish artillery sergeant, Pico was born on May 5, 1801 at Mission San Gabriel. His 93 year life spanned several distinct periods of Southern California history, from Spanish colonialism to Mexican rule and from American conquest to L.A.'s late-nineteenth-century growth spurt.