419 S Spring St STE 900,
Los Angeles, CA, 90013-2001,
This is the story of the Port of Los Angeles an extraordinary monument to the power of human energy; vision and selflessness. Indeed; the history of its growth and development incorporates so many of the elements of high drama that it reads like the inspirational fiction of turn-of-the-century America. It is; in fact; a rich and pungent slice of authentic frontier Americana in its purest form...' From Wilderness to World Port; 1983.Cabrillo's Discovery. The first official documentation of the harbor was by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. On October 8; 1542; Cabrillo came across a marshland and natural harbor at the northwest end of San Pedro Bay and named the area Bahia de Los Fumas or Bay of Smokes after the smoke that rose from the nearby hillside of Native American hunters. This fairly desolate area remained largely intact until 1769; when Spanish officials and missionaries set their sights on colonizing the U.S. West Coast. This led to the first commercial ventures in San Pedro in the mid-1800s. The rest; as they say; is history. The harbor in San Pedro was used as a trading post by Spanish missionary monks from Mission San Gabriel ArcÃƒÂ¡ngel. The monks met ships at the water's edge with provisions from Spain. The first American trading ship to call at San Pedro was the Lelia Bryd; in 1805. At that time; it was illegal to conduct business with any other country but Spain. Because of the distance and loose regulations; however; trade with other countries thrived. In 1822 an independent Mexican government lifted the Spanish restrictions on trade. That led to a surge of settlement and commercial ventures in San Pedro. By the time California joined in the Union; in 1848; business in San Pedro harbor was flourishing. A host of politicians; businessmen and community visionaries are responsible for San Pedro Bay fulfilling its ultimate destiny of becoming the largest cargo gateway into North America. One such visionary was Phineas Banning; who founded Wilmington and was nicknamed the Father of Los Angeles Harbor. His entrepreneurialism and influence positioned the Port for future success as the maritime and trade center for a rapidly growing west coast city.
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