Rancho San Pedro Collections

The first land grant given in California, the Rancho San Pedro, was granted to Juan Jose Dominguez by the Spanish crown in 1784 for his service in the Spanish Colonial Army. The original land grant comprised over seventy thousand acres of land, and included the same land that today serves as the site for the Dominguez Hills campus of the California State University. The heirs of Dominguez include branches of the Carson, Del Amo, and Watson families.

Watson Family gathering at Rancho San Pedro Adobe

Collections regarding the Rancho San Pedro and the Dominguez heirs include items related to the early history of Los Angeles and the South Bay, and consist of documents, maps, photographs and newspaper clippings. Many items in the collection can be traced to Robert C. Gillingham the author of the book Rancho San Pedro, which is considered by many to be the definitive history of the Rancho. Other materials were donated through the years by faculty members and off campus sources. Collections are complemented by the Local History Collection of rare books.

Rancho San Pedro Collection
The Rancho San Pedro Collection contains photographs, personal and business correspondence, legal papers, corporate records, and graphic materials related to the Rancho San Pedro, one of the original Spanish California land grants, and its owners, the Dominguez family. The bulk of the collection covers the years 1900-1960. Some materials concern the Rancho San Pedro itself, including partitions of land among family members, farming, oil and water development, and legal issues with neighboring cities, including Los Angeles and Long Beach. Much of the collection comprises records of the business, water, and real estate companies established by Dominguez heirs in and around the Los Angeles area.

Del Amo Estate Company Collection, 1869-1998
This collection includes ledgers, business and financial papers, correspondence, photographs, maps, prints, newspaper clippings and other materials related to the incorporation, operations, and liquidation of the Del Amo Estate Company. There are also some personal papers of the company's founder, Gregorio del Amo.

Del Amo Foundation Collection, 1927-1984
The Del Amo Foundation was created to promote the exchange of information between Southern California and Spain. Grants were given to students and researchers to fund their studies abroad. This collection includes ledgers, correspondence, tax documents, newspapers, scrapbooks, photographs, theses and reports from members of the Board of Trustees, grantees, and staff of the Del Amo Foundation.

Del Amo Nurseries Collection, 1922-1976
Materials in this collection are from the San Pedro Ranch Nursery and Del Amo Nursery. They include ledges, tax documents, correspondence, contract information, catalogs, and artifacts on the subjects of growing and providing landscaping materials, daily business practices, contracts with cities and theme parks, and other topics.

Dominguez Water Corporation Collection, 1910-1986
This collection includes legal documents, correspondence, monthly and yearly financial reports, receipts, photographs, and an artifact. Subjects include payroll, budgets, construction, and residential and industrial water supply.

Rancho San Pedro Reference Collection, 1905-2004
This collection includes correspondence, brochures, newsclippings, papers, and copies of historical documents related to the Rancho San Pedro. Subjects include the Dominguez Adobe and Claretian Seminary, families descended from the Dominguez sisters, companies owned by these descendants, and the history of the Rancho San Pedro.

Title and Trust Insurance Company
This collection includes correspondence, legal documents, tax documents, and bonds created by the Title Insurance and Trust Company. These materials are related to trusts held by members of the Dominguez family and land that was once part of the Rancho San Pedro.

Watson Company Records
A small collection of materials from the Watson Land Company, including articles of incorporation, financial statements, correspondence, newsletters, and reports.