The rich colorful past of San Pedro and the Peninsula on which is sits, is sure to intrigue all.
It tells of explorers and whalers combing the waters north of Point Fermin , and smugglers using the various coves along the peninsula to conduct a thriving smuggling trade.
It would not be difficult to imagine a black pearl PIRATE lurking around the hidden coves, the sly pirate hiding his booty in pirate caves.
It is fascinating to note that San Pedro Bay was discovered in 1542 by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo. Today, a beautiful statue of his likeness overlooks a stretch of LAWNacross from the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse at Cabrillo Beach. In studying the history of this town, I learned of many things I had not known, even though my first four years of school were spent here.
I didn't realize, for instance, aside from dating back to 1542, that settlement here began in 1769, and that this area stretching south to Long Beach was known as the "Bay of Smokes".
This referred to the smoke that filled the air from fires used by local Indians for their rabbit drives. These historical facts were intriguing and made this town that much MOREinteresting to me.
Lending to San Pedro's rich colorful past was in its military and the DEFENSE of our coast and nation. In 1888, the War Department took control of a portion of land next to the bay which, in 1914, became Fort MacArthur.
It served as a coastal DEFENSE for years and was a popular port of call for U.S. Navy ships during World War II.
Sailors on leave found plenty of entertainment downtown, giving the city a reputation for being a bit on the rowdy side...at least, as a kid, that's what I remember hearing about parts of that area.
Today, the Fort MacArthur Military Museum features photos and various exhibits of Fort MacArthur and the L.A. Harbor defenses from 1920 to World War II.
This harbor town, now primarily a beach community, began as a thriving fishing town, which was at its peak during World War II.
Until 1942, the fishing industry was dominated by a Japanese community of about 3,000 who pioneered the fishing of albacore out of San Pedro Bay.
In February of that year, they were forced to leave their homes and businesses, and put into internment camps in the aftermath to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The contributions of primarily the Japanese and Europeans and the fishing knowledge they brought with them from their native countries, made Los Angeles Harbor the largest fishing port in the nation.
This community has always been very multicultural, blending together to create a very interesting town.
It has been a settling ground for immigrants from all different parts of the world- Croatia, Portugal, Mexico, Italy, and Greece, to name a few.
The largest Italian-American community in Southern California has made its home here, and this area is also considered the be the heart of the Croatian community in Los Angeles County.
The Croatians, originally comprised of seafarers and fishermen, have been present in San Pedro since the settlement began MORE than 200 years ago.
And, of course, a large segment of the harbor area is composed of Mexican-Americans with long-time roots in the community.
The Spanish flavor is evident in the beautiful architecture in so many of the buildings in and around town.
And from their home countries, came the fabulous food to delight the senses!!
A wide choice of cuisines can be enjoyed in some of the unique restaurants downtown or on the run from a TAKE OUT.
Whichever you CHOOSE it will make for a wonderful dining experience.
Click on the photos below to visit the various Art Pages of