Early Views of Los Angeles Landmarks

California Historical Landmarks in the County of Los Angeles
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Following the Mexican War, Pío Pico, last Mexican governor, acquired 9,000-acre Rancho Paso de Bartolo and built here an adobe home that was destroyed by the floods of 1883-1884. His second adobe casa, now known as Pío Pico Mansion, represents a compromise between Mexican and American cultures. While living here the ex-Governor was active in the development of American California.



ca. 1895)^^ - Exterior side view of "El Ranchito" now known as the Pio Pico Mansion, Whittier, California.  


Historical Notes

By the 1850s Pico was one of the richest men in Alta California. In 1850 he purchased the 8,894-acre Rancho Paso de Bartolo, which included half of present day Whittier. Two years later, he built a home on the ranch and lived there until 1892. It is preserved today as Pio Pico State Historic Park. Pico also owned the former Mission San Fernando Rey de España, Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores (now part of Camp Pendleton), and several other ranchos for a total of over one half-million acres.*^

Pio Pico died, penniless, in 1894. In 1907 his friend Harriet Russell Strong saved the adobe from demolition and began to restore it. In 1914, she gave the compound to the State of California, to be maintained for the education and enjoyment of the people. The State has restored the adobe three times: in 1946, 1968 and 2000.*^#



(1936)* - A view of the courtyard/patio area and well of the Pico Mansion Adobe, Pío Pico's favorite home, maintained by the State. Originally containing 36 rooms, 17 remained in 1936 by which time the adobe was restored to some extent but not furnished. Location: Pio Pico State Historic Park, 6003 Pioneer Blvd, Whittier.  


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La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles-the Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels-was dedicated on December 8, 1822 during California's Mexican era. Originally known as La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, the church was the only Catholic church for the pueblo. Today it primarily serves the Hispanic population of Los Angeles.



(1850)^*# - This is one of the earliest photos of Los Angeles, taken from a balloon. Looking northeast, the layout of the new city can clearly be seen with the Los Angeles Plaza located in the lower left-center. The large white structure to the left of the Plaza is the Old Plaza Church. The two streets running from bottom of photo to the Plaza are Main Street on the left and Los Angeles Street on the right. Alameda Street runs from the lower right corner diagonally toward the lower center of photo. The L.A. River can be seen running from the lower-right diagonally to the center of the photo, turns left and disappears behind the mountain. At that point the Arroyo Seco can be seen at its confluence with the LA River. The tall majestic San Gabriel Mountains stand in the far background. Vineyards blanket the area between the City and the L.A. River (lower right). The large dark spot in the lower-right of the photo is El Aliso, the historic landmark of the indigenous Tongva people who once lived in the Indian Village of Yangna at that location, adjacent to the L.A. River. Click HERE to see more Early LA City Views (1800s).  



(1857)^^ - Photograph of a drawing (by a young lady pupil of Sister's School) of the Los Angeles Plaza Church with a group of 14 nuns processing in the foreground. A wooden picket fence extends from the church at left to the right. A horseman prances nearby (at right). Two people stand near the church entrance (at left). A few other people are visible on the bare hilltop behind. The flat roof of the mission was covered with tar from the La Brea Tar Pits. Drawn 1857.  


(ca. 1861)* - View of the facade of the 'Old Plaza Mission' (Plaza Church). The Plaza Church would be renovated in 1861, shortly after this photo was taken.  


Historical Notes

The 'Church of Los Angeles' was founded on August 18, 1814 by Franciscan Fray Luis Gil y Taboada. He placed the cornerstone for the new church in the adobe ruins of the original "sub-station mission" here, the Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles Asistencia (founded 1784), thirty years after it was established to serve the settlement founding Los Angeles Pobladores (original settlers).

The completed new structure was dedicated on December 8, 1822. A replacement chapel, named La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles - for Mary, mother of Jesus or "The Church of Our Lady of the Angels" - was rebuilt using materials of the original church in 1861. The title Reina, meaning "Queen," was added later to the name. For years, the little chapel, which collected the nicknames "La Placita" and "Plaza Church," served as the sole Roman Catholic church in emerging immigrant Los Angeles.

