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Plenty in a name if it’s Compton

The truth why Compton Boulevard was changed to Somerset and Marine east and west of city limits Editor’s Note: In the Blog “50’s 60’s Compton,” Cheryl Mattingly of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., asked, “When was the

The truth why Compton Boulevard was changed to Somerset and Marine east and west of city limits

Editor’s Note: In the Blog “50’s 60’s Compton,” Cheryl Mattingly of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., asked, “When was the name Compton Boulevard changed to Somerset?” which prompted many knowledgeable responses  from a number of persons who live near the thoroughfare in cities east and west of Compton city limits:

Dale Martin – “The city of Paramount changed it from Compton Boulevard to Somerset years ago.”

Lorraine D. Benway Whitney – “About 25 years ago Compton was renamed Somerset. I lived on the street for many years in Bellflower, near Bellflower High School [and] if I remember correctly, we just received notification that it was going to change. The reason, I think was because it stretched so far. We were two houses from where it ended into the 605 Freeway.”

Jarrette Fellows Jr. – “Adjoining cities east and west of Compton city limits did not like the negative connotation – street gangs and violence – associated with the name Compton, is the real reason.”

Gary Kelley – “Mr. Jarrette Fellows Jr. is correct. The length of the street, as mentioned above, was not the reason.”

Compton Boulevard only runs through Compton nowadays.

Victor D. Mendez – “Bellflower is not exactly upscale but at the time they did not want to have a boulevard called Compton running down the City.”

Greg Dunn – “Does anyone know if Compton Boulevard continued to Gardena before the Harbor Freeway came through?”

Jarrette Fellows Jr. – “It did, Greg Dunn. I married in 1974 and our first residence was the Quo Vadis Apartments in Gardena on Compton Boulevard, west of Vermont Avenue.”

Linda Tejeda Aguirre – “Greg Dunn, if I recall, Compton Boulevard ended at St. Albert the Great Church and beyond that is where Redondo Beach Boulevard started. I don’t remember it going as far as Gardena.”

Ron Broesder – “Linda Tejeda Aguirre, I think your right.”

Greg Dunn –  “Linda Tejeda Aguirre, it splits at St Albert’s and continues all the way to Figueroa Street. Then there’s the Harbor Freeway, then it was Compton from Vermont in Gardena all the way to Sepulveda. It became Marine sometime in the 1980s.”

Larry Humburger – “And didn’t Alondra used to be Olive?”

Chuck Schulz – “Larry Humburger, yes.”

Alan Goodin – “Larry Humburger, yes.”

Janet Cayer Giddings – “Larry Humburger, yes it did.”

Bob Sands – “Compton is not known as a good town, anymore.”

Janet Cayer Giddings – “Bob Sands, it was a great town in the 1940s and 1950s. My hometown where I was born and raised.”

Gloria Winans – “I remember when we first moved to Orange County learning the street name changes at county line.”

David Pinedo – “FYI, in Gardena, the street name was changed to Marine for the same reason of a negative connotation.”

Trudy Goodwin – “WTF?”

Sally Sherlock – “In the 1970s and 1980s Compton was pretty rough. Then it evolved and became what it is today. I remember driving through when it appeared like 75 percent of the houses were boarded up. It was during that time the names changed.”

Linda Tejed Aguirre – “Sally Sherlock, yes, that is when it was changed. The downtown area was practically a ghost town; very sad to see. Homes being abandoned and boarded up. The gang and drug problem really made Compton a very undesirable place. Because of this Paramount changed the name of Compton Boulevard that ran through their city.”

Norma Coronado – “The City of Paramount did not want to be associated with Compton because of the bad reputation involving shootings and gangs. This is what I heard.”

Eldonna Bryant – “Yes, it is much easier to change a street name than the kind of people that live there.”

John Adjutant – “Rosecrans Avenue is 27.5 miles long from the beach in Manhattan Beach to Euclid Avenue in Fullerton, and goes through Compton less than a mile north of Compton Boulevard.”

Teresita Meza Audetat – “Eldonna Bryant, it must be costly because you have to change business cards, letterhead, etc!”

Greg Dunn – “John Adjutant, yes, but Rosecrans isn’t the name of the city.”

John Adjutant – “Greg Dunn, this post was to address the fake excuse that Compton Boulevard was too long.”

Greg Dunn – “John Adjutant, yes, I agree. Just saying no reason to change the name since it wasn’t interrupted like it was at the other end.”

Teresita Maza Audetat – “Greg Dunn, you are right! Dumb thing to do. I agree.”

Ricardo Gutierrez – “I drove through the area recently and notice some areas of Compton are now listed as Rancho Dominguez.”

Donna J Menard Radoumis – “They might be reflecting on the ranch owned by Manuel Dominguez. Interesting fact; when I told grandpa where I was going to go to high school and that it was a brand new school, he told me of his working for Manuel Dominguez on that ranch. I thought it was really cool that he had known Senor Dominguez.”

Donna Joy Lesher – “I loved growing up in Compton from 1952-1972. Such good times and fond memories were made there as a child. I’ve never been ashamed to tell anyone I was born and raised in Compton. To me, Compton Boulevard will [always] remain Compton Boulevard in my mind.”

Brenda Lynn Taylor Jeski – “I hate to hear the name change, Everybody wants to change everything that was good.”


Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.


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