Friday, June 13, 2014

The History of Redondo Beach

Before the Beginning...

1850 - California becomes the 31st state.

1854 - Manuel Dominguez sells Redondo's salt lake to Henry Allenson and William Johnson. Sale precipitates establishment of Pacific Salt Works.

1862 - Los Angeles merchant Francis Mellus acquires bankrupt salt works. Cycles of drought and floods ruin ranch economy.

1887 - Redondo Company buys 1,400 acres from Dominguez heirs. Land is bordered by Knob Hill, Herondo, Prospect, and the ocean. The name "Redondo" is derived from the round shape and amphitheater topography. State engineer William Hammond Hall conducts soundings off shore and discovers a deep canyon leading to Redondo's development as a port.

1888 - First Santa Fe excursion train arrives in Redondo. Iron pier is built at foot of Emerald Street. John C. Ainsworth and Robert R. Thompson acquire the Redondo Company.

1889 - Los Angeles County Supervisors grant Redondo Railway Company a franchise to operate.

1890 - Chautauqua Assembly is dedicated at Pacific Coast Highway and Diamond Street. Hotel Redondo opens on site later to become Veterans Park.

1892 - City of Redondo Beach is incorporated after citizens vote 177 to 10.

2001 - City of Redondo Beach official population is 63,261.

Gambling Days
The Rex was the flagship of an illicit fleet owned by Anthony Cornero, who was guilty by association with mobsters such as the notorious Bugsy Siegal. Most of these floating gaming palaces were little more than barges with roulette wheels, but they gave players a way to spend their money and brought a lively economy to Redondo Beach. The vessels were anchored just beyond the three-mile limit, therefore out of reach of police and tax collectors. In 1948, Congress abolished gambling in coastal waters.


"Point Break"

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

"Men at Work"

Bonus: In the movie 'Little Miss Sunshine' the beauty pageant is supposedly held in Redondo Beach; however, the pier they are on during the 'suffering' talk is in Ventura.

Also much of the TV show 'The O.C.' (Orange County) was shot along Redondo's coastline.


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