During the intervening years preceding the 1950s construction that created the harbor and the community of Marina del Rey, regional history was busily, if sporadically, being made in the area. We were wetlands back then, even though the locals called it swamp. Early automotive races, sometimes featuring one of the sport;s first stars, Barney Oldfield, ran from Playa del Rey to Venice along a roadway on the Marina peninsula now appropriately named Speedway. Pacific Electric ran its famed Red Car line here. Beneath the rails and marshes it turned out there was black gold and plenty of it. Beginning in the 1920s, oil rigs came pumping to rhythmic life, dotting the landscape with iron skeletons as far as the camera could see.


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