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Carson Local History Information
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Map showing the original area of Rancho San Pedro, 1891 Lying south of Los Angeles, just a few miles from the busy harbor at San Pedro Bay, Carson is both a new city and an old community. Long home to Native Americans, the area that would become Carson quickly fell into Spanish hands in the late eighteenth century. For nearly one hundred and fifty years, its destiny lay with the Dominguez family, whose expansive Rancho San Pedro became a center for politics and business, in addition to ranching. Their decision to sell parts of the ranch lands opened the door for small farmers, industry, and commerce beginning in the late 1800s, and by World War II, these elements were solidifying into a community. Mirroring its neighbors, the area grew rapidly in population after the war, maturing industrially and commercially, too. Within a few decades, the community had decided it was time to strike out on its own and take charge of its future. In 1968, Carson incorporated as a city. At the time, its population stood at 66,520. Though the character of the city has changed in some ways since it achieved independence and could begin to set its own priorities and goals, its growth has continued. As of 1990, Carson had 83,995 residents from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds.

Website Links:

Print Sources:

  • Jerrils, Jack E. The History of a City...Carson, California. Carson, CA, 1972.
  • Gillingham, Robert Cameron. The Rancho San Pedro: The Story of a Famous Rancho in Los Angeles County and of Its Owners, the Dominguez Family. 1961; Museum Reproductions, 1983.
  • Trejos, Charlotte M. My Carson, Your Carson: A Picture Book of the Past and the Present. Carson, CA: Trejos Literary Agency, 1987.

Places to Visit:

    Dominguez Ranch Adobe Museum
    18127 South Alameda
    Compton, CA 90220
    (213) 636-6030


  • Map showing the original area of Rancho San Pedro, 1891
    [Courtesy of the Dominguez Ranch Adobe Museum]

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