The land that is now Solano Canyon was originally purchased from the City of Los Angeles by Francisco Sales de Jésus Solano and his wife, María Rosa de las Mercedes Casanova, in 1866. Natives of Costa Rica, they built an adobe and used the land to live and work. Francisco Solano was a butcher in Sonora Town (just north of the Plaza Church along Calle Principal, or Main Street), and he moved his slaughterhouse and soap factory to the Canyon, while maintaining a corral on Main Street. The land was called Solano Ravine on maps by 1876, and the place where Francisco and Rosa lived was known as Solano Cañon. Solano Canyon became a true community after 1888, when Alfredo Solano, by then a prominent surveyor and the son of Francisco Solano and Rosa Casanova, subdivided the southernmost, 16-acre parcel of Francisco's property into the 100 lots that exist today. This property was known as Solano Tract—later Solano Tract No. 1—and it is all of that part of present-day Solano Canyon between Solano Avenue and Casanova Street and south of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (now California State Highway 110—the Pasadena Freeway).
Portion of Map of the City of Los Angeles by H.J. Stevenson (1884). One of the only true plat maps of the area, it shows the division of land into blocks (large numbers) and lots (small numbers), and it contains the names of early settlers, many of which are familiar today as place names in Los Angeles history.