Postcards from San Pedro

bla-pedropostcards.jpgLast week at my whale watching training class we had a special guest lecture from Joe McKinzie, a local historian and collector of postcards. He has two books of postcards of the area: San Pedro and San Pedro Bay. Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties and Mr. McKinzie wasn’t able to give his slideshow of postcards. Fortunately he’s returning to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium to give it another go tomorrow night. What’s fortunate about that? The last Tuesday of the month the sessions are open to the public as part of the American Cetacean Society – LA Chapter’s lecture series.

(Did you know before it became Los Angeles Harbor, the area was known as San Pedro Bay?)

Where: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro

When: 7:30 PM (to about 9 PM)

More at the ACS-LA website. Hopefully I’ll have some clever nuggets of local history to report back on Wednesday morning.


“Postcards from San Pedro: A History”
by Joe McKinzie

Joe McKinzie will share some of his wonderful postcards from his extensive archive along with history of San Pedro. McKinzie is a board member of the Point Fermin Lighthouse Society and a former vice president of the San Pedro Bay Historical Society. He has published two books: San Pedro Bay (2005) and San Pedro (2007).

The name “San Pedro Bay” meant Los Angeles Harbor through the 20th century, but the vestiges of that original, rustic, fishing village-like identity still cling to the port community that, through its proximity to the city of Los Angeles, grew into one of the world’s largest centers of importing and exporting. The bay has served commercial fishermen, the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the sailing yachts of the very wealthy, and the dinghies of the disenfranchised. Today, tugboats guide gargantuan oceangoing cargo ships under the towering gantry cranes for off-loading, and enormous cruise ships call the Port of Los Angeles home.

Arcadia Publishing’s second collection of postcard images concerning the Los Angeles Harbor community of San Pedro follows the 2005 Postcard History Series volume San Pedro Bay. Where that work concentrated on the harbor and water aspects of the colloquially known “Peedro,” this new volume looks at the town and its development, buildings, businesses, streetscapes, and residences. The port village and town that grew from it has a rich and varied past with vital influence on the histories of the city of Los Angeles and California, and others no less epic than the sagas of the U.S. military, American labor unions, and world cargo shipping.

Joe McKinzie has combed through his large and diverse collection of vintage San Pedro postcards and selected the most evocative examples to illustrate the historic past of his hometown’s great harbor. Both the waters and shores of the port community are shown in their heyday, including images of boats of every kind, cargo and military ships, off-loading cranes, military installations, lighthouses, wharfs, beaches, restaurants, and other shoreline businesses.

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro. ACS/LA Special Speaker Series nights are free, open to the public and are held on the last Tuesday of the month.

Come and meet our speakers in the relaxed surroundings of the Baja Cabana restaurant at our no-host dinner before the meeting. Dinner is at 6 p.m., at 1622 S. Gaffey St. (at 17th St.) in San Pedro. (310) 833-9765.

4 thoughts on “Postcards from San Pedro”

  1. Russ – I belive it may be a powerpoint presentation.

    However, about half of the whale watching classes are presented as slide shows.

  2. Wohoo – Pedro event. High-five, Cybele!

    (And I have the book – lots of fun! Also a good source of great old time harbor photography is on perm. exhibit at the LA Maritime Museum.)

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