Origins of the Names

Carson— Incorporated in 1968, named after the son of George Henry Carson, John Manuel Carson, a 20th-century developer of the South Bay and head of the Dominguez Water Corp.

El Segundo— Spanish for “the second.” Incorporated in 1917, named by executives from Standard Oil in 1911 as they searched for a location for the company's second refinery.

Gardena– Incorporated on September 11, 1930. Reports differ as to how Gardena acquired its name, although it is possible that the name was derived in one of the following ways: One theory is that the name was given by Nettie Thompson, daughter of the man from whom Thorpe bought his subdivision, because the valley was such a beautiful garden spot. Others who have been given the credit were a Mr. Harris, about 1887; a schoolgirl named Lexie Nichols; or perhaps, Spencer Thorpe himself. However, it has also been conjectured that its name was derived from the "Garden Spot," because of the fertile, green valley created by the nearby Laguna Dominguez slough and channel.

Hawthorne— Incorporated in 1922, named after American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Hermosa Beach— Incorporated in 1907, named after the Spanish word for “beautiful.”

Inglewood— Incorporated in 1908, supposedly named by a visitor from Inglewood, after his home town.

Lawndale— Named by its founder, Charles B. Hopper in 1905 after a Chicago suburb of the same name as a way of attracting settlers from the east.

Manhattan Beach— Named by developer Stewart Miller after his New York hometown. It won a coin flip to become the town's official name over Shore Acres, the other contender.

Palos Verdes— Spanish for “green sticks.” Probably named after Canada de Los Palos Verdes, a wooded area near current-day Machado Lake in Harbor Regional Park .

Redondo Beach— Named after the nearby land grant Rancho Sausal Redondo (“Ranch of the Round Clump of Willows”).

San Pedro— Named by Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino in honor of St. Peter, the second-century Bishop of Alexandria.

Torrance— Named after its founder, Jared Sydney Torrance. Other names considered for the city included Southport, Obrador, Coronel, Don Manuel, and Industrial.

Wilmington— Named by developer and entrepreneur Phineas Banning after his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.