Santa Fe Springs is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is one of the Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County. The population was 16,223 at the 2010 census, down from 17,438 at the 2000 census. Junípero Serra had started some missions in this area, especially the San Gabriel mission. By 1806, the natives, now called Gabrieleños than Sejats, provided labor for the mission. Corporal José Manuel Nieto, then 65 year old, petitioned Pedro Fages, the Governor, for a little land. In 1789, Fagas received official permission for the grant. Nieto’s was one of the largest at 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) , from the Pacific Ocean to the Puente Hills. This became known as the “Rancho La Zanja”, to which he moved with his wife Teresa and his son, Juan José.
This area soon became a large cattle empire, and later would be the Santa Fe Springs area.Dr. James E. Fulton came to the area as an agent for the San Gertrudes Land Company in 1871. He found, when drilling a well, a sulfur spring, and developed it by 1874 into a health spa with a small hotel in the area around what today would be Heritage Park. It included a windmill to draw water into the pool for bathers. In the beginning he had about 400 patients there annually. Later, in 1886, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway purchased land from Fulton to run the train line from Los Angeles to San Diego, changing the town since now there was rail transportation.
information provided by wikipedia.org