This year marks the 100th anniversary of Frank Vanderlip's purchase of Rancho de los Palos Verdes, a Mexican land grant that encompassed today's Palos Verdes Peninsula cities and parts of San Pedro and Torrance.

It's a milestone that two local authors see as an important one, and an opportunity to talk about the area's growth and changing landscape over the years.

Ginger Garnett Clark and John Phillips, who have written the histories of the youngest and the oldest of the Hill's four cities, on Sunday will be at The Book Frog at the Promenade on the Peninsula to discuss their works, both part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series.

Clark, a Rancho Palos Verdes resident, published a book about her city in 2009 covering its history from the time the Bixby family acquired the property in the 1900s to the recent past.

The docent at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center was contacted by Jerry Roberts, an acquisitions editor at Arcadia, about writing the book.

"I like to do research; that's what did it," Clark said. "I love talking to people and hearing their stories."

Her first task was to determine what tied together her hometown, which was made from blocks of county land scrabbled together along with a diverse set of landmarks.

"In 1973, they gathered up all of that part of the Hill, including part of Western Avenue and Palos Verdes Drive North, the lighthouse, a couple of golf courses and a set of antennas that had been used by a news service in the 1940s," Clark said.

"Rancho Palos Verdes is totally cool," she continued. "It has so much to it. It's a horseshoe-shaped city that was created during a backlash to a building boom."

Clark aimed to create an accurate history of RPV, "because no one had done it before and I knew it would be a base book," she said.

She obtained photographs from the Local History Room at the Peninsula Center Library, the Point Vicente Interpretive Center and local residents.

"All the people I talked to were generous to a fault about information and pictures. It was a wonderful experience," she said.

Clark had met Phillips, author of "Palos Verdes Estates," at a book signing at the Interpretive Center several months ago. When she approached The Book Frog about scheduling an event, she made sure to include him.

Phillips is a Palos Verdes Estates resident who renovated his home, originally built in 1927 near The Neighborhood Church. The experience led him to write the history book, which Arcadia published in 2010.

"During the process of renovating our house, I was learning about the city of Palos Verdes Estates," he said. "I wanted to know what is the oldest house in the area, so I went to the Peninsula Library and discovered the Local History Room, which blew me away."

Phillips found a pleasant surprise - old photographs of his house as it was being built, including photos of its interior.

"That got me started, and I learned what a rich history Palos Verdes Estates had," he said. "I couldn't get enough information. I went to the Palos Verdes Homeowners Association to look at the archives. I was looking at anything I could get my hands on."

Having previously purchased an Arcadia book on Hawthorne, he went to the publisher's website to find the Palos Verdes Estates edition. There wasn't one.

"I always had an ambition to write a book, but I did not think it would be based on history, I thought it would be science fiction," he said.

He approached Roberts, who said the company was looking for someone to write about his community. Roberts gave Phillips the assignment.

Palos Verdes Estates was incorporated in 1939, but Phillips' book goes back to the Vanderlip era, beginning in 1913, and focuses on the city's early developmental stages.

"Some of the buildings are neat old buildings, like La Venta Inn, the P.V. Golf Club and Malaga Cove Plaza and schools," he said.

Most were built in the early 1920s, when the entire Peninsula was part of a planned project. But because of the stock market crash, the project was scaled back and limited to the portion already developed - Palos Verdes Estates.

Phillips enjoyed meeting longtime residents, including those who had attended Malaga Cove School when it was still an elementary school.

"I think the city of Palos Verdes Estates has a unique history that not many know about," he said. "My book sheds light on things people may not have heard before."

alubinsky@pvnews.com

Want to go?

What: Authors Ginger Garnett Clark and John Phillips, who have written histories of the youngest and the oldest of the Hill's four cities, will sign their books and present a slide show.

Where: The Book Frog at Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, Rolling Hills Estates

When: 1-3 p.m. Sunday.

Information: For more, call 310-265-2665 or visit www.thebookfrog.com. Information on Arcadia Publishing is available at www.arcadiapublishing.com.