Written by Jen Finn
July 31, 2013
There wasn't much to see when two Italian-born brothers sailed into San Pedro Bay in 1883.
Although there were some shops in the downtown and an established railroad, old photographs of the bay itself show little more than a hilly waterfront with dirt roads dotted with shacks.
But there was one major attraction: the fish. The ocean was teeming with them.
There also was this: The San Pedro-Palos Verdes Peninsula coastline looked an awful lot like Antonio and Vincenzo Dirocco's home port town of Gaeta, Italy.
And so began a family legacy that is one of the Harbor Area's oldest that continues to this day.
Over the next half-century, San Pedro's coastline would be bursting with commercial fishing vessels, its shores rapidly growing with shipping and rail infrastructure, homes, businesses -- and the infamous Beacon Street dives and brothels (along with a jail) that would give San Pedro an infamous reputation by the 1950s.
San Pedro grew to become home to the nation's largest fishing port, with 15 canneries operating on Terminal Island and probably 125 fishing boats docked along the wharf.
But before all of that, the Dirocco brothers - the "r" later became capitalized in America, but it's lowercase in the original spelling -- arrived, searching to build a life in the new world.
Read the full story at The Daily Breeze>>
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