Included in the 1784 Spanish land grant of the Rancho San Pedro, the neighborhood of Wilmington sits on property purchased by Phineas Banning from Manuel Dominguez, who was the heir of the original concession holder, Juan Jose Dominguez. Banning purchased the property for the purpose of building a harbor for the City of Los Angeles. However, due to the harbor’s vulnerability, Banning and nearby property owner, Benjamin Wilson, gave 60 acres of land to the federal government, at the beginning of the Civil War, in order to build drum barracks and protect the nascent Los Angeles Harbor from Confederate attack.
Eventually, the area was officially annexed to Los Angeles and the neighborhood was named Wilmington after Banning’s place of birth, Wilmington, Delaware. Today Wilmington, together with San Pedro, form the waterfront of the world’s largest import/export centers. The still standing Civil War drum barracks are one of the many places you can visit in Wilmington if you want to experience some of the best things to do in Los Angeles. Other local Los Angeles hotspots that you can access from Wilmington include the LA Waterfront, Power Magazine, the Vincent Thomas Bridge, Terminal Island, the Japanese Fishing Village Memorial, Wilmington Waterfront Park, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Battleship USS Iowa Museum, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Korean Friendship Bell or the Queen Mary.
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