The structure incorporated a three-bell campanario, or "bell wall" which was removed and replaced by a gazebo-like structure in 1861.*^



(1869)** - The Plaza and 'Old Plaza Church (Mission Nuestra Senora Reina de Los Angeles). The square main brick reservoir in the middle of the Plaza at the right was the terminus of the town's historic lifeline: The Zanja Madre (Click HERE to read more on the Zanja Madre). The three-story building in the top right background is the Daughters of Charity Orphanage.  


Historical Notes

In 1861, the gazebo-like structure, seen above, replaced the original three-bell wall (see previous photo). However, in 1900, the 3-bell wall would return.*^



(1870)^^- View of the 'Old Plaza Church', shown here with its new gazebo-like roof structure. Note the bare hills in the background.  Chavez Ravine, over the gazebo on the left, is where Dodger Stadium is today.  


Historical Notes

In 1900, the Plaza Church's gazebo-like structure, as seen above, would be replaced once again by the a three-bell wall similar to the one it had prior to 1861.*^



(ca. 1900)^*# - Front view of the Old Mission Church with its newly installed "bell wall", similar to the one it had prior to 1861. There is a clear view of Los Angeles High School (2nd location, built in 1891) up on Fort Moore Hill and its relative relationship to the Plaza and the Plaza Church. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza. Location: 535 N Main St near Macy St, Los Angeles.  


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This adobe house was built ca. 1818 by Don Francisco Avila, alcalde (mayor) of Los Angeles in 1810. Used as Commodore Robert Stockton's headquarters in 1847, it was repaired by private subscription in 1929-30 when Olvera Street was opened as a Mexican marketplace. It is the oldest existing house in Los Angeles.



(ca. 1869)^^ - Photograph of the L.A. Plaza and the entrance to Wine Street looking north from the Pico House, ca.1869. The Avila Adobe is visible on Wine Street (renamed Olvera Street in 1877). Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the L.A. Plaza.  



(ca. 1935)* - Avila Adobe as seen from a building across Olvera Street. In front of the house is a wooden cart, and a Mexican flag is by the entrance. Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Olvera St, Los Angeles.  


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General Phineas Banning, State Senator and pioneer in the development of transportation in Southern California, built this house in the 1850s, soon after founding the town of Wilmington. He and his family lived here until his death in 1885. In 1927 the property was deeded to the city.



(ca. 1937)* - Exterior view of the Greek Revival style residence of Phineas Banning, who was a businessman, stagecoach driver, entrepreneur, and often referred to as the 'Father of the Port of Los Angeles." The home has been preserved as the Banning Residence Museum and managed by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.  


Historical Notes

In 1963, the Banning House property, also known as Banning Park, was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 25 (Click HERE to see complete listing).  It is also federally listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



(1938)* - Exterior view of Phineas Banning's residence in Banning Park in Wilmington. Large trees and greenery may be seen on both sides of the home. Location: 401 East M St at Banning Place, Wilmington.


Historical Notes

The Banning Residence was lived in by three generations of the Banning family until it and the surrounding land were acquired by the City of Los Angeles in 1927. Eighteen rooms of the house containing furniture and decorative elements added during 60 years of Banning family residence in the house are shown to the public during regular tours of the house and grounds. #^*



(n.d.)#^* - Exterior rear view, looking northeast, of the General Phineas Banning House, built in 1864 in the Greek Revival style. Location: 401 East M St at Banning Place, Wilmington.  


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Brand Park, also called Memory Garden, was given to the city for a park November 4, 1920. It is a part of the original land grant of Mission San Fernando de Rey de España, and the colorful and picturesque atmosphere of the early California missions is preserved in Memory Garden.



(ca. 1926)^^ - View of Brand Park across the street from the San Fernando Mission, ca.1926. An adobe archway can be seen in the foreground, its opening partially blocked by a low wrought iron gate. Beyond the archway, a neatly landscaped courtyard is visible. Low hedges surround planters where thin trees stand above large bushes. A fountain can be seen in the middle of the courtyard, and a line of light-colored adobe archways is visible in the background at center. In the foreground a sign on the gate reads "A Los Angeles Park open to the public", while writing on the ground reads "No Bicycle Riding".  



