From its beginnings around 1880, Gardena was noted for its cultural mix. Its Spanish rancho-era name perfectly described the community’s regionally famous vegetable and strawberry fields, which were primarily tended by settlers of Japanese descent, in Los Angeles County’s South Bay area. The city of Gardena, incorporated in 1930, remains one of the nation’s most ethnically balanced communities, drawing visitors worldwide to its diverse cultural activities. For nearly 40 years, Gardena was the only place in the county to have legalized gambling, and the city’s unique history includes the fact that more public poker tables once existed here than in the rest of the United States combined. Located at the nexus of four major freeways, the “City of Opportunity” thrives today with more than 60,000 people on six square miles only a short distance from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Author Bio: This fascinating retrospective was created by the Gardena Heritage Committee, a group comprised of city staff members and private citizens. They and many other residents generously responded to a citywide effort during Gardena’s 75th anniversary year to collect vintage images to present in this nostalgic keepsake and informative local history.

You may purchase a copy of this book at the Nakaoka Community Center, 1670 W. 162nd Street, Gardena, CA 90247 or you can purchase it online using the links below.