It was standing room only at the EASBA (East Anaheim Street Business Alliance) monthly luncheon meeting on March 27th at the Long Beach Playhouse. Local business owners and history buffs alike were given an in-depth presentation on Zaferia - a little-known corner of East Long Beach.

After months of research, Maureen Neely, local historian and owner of HouStories, gave those in attendance a fascinating peek into the rich history of a community (almost incorporated city) known as Zaferia. Dating back to the turn of the 19th century, Zaferia was settled by independent farmers and ranchers who were not interested in the "big city" life of Long Beach proper.

The name "Zaferia" has been credited as a Spanish word meaning "little village," but no dictionary supports that theory.

Many factors went into the formation of Zaferia, including rugged individuals with a strong desire to prosper and a well-established transportation system (Pacific Electric Red Cars).

"Maureen took us on a fascinating historical tour of an area I have lived and worked in for decades, but I had no idea of the extent of what came before", stated EASBA Boardmember Jan Ward. "The dedication and exhaustive research Maureen put into this project was evident in her outstanding presentation. She knocked it out of the park!", she added.

From its humble beginnings as vast rancho lands to the thriving economic and residential center of today, the Zaferia area of Long Beach will always be a big part of the history of Southern California. The EASBA Board of Directors would like to thank Maureen for her expertise and hard work in helping us tell our story. The story of Zaferia.

To learn more about the Zaferia story, go to