The La Brea Tarpits
What became known as the La Brea Tarpits were first discovered by white men in 1769 when the Portola expedition passed through what is now known as Hancock Park. The diary of Father Crespi of the expedition noted that members of the expedition "saw some large marshes of a certain substance like pitch; they were boiling and bubbling, and the pitch came out mixed with an abundance of water." This is the first indication of oil in western America.
Between 1906 and 1915 thousands of Ice Age fossils were recovered from the pits; over 500,000 specimens have been recoved. A museum, the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries, has been constructed adjacent to the tar pits. It houses many of the major finds from the tar pits.