Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Early History of the Port of Los Angeles

Here is a map (above) and an excerpt from the Report of the Board of Engineer Officers on Deep Water Harbor at San Pedro or Santa Monica Bays, California (as reprinted in the L.A. Times on Jan. 14, 1893):

"The record of vessels wrecked at San Pedro shows, with one exception, that the disasters occurred during the southerly storms, the heavy sea coming to the eastward of Catalina Island. The vessels were driven ashore on the west line of the bay. Among those lost were the Nicholas Biddle, Callao, Adelaide Cooper, San Luis American, R.P. Buck, and the Kennebeck. The exception noted was that of the Amy, which was driven ashore at Point Firmin during a northeast storm from the Santa Ana wind gap."


Virginia said...

In either 1959 or 1960, what was then called a tidal wave, came from Hong Kong and pretty much destroyed the San Pedro Harbor. I was there after the event and saw the piers toppled all over each other.
Do you have any information on the exact date this occurred?
Thank you.

Harbor History Guy said...

Hi Virginia,

Sorry for the delay, but I just saw your post now.

The event you may be referring to is the May 22, 1960 Chilean earthquake and tsunami that impacted our West Coast. News accounts state that boats and piers were smashed on the Los Angeles waterfront.


Virginia said...

Thank you for getting back to me. After last week I figured it was a Chilean quake.
Did you also know that the Long Beach Harbor, which was not officially opened, did open to allow the boats displaced by the destruction of the San Pedro Harbor. My dad was able to get his boat out of San Pedro and took it there. I remember the water was crystal clear.

Harbor History Guy said...

You're welcome, and thanks for the information about Long Beach Harbor that I did not know about.

BTW, I'll be posting a brief blog entry soon about the 1960 tsunami waves that struck the L.A./Long Beach Harbor areas.

Jason said...

Hello, I am an academic based in Providence, RI, interested in the origins East San Pedro. What I am most interested in are primary sources for information about the annexation fight between Long Beach and San Pedro (1905-1909) and the role the squatter colony on the breakwater played in having Long Beach's claim thrown out in favor of San Pedro. I would appreciate any leads and direction you can give. Please contact me if you are interested.