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Ports & Terminals

Book Review: Terminal Island: Lost Communities of Los Angeles Harbor

By Naomi Hirahara And Geraldine Knatz

Today, Terminal Island is a largely artificial island located in Los Angeles County, California, between the city of Los Angeles and the city of Long Beach. Terminal Island is roughly split between the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach and is largely used for container terminals and the Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island.

In their book Terminal Island, authors Naomi Hirahara and Geraldine Knatz (former executive director of the Port of Los Angeles) take us back to the 1900’s when Terminal Island was a vacation resort and Bohemian colony. It was a place where artists, Bohemians and tourists lived by the beach on San Pedro Bay. In his foreword for the book, William Deverell describes the Terminal Island culture, “Artists mingled with writers, military men exchanged ideas with scientists, Los Angeles swells came in the summer, Chicago tourists came in the winter. It was scenic, and it was a scene.”

Kobe Tatsumi came, too. And so did Kihei Nasu. And so many other Japanese fishermen and settlers. With them and their families came a deep and lasting Japanese imprint on Terminal Island culture.”

This idyllic era was brought to an end by the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor where the entire Japanese-American community on Terminal Island was rounded up and thrown into internment camps resulting in the loss of their freedom, livelihoods and property.

To obtain a copy of the book, please contact Phil Sanfield at the Port of Los Angeles: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Stas Margaronis
Stas Margaronis


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