August 2, 1907
The great wharfs and piers of Los Angeles are by and large but a thing of memory. Who cannot tilt a head in wonder as one motors up PCH past the State Historic Landmark signage for the Port of Los Angeles Long Wharf, designating it “site of” the longest wooden pier in the world?
It was dismantled after San Pedro became our official harbor in 1897.
Ten years later, on this day, while the wharf was under construction, stout men were busy pulling bodies from the briny Pedro deep.
Seems that trainmen ran heavily-loaded cars onto the trackless uncompleted portion, causing 365 feet of trestle work to collapse, crushing Bakko Kovavich and drowning three others—Melia Bolich and Miko Kovavich. Where Native Americans famously built our skyscrapers, it would appear that Greeks built our piers.
Remember these men when next you enjoy the fruits of our port system.