Gardena has a long history as an agricultural community dating back to the great Spanish rancho estates of the Dominguez, Amestoy, Ducazau, and Rosecrans families in the 1800s. The railroads put Gardena on the
map following a real estate boom in the Los Angeles area in the 1880s. A Ventura man, Spencer R. Thorpe, is credited with having started the first settlement in the Gardena Valley. And athough the origin of its name is unclear, it is said it came from being a “Garden Spot” because of the fertile, green valley created by the nearby Laguna Dominguez slough and channel, the only green area between Los Angeles and the Pacific during the dry summer months.
Early in Gardena’s history, Japanese migrants played a role in its agrarian economy working small truck farms throughout the valley. Gardena be- came well known for its acres of strawberry farms and even celebrated a Strawberry Day Festival and Parade each May. During the First World War, the berry industry suffered, when other crops were raised to support the war economy. But after the war, the area returned to its truck farm roots. Gardena was incorporated as a city on September 11, 1930, combining the
rural communities of Gardena, Moneta, and Strawberry Park. At that time, it remained a small farming community of only about 20,000 people, many of whom were Japanese American immigrants.
In 1942, when WW2 broke out with Japan, the US Government moved the
Japanese to internment camps. After the war, many returned to Gardena, but their farmlands had been overtaken by others who remained in the ar- ea during the war, and the berry and truck farm industry declined. Today, the farms are gone and Gardena is a residential and business community, but it still has the highest percentage of Japanese of any city in California.
Home prices in Gardena range from $250,000 – $700,000, with the average sales price of a single family home in 2014 at just over $400,000. Condos and townhomes averaged just under $300,000.
City Hall 310-217-9500
Fire Department (LACFD – 3 Stations) 310-217-8351 | 310-548-7979 | 310-217-7066
Schools (LAUSD) 310-354-3400
Electric (SC Edison) 800-655-4555
Gas (SoCal Gas) 800-427-2200
Water (Golden State Water) 800-999-4033
Trash (Waste Resources) 310-366-7600
Cable – Time Warner Cable 888-892-2253
Cable – ATT Cable 888-288-2020
Chamber of Commerce 310-217-4590