Commercial Development & the Free Harbor Fight A NEW NAME In 1891, the Los Angeles Terminal Railroad Company (LATR)
purchased Rattlesnake Island for $250,000 from
the Dominguez heirs of Rancho San Pedro. A year later the rail company renamed the mudflat Terminal Island as part of a plan
to make it the line's final destination. CONFLICTS RISE
In 1890, Collis Huntington, owner of Southern Pacific Railroad increased his holdings of Santa Monica waterfront property and began to push Santa Monica as a site for a new
southern California port. Meanwhile, San Pedro had
been acting as a port location and was anticipating its commercial
growth. Conflicts rose between Huntington's private resources and the
movement for free enterprise at San Pedro.
FREE HARBOR The federal government was leaning in favor of Huntington until California Senator Stephen M. White took a stand. Early in 1896, he proposed for an independent corps
of engineers to choose the site. In the summer of 1896, Los Angeles' San Pedro Bay was found to be
superior. By 1910, port development at San Pedro and
Terminal Island was well underway.
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Litho Co., 1899. Lithograph poster, Prints and Photographs Division Libary of Congress, LC-DIG-10486