The Early days in Lomita – much like most of Southern California – involved the Gabrielino Indians and the Spanish period. In 1784, a Spanish soldier named Juan Jose Dominguez, a member of the Portola Expedition, received permission to use 75,000 acres of land in Southern California from Don Pedro Fages, the Spanish Governor of California. Rancho San Pedro, the first California land grant bestowed by King Charles III of Spain, stretched from the Los Angeles River to the Pacific Ocean and included what would become the cities of Carson, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Lomita, Wilmington, and parts of San Pedro.
Delinquent taxes and mortgage foreclosures forced Rancho Los Palos Verdes to be divided and sold to 17 different buyers in 1882. Most of the land that constitutes present day Lomita was sold to a farmer named Ben Weston and the Ranch Water Company, owned by sheep farmer Nathaniel Andrew Narbonne. Lomita, Spanish for “little hills,” moved into its modern history in 1907 with the development of a seven-square-mile subdivision. A school, general store, and other businesses quickly followed. In 1923, oil was discovered in town and property values skyrocketed, with lots originally purchased for $300 to $400 selling for as much as $35,000.
Lomita became known as “Celery Capital of the World,” as truck farming of vegetables, fruits, and eggs became the prevailing occupation of Lomita residents in the 1930s. On June 30, 1964, Lomita was incorporated as a city. Today, with a population of 21,000 people with a total housing of 8,295 units, Lomita has managed to maintain its charm and rustic small-town flavor.