Also folks, incidentally, "Brea" means "tar," so the name actually means "The the tar tar pits," which is probably the result of a misunderstanding between the Spanish settlers and the Americans who took over their ranches around the turn of the century. The tar pits just happened to be on one of these ranches--Rancho La Brea--and that is how they came to have their name. Below is a picture of the Rancho La Brea before its sale to the Hancock family, when it was still a working cattle ranch. You can see the pits at the bottom right.
Rancho La Brea, as a cattle ranch, before it was deeded by Jose Jorge Rocha to Henry Hancock in 1860. [Click to Enlarge.]