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South Bay / Dominguez Family Collections at CSUDH

Collections related to Los Angeles County's historic South Bay region.


These collections are related to, and collectively document much of, the history of Los Angeles County's South Bay region. The region extends from San Pedro Harbor north to the city limit of Los Angeles, and is bounded on the east by the Los Angeles River and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. In 1784, this entire expanse was granted to Juan Jose Dominguez, a soldier, upon his retirement from service to the Spanish crown. Dominguez and his heirs held much of the Rancho San Pedro for over 200 years, and continue to own some pieces of it. The Dominguez Family Collections contain some personal history, but overall document the business life of the family-related companies in the first half of the 20th Century.

The South Bay now comprises some 17 individual cities, as well as unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County.  We have a number of collections that focus on individual cities, while others address the region as a whole.

Dominguez Family Collections

These collections primarily document the various and often interconnected family businesses of the Dominguez Family. Materials include articles of incorporation, business and personal correspondence, financial statements and balance sheets, auditor reports, agricultural leases and land sales, oil records, invoices, receipts, tax materials, cancelled checks, stock purchases, and minutes of annual meetings.

Rancho San Pedro Collection (1769-1972, bulk 1900-1960) contains some Dominguez family papers, but primarily comprises papers from a number of the family businesses, including the Dominguez Estate Company, Carson Estate Company, Watson land Company, Francis Land Company, Dominguez Water Company, and others.

Rancho San Pedro Reference Collection (1902-2004) includes correspondence, brochures, newsclippings, papers, and copies of historical documents related to the Rancho San Pedro. Subjects include the Dominguez Adobe and Claretian Seminary, families descended from the Dominguez sisters, companies owned by these descendants, and the history of the Rancho San Pedro.

Del Amo Estate Company (1908-1978) contains business papers of the Del Amo Estate Company as well as some personal papers of the company's founders Susana Delfina Dominguez and her husband, Dr. Gregorio del Amo.

Del Amo Nurseries Collection (1922-1976) comprises business papers from the San Pedro Rancho Nursery and Del Amo Nursery. Both were formed out of Gregorio del Amo's interest in horticulture, and were commercial operations, though used primarily to landscape Rancho San Pedro lands.

Del Amo Foundation Collection (1927-1984) includes ledgers, correspondence, tax documents, newspapers, scrapbooks, photographs, theses and reports from members of the Board of Trustees, grantees, and staff of the Del Amo Foundation. The Foundation was founded by Dr. Gregorio del Amo (husband of Maria Susan Delfina Dominguez of the Rancho San Pedro) as part of his interest in supporting the exchange of information between Spain and Southern California.

Dominguez Family Title Insurance and Trust Company Records (1908-1965) contains correspondence, legal documents, tax documents, and bonds created by the Title Insurance and Trust Company, and are related to trusts held by members of the Dominguez family and land that was once part of the Rancho San Pedro.

Dominguez Land Corporation Collection (1911-1950, bulk 1912-1927) includes land sale and business records, as well as documentation of the history of the Dominguez Land Company (later Corporation), and details of its sale to Remco-Real Estate Management Company in 1941. The Dominguez Land Company bought land from the Dominguez Estate Company and Del Amo Estate Company, and broke it up into small parcels, which were sold throughout the area that later formed the city of Torrance, California.

Dominguez Water Corporation Collection (1910-1986) contains business papers related to the Dominguez Water Company, founded in 1911 in an effort to provide a reliable source of water to the Rancho San Pedro lands. In 1936, the Dominguez Water Company sold its assets to the Dominguez Estate Company. The following year, it was incorporated as the Dominguez Water Corporation, a subsidiary of the Dominguez Estate Company.

Watson Land Company Collection (1927-2005) is a small collection of materials from the Watson Land Company, including articles of incorporation, financial statements, correspondence, newsletters, and reports.

Rancho San Pedro Collection Del Amo Foundation Collection Del Amo Nurseries Collection
Front View of Dominguez Family Adobe Crest of the Del Amo Foundation Gregorio del Amo standing in front of nursery plants


Topic: South Bay Collections

These collections document, and illustrate the South Bay of Los Angeles County, both the region in total and many of the individual towns that have been founded on former Rancho San Pedro lands.

South Bay History Collection (1923-2005) includes of brochures, flyers, newsletters, directories, reports, papers, newspapers, and newsclippings related to the communities of Carson, Davidson City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Lakewood, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Terminal Island, Torrance, Wilmington, and Los Angeles.

South Bay Photograph Collection (ca. 1880-1967) consists of color and black and white photographs, negatives, postcard-backed photos, and tin-types. Subjects of the photographs include people, businesses, churches, houses, schools, farming, transportation, and natural disasters.

James H. Osborne Photograph Collection is an online assemblage of photographs, postcards, ephemera, and memorabilia gathered by James H. Osborne, a resident, educator, and historian of Los Angeles County's South Bay. Osborne's family has lived in the South Bay since the end of the 19th century, and he has been an enthusiastic collector of all things related to his home region.

Judson Grenier Photograph Collection (1870-1980) consists of photographs used by Dr. Judson Grenier of California State Dominguez Hills for educational and research purposes. Photographs of paintings, dioramas, landscapes, and people depict the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area from its foundation through the 1980s.

Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce Collection (1950-2004) consists of scrapbooks, documents, publications, photographs, videotapes, and other material related to the history and activities of the Gardena, California, Chamber of Commerce from 1950 to 2004.

Charles H. Eilers Collection (1872-2009) contains materials related to Charles “Carl” H. Eilers (1875-1948) and his family. The Eilers owned and farmed Rancho San Pedro Lands between Dominguez, Alameda, Del Amo, and Santa Fe streets in what was to become Carson, CA from 1889 to 1958. Included in the collection are deeds and title papers, tax reports, receipts, statements, court papers and legal documents, ledgers, correspondence, photographs, newspaper articles, and books.

Greaton Gardena Collection

South Bay Photograph Collection James H. Osborne Photograph Collection South Bay History Collection

Horse drawn wagon in sugar beet field

Hand-colored postcard of Torrance High School