El

Segundo

History

      El Segundo, now home to a population of more than 16,000 people and a number of Fortune 500 Corporate offices, was mostly uninhabited land used for dry farming. The land was once part of the Sausal Redondo Rancho controlled by Daniel Freeman, the founder of Inglewood. In 1885, most of the rancho was sold in square mile sections to wealthy investors.

While the beach areas of the south attracted some residents, the El Segundo and airport land in late 1910 was vacant. Standard Oil Company, recognizing the need for a refinery in Southern California, sent a large party of executives from the East as well as California to scout for a site in november 1910.

      The El Segundo area was an easy choice, being mostly vacant, with ocean access providing a water source for cooling and close to oil fields.

William Rheem, having constructed and managed Standard Oil's refinery at Point Richmond, was instrumental in bringing Richard Hanna, Superintendent of a Franklin, PA refinery to build this second refinery at El Segundo. Richard Hanna's wife, Virginia, named this expanse El Segundo, Spanish for "the second", and with Rheem's approval, it was done. In late May 1911, construction had begun on the refinery after a 2-mile long rail spur serving the site was completed. one of the first major tasks was dealing with the sand dunes. About 400 mules, mule-skinners, and Fresno scrapers were brought in to level sites for the refinery structures and storage tanks having arrived by pipeline from the Whittier-Fullerton oil fields. By the end of the year, reportedly Standard Oil had spent over $1,000,000 of the $3,000,000 allotted to complete the refinery.

      By the end of 1912, El Segundo had grown from a "tent city" to include 180 homes and 20 businesses, a school, a bank, churches, and five hotels. The El segundo Land and Improvement Company offered Standard Oilers inducements to those wanting to build a home. This company managed the growth of El Segundo until the City was incorporated on January 18, 1917.

An early highlight in El Segundo occured in 1914 when a Pacific Electric Rail line commenced operation into the heart of the town providing service without scaling the dunes to catch the service along the beach.

      The city grew along with the growth of the refinery. There were other short-lived smaller ventures such as a tractor assembly plant that later became a tile manufacturing. Next door to the north Mine's Field, a landing strip used by early aviators was chosen as the site for the Los Angeles Municipal Airport. Expansion with the official opening of the airport in 1930 ushered in numerous aviation companies. The likes of Douglas Aircraft, Hughes Aircraft, Northrop, Interstate, and North American Aviation (Northrop) all located in El Segundo.

      After a high point of activity during WWII, many of these companies eventually transitioned into the aerospace/defense industry. In the 1960's, the addition of the Aerospace Company Corporation and the Los Angeles Air Force Base gave El Segundo claim to the title of "The Aerospace Capital of the World".

      Today, the city's population has leveled off around 16,500, which has enabled the community to preserve its small town intimacy and charm.

Important Numbers - El Segundo :


City Hall .............................................. (310) 524-2300
Chamber of Commerce  ......................... (310) 322-1220
Fire Department ..................................... (310) 524-2269
Police Department .................................. (310) 524-2200
AT&T ................................................... (888) 288-2020
Time Warner Cable ............................... (888) 892-2253
So. CA Edison ...................................... (800) 655-4555
So. CA Gas Co. ................................... (800) 427-2200
City of El Segundo Water ....................... (310) 524-2745
Main Post Office ................................... (310) 676-2285

TERI HAWKINS

Cell: 310 251-3850

terihawkinspv@gmail.com

63 Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

BRE #1195117

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