In 1887, several groups of investors, encouraged by the narrow-gauge railroad being built, organized several companies and purchased large amounts of towns. One of these was the Hawthorne Land Company. Hawthorne was founded by Benjamin I. Harding and Harry Dana Lombard, who in 1905 purchased acreage from the land company, thus creating the Hawthorne Improvement Company whose purpose was to build an 80-acre town site on the waving barley fields. The name of Hawthorne was chosen by Harding's daughter, Mrs. Laurine Harding Woolwine, who shared her birthday with author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Incorporated in 1922, the City of Hawthorne currently has a population of nearly 87,000 within a six square mile area. Ideally located near the Los Angeles International Airport, connected by rail to the Port of Los Angeles and downtown Los Angeles, and surrounded by the San Diego (I-405), Harbor (I-110), and Glenn M. Anderson (I-105) Freeways, the City of Hawthorne could easily be termed the "Hub of the South Bay." By virtue of its location, Hawthorne affords easy, quick access to all that Southern California offers: culture, sports, entertainment, mountains, and beaches. Temperatures in the area are always among the most pleasant in the Los Angeles basin. The City of Hawthorne has grown from a small, largely rural community to a well-rounded mixture of business, industries and homes.