This collection features images from cities and sites around the South Bay of Los Angeles County. The vast majority of the land was part of the Rancho San Pedro, one of the original Spanish land grants, which in its original form stretched from San Pedro Harbor northward to the modern to the modern cities of Gardena, Carson, and Compton, bounded on the east by the Los Angeles River, and extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. It includes cities such as Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Lynwood, Lakewood, and Wilmington.
Much of the collection centers around the founding and development of Compton. It includes photos of early settlers, important figures, historic buildings, and the growth of businesses. Situated near the Los Angeles River, in a seismically unstable area, the city has suffered through major floods and earthquakes, including the devastating temblor of 1933 (popularly known as the Long Beach Earthquake). There of photos of the damage the city suffered, as well as its efforts to rebuild.
While Torrance, Wilmington, Lawndale, and other cities are also represented, this collection will grow to help provide a photographic history of this vital California region.