It was on Signal Hill, CA that Howard and Gertrude McOwen founded Harbor Oil and Refining Company in 1922. In the early days of Harbor Oil, Gertrude McOwen, felt they needed a mascot, so one morning she drew and created “Harbie the Seal.” Harbie can still be found in a number of places today around Southern California.
Over the course of the next 60 years, partnerships were formed, companies acquired, and service stations built and operated.
During the downturn of the US economy in the mid 1980’s, current owners, Scott and Carolyn McOwen, were advised to grow the company by purchasing additional companies.
The conglomerate of various companies created confusion, therefore, the companies were all consolidated and the company renamed, The SoCo Group, Inc. One of the transport drivers wrote SOCO, which stood for Spartan Oil, OK Service Sales, Carr & Carr, etc., and the name stuck.