WikiPedro Pedigree: Stephen M. White Drive

The plaque at the foot of the statue reads:

“Stephen M. White
1853 – 1901

Stephen M. White was elected Los Angeles County District Attorney in 1882, State Senator in 1886 and United States Senator in 1893. During his term in the United States Senate, Senator White’s most notable accomplishment was his successful leadership of the fight to create the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro as opposed to Santa Monica Bay, the site that was being advocated by powerful railroad interests. It is believed that the rigors of his battle with the railroad barons contributed to Senator White’s untimely death in 1901 at the age of 48. Stephen M. White is one of the men of vision who laid the groundwork so the city and county of Los Angeles could take their extraordinary leadership position in the nation and the world during the 20th century. His legacy should be remembered for all time.

This statue of Stephen M. White has been relocated to its just and final resting place overlooking the federal breakwater through the efforts of the County, City and Port of Los Angeles.”

This is the statue’s third and final residence. Before moving to his beachside home in 1989, the statue was originally installed in 1908 outside the Old County courthouse at the corner of Temple & Broadway (downtown LA) and was moved in 1959 to the current County Courthouse at 1st and Hill streets.

Wikipedro: Point Fermin Lighthouse

The Point Fermin Lighthouse was built in 1874 at the behest of Phineas Banning. The lighthouse had resident keepers beginning with a pair of sisters, Mary and Ella Smith and ending with another pair, Thelma and Juanita Austin, after their parents both passed in 1925. In 1941 all coastal lights were extinguished because the U.S. entered WWII and the lantern room was changed structurally to accomodate an early type of radar. The box type structure was referred to as the “chicken coop” and remained that way until just before the 100th birthday celebration when John Olguin and Bill Olesen rebuilt it to the original state. The light was never replaced but the lighthouse has been carefully restored and is open for tours.

Wikipedro: Fermin Lasuen High School

Before the Little Sisters of the Poor, this building was part of the Fermin Lasuen Boy’s High School. Named for the second president of the network of California Missions, Fermin Lasuen High was opened in 1962 and closed 9 years later.

Wikipedro: Sunken City

Coco was kind of appalled at the fact that I had grown up in Pedro and had never been to Sunken City. I’ve looked into it through the gates a bunch of times, but never had I crawled through a hole in a fence to get inside. Here’s a look inside from Pt. Fermin park.

Sunken City is the stretch of Paseo del Mar and Point Fermin park that began sliding into the Pacific in the late 20’s. The constant land movement seaward was measured at one point to be as much as 11 inches a day. All but two houses of the 600 block of Paseo del Mar were saved from falling into the ocean below. Broken sidewalks, pipes and wires are still visible from the street, covered with graffiti from the generations of teens that have adopted the place as a hang out.

The bluffs above the slide area used to be open to the public, scenes from the movie The Big Lebwoski (pic courtesy devojane’s flickr) were even filmed there, but the area is now fenced off and locked because of the unsafe conditions.

I contacted the Department of Rec & Parks and filming isn’t even allowed down there anymore.

Wikipedro: Fort MacArthur Museum

According to the museum’s website, “The Fort MacArthur Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Fort MacArthur, a U.S. Army post which guarded the Los Angeles harbor from 1914 to 1974. The Museum was established in 1985, and it is housed in the corridors and galleries of historic Battery Osgood-Farley.”

Salinas de San Pedro

SALINAS! 10pts if you get that reference. Salinas de San Pedro is the name of the protected marsh I was telling you about when I was on the boat with Skipper Jeff. These facts are from the board that sits outside the marsh entrance.

Salinas de San Pedro is a salt marsh that was built and planted in 1984 by the LA Harbor Dept as environmental mitigation for development elsewhere in the harbor.

A salt marsh is a coastal wetland nourished daily by the tides and seasonally by freshwater runoff. They typically include salt-tolerant marsh plants and mudflats.

This 3.2 acre saltmarsh is all that remains of the original 3,450 acres of wetlands in the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor area.

Wikipedro: Cabrillo Youth Water Sports Center

The Cabrillo Youth Water Sports Center is “a one-of-a-kind, youth, aquatic center that provides a unique aquatics and camping experience for the youth of Southern California that gives them self-confidence by exposing them to water safety, rescue methods, care and use of equipment, and physical fitness.”

This is a brief history of the facility from their website “The Los Angeles Area Council, Boy Scouts of America originally leased our property in 1946, shortly after World War II. Located at the base of the cliffs directly below Fort MacArthur, Cabrillo Camp, as it was then known, catered to both Scouts and other youth groups. Cabrillo Camp was a primitive facility with old military Quonset huts and portable trailers. In the late 70s/early 80s, the Port of Los Angeles granted the Los Angeles Area Council a long-term lease. In 1987, the Spielberg Center opened its gates with the swimming pool, campgrounds, dining area, craft center, Scout Shop, staff quarters, boat house and amphitheater that are present today. The facility is 12.3 acres and the building is 25,000 square feet of Spanish and Mediterranean architecture.”

The camp can be rented out for weddings and retreats and offers swim lessons and scouting classes.