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Del Amo Nurseries Collection

Identifier: SPC-1979-003

Scope and Content

This collection is composed of large hand-written financial ledger books and an alphabetically-organized file of textual records documenting the nursery’s business activities. A large group of the correspondence is from Vice-President Thomas Herron and general managers H. J. Scherer and Ove Hoyer. Other materials include correspondence to and from Sea World and the Selective Service System, purchase orders, legal documents, newsclippings, advertisements, price lists from Del Amo Nurseries, and artifacts collected by the company. Folders other than ledgers have been kept in the original order: alphabetical order regardless of series.


  • 1922-1976


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


The San Pedro Ranch Nursery Company was founded in February 1921 by Dr. Gregorio del Amo y Gonzales, husband of Maria Susana Delfina Dominguez, daughter of Manuel Dominguez. Dr. del Amo had a strong interest in horticulture since his childhood and founded the nursery to provide trees and shrubs for the landscaping of Dominguez Hills, as well as to provide an occupation for his son, Carlos. The nursery was incorporated in April 1923 and renamed Del Amo Nurseries in May 1933. In 1937, the Del Amo Nurseries was merged into the Del Amo Estate Company.

The nursery, located at the intersection of Del Amo Boulevard and Alameda Street with offices in the Union Bank Building in downtown Los Angeles, provided wholesale horticulture products to locations as distant as New York, Spain, France, Peru, and Morocco. Due to Gregorio Del Amo’s interest in horticulture, varieties of trees, shrubs, and ornamental flowering plants from every continent were grown and sold at the nursery. The products were physically planted into the land, instead of in pots or tubs, in the same order as in the printed catalogs, creating a “living catalog.” The nurseries also hosted the Nurseries Industries Roundup in 1938. The one-day meeting allowed industry members to discuss relevant issues, as well as the possible establishment in Westwood of a University of California school for the study of subtropical and ornamental plants.

After Gregorio del Amo’s death in 1941, his son Jaime inherited the property. The nursery continued to operate, though profits were small. During the 1960s, the nursery donated stock for Torrance and Long Beach planting projects. The Estate Company properties, including the nursery, were liquidated in 1964.

The nursery was controlled by a board of five directors until its purchase in 1937. The President was Gregorio del Amo. Vice-Presidents were Stuart O’Melveny (1923-1925), Francisco G. de la Riva (1925-1933), Thomas Herron (1933-1936), and Jaime del Amo (1936-1937). Secretaries were William S. Martin (1923-1925), Eugenio Cabrero (1925-1926 and 1927-1937), and H. J. Scherer (1926-1927). Treasurers were Carlos del Amo (1923-1926) and Eugenio Cabrero (1928-1937). Operations were overseen by a manager/general manager, beginning with H. J. Scherer (1926-1933). Scherer was followed by John Milton Asher (1933), Harold McFaddan (1936-1942), Henry Oldershaw (1944-1947), and Ove Hoyer (1947-1964).


26 boxes

32 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




Materials in this collection are from the San Pedro Rancho Nursery and Del Amo Nursery. They include ledges, tax documents, correspondence, contract information, catalogs, and artifacts on the subjects of growing and providing landscaping materials, daily business practices, contracts with cities and theme parks, and other topics.


Arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Financial Documents (1922-1965)
  2. Series II. Business Documents (1922-1945)
  3. Series IV. Artifacts and Photographs (1938, undated)

Acquisition Information

Materials were recieved from the Del Amo Estate Company around 1979.

Related Material

  1. Del Amo Estate Company Collection
  2. Del Amo Foundation Collection
  3. Rancho San Pedro Collection
  4. Rancho San Pedro Reference Collection

Project Information

This finding aid was created as part of Early Los Angeles/Rancho San Pedro Manuscript Cataloging Project, a CSU Dominguez Hills Library project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project started in 2005. Project Director was Greg Williams. Project Archivists were Thomas Philo and Jennifer Allan Goldman.


Inventory of the Del Amo Nurseries Collection
Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Allan Goldman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747