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Newport Bay To San Pedro -- Surveying The Coast of Southern California In Search of A Deep Water Harbor For Los Angeles

Early Government Survey of the region between Pt. Fermin and San Pedro in the northeast to Newport Bay and the mouth of the Santa Ana River in the southwest, prepared by the US. Government, during its preliminary search for a deep water port to serve Los Angeles.

The map illustrates the coast during the time period when the US Government had yet to start the process of constructing the modern harbor which would be come the Port of Los Angeles.  Similarly, Long Beach shows just a simple pier.

Towns shown on the map include:

  • Alamitos Beach
  • Long Beach
  • Wilmington
  • San Pedro

No settlements are shown in the Orange County portion of the map, although Anaheim Landing and Newport Landing are noted, along with Bolsas Creek (Bolsa Chica Marine Reserve).

San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles

Phineas Banning greatly improved shipping when he dredged the channel to Wilmington in 1871 to a depth of 10 feet. The port handled 50,000 tons of shipping that year. Banning owned a stagecoach line with routes connecting San Pedro to Salt Lake City, Utah, and Yuma, Arizona, and in 1868 he built a railroad to connect San Pedro Bay to Los Angeles, the first in the area.

After Banning's death in 1885, his sons pursued their interests in promoting the port. The Southern Pacific Railroad and Collis P. Huntington wanted to create Port Los Angeles at Santa Monica and built the Long Wharf there in 1893. However, the Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis and U.S. Senator Stephen White pushed for federal support of the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro Bay.

The Free Harbor Fight was settled when San Pedro was endorsed in 1897 by a commission headed by Rear Admiral John C. Walker (who later went on to become the chair of the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1904). With U.S. government support, breakwater construction began in 1899, and the area was annexed to Los Angeles in 1909. The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners was founded in 1907.


The chart is scarce on the market.  This is the first example we have offered for sale in over 25 years.

Condition Description
Minor discoloration at folds an a few minor paper breaks.