There once was a tiny island at the entrance to the San Pedro harbor named Dead Man’s Island, which was named for the shallow graves dug into its flat top. The small island measured at least 800 feet long and 250 wide and rose 55 feet above the sea, separated from the San Pedro bluffs with almost a mile of open water between.
As part of a program of extensive harbor improvements, the U.S. government decided to remove the island wholesale in 1928. Using its 2.3 million cubic yards of rock and dirt, the government would fill in the surrounding area, build a customhouse, coast guard station, and prison atop the reclaimed land, and rename the site Reservation Point.
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