Rancho San Pedro, the first land grant to be bestowed in California 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. The Rancho was granted to Juan Jose Dominguez in 1784 and flourished until the 1860s, when a series of natural disasters hit Southern California. Due to delinquent taxes and mortgage foreclosures, the rancho was divided up and sold to different buyers in 1882. Most of the land that constitutes present day Lomita (Spanish for “little knoll”) was sold to a farmer named Ben Weston and the Ranch Water Company, which sheep farmer Nathaniel Andrew Narbonne owned.
Lomita is now a part of Los Angeles County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles. Lomita originally spanned 7 square miles, however, over time much of this area was annexed by neighboring cities. A notable example is the Lomita Flight Strip, now Zamperini Field (the Torrance Municipal Airport). On June 30, 1964, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, Lomita was incorporated as a city. In addition to halting annexation, incorporating was intended to curtail the development and construction of high-rise apartments, a serious concern at the time.