(Early 1900s)* - Brand Park is a beautiful and spacious park located at 15174 San Fernando Mission Boulevard, across the street from Mission San Fernando Rey de España. It features an old soap works, the original mission fountain - which now stands some 30 feet from its first location and shows significant signs of deterioration, and a large and oddly shaped reservoir from which the mission fathers were supplied with water. At the entrance to Brand Park is Barnham's life-sized statue of Father Junípero Serra, with his arm around an Indian boy. Various trees and plants cover the grounds in this courtyard, where bullfights were once held. Location: 15174 San Fernando Mission Blvd, Los Angeles.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Mission




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'Here was made the Treaty of Cahuenga by General Andrés Pico, commanding forces for Mexico, and Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Frémont, U.S. Army, for the United States. By this treaty, agreed upon January 13th, 1847, the United States acquired California - finally secured to us by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, made February 2nd, 1848.' This legend was written February 9, 1898 by Mrs. Jessie Benton Frémont.



(1931)* - Hugo Ballin's mural depicting the singing of the Treaty of Cahuenga is mounted in the lobby of the Guarantee Trust Building at 5th and Hill Streets.  



(1928)* - Campo de Cahuenga, site of the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga in 1847.  


Historical Notes

The Campo de Cahuenga, near the historic Cahuenga Pass in present day Studio City,  was an adobe ranch-house on the Rancho Cahuenga where the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed between Lieutenant Colonel John C. Frémont and General Andrés Pico in 1847, ending hostilities in California between Mexico and the United States. The subsequent Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, ceding California, New Mexico, and Arizona (but not Texas, since it had seceded from Mexico in 1836, declared itself a republic, and joined the union in 1845) to the United States, formally ended the Mexican-American War. From 1858 to 1861 the Campo de Cahuenga became a Butterfield Stage Station.

The original adobe structure was demolished in 1900. The city of Los Angeles provided funds for the purchase of the property in 1923, and a Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style replica 'adobe' ranch house was built by the city following an effort led by Irene T. Lindsay, then President of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society, was dedicated on November 2, 1950. It is now a park and interpretive center managed by the City of Los Angeles- Department of Recreation and Parks in partnership with the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association.*^




(1928)* - Campo de Cahuenga, site of the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the San Fernando Valley. Location: 3919 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood.  


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The central portion of the ranchhouse was built in 1826 by Manuel Domínguez. Rancho San Pedro, ten square leagues granted provisionally by Governor Fages to Juan José Domínguez in 1784, was regranted by Governor Solá to Cristobal Domínguez in 1822. In the battle of Domínguez Ranch, fought here October 8 and 9, 1846, Californians led by José Antonio Carrillo repelled United States forces under Captain William Mervine, U.S. Navy, in an attempt to recapture the Pueblo of Los Angeles.




(1800s)* - George H. Carson standing on the far right, and Mrs. Carson on the far left, at the Dominguez adobe.  


Historical Notes

Mrs. Carson’s father was Don Manuel Dominguez, a wealthy sheep raiser, who inherited the Rancho San Pedro of 24,000 acres from his father, Don Christobal Dominguez, a commissioner of Spain, who had inherited it from his uncle, Don Juan Jose Dominguez, to whom the property had been granted by the Spanish throne.

In 1839, Don Manuel Dominguez was elected Second Alcalde of Los Angeles; In 1843 he became prefect from the second district of California, and in 1849 he was a delegate to the Constitution Convention of California.

George H. Carson was a native of Illinois, who saw service in the Mexican War under Colonel Newberry.  At the close of that struggle he went to Los Angeles, establishing himself in the hardware business, in which he remained until his marriage in 1857, when he turned his attention to the direction of his wife’s interest in the San Pedro Ranch.*#*#



(ca. 1880)* - Drawing of the Dominguez family Rancho San Pedro, later Historical Landmark No. 152. A railroad line passed through. Location: 18127 S Alameda, Compton.  


Historical Notes

The Rancho San Pedro is the site of the First Spanish land grant in California. The land was granted in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez, a retired Spanish soldier who came to California with the Portola expedition and later with Father Juniperro Serra. The original land grant encompassed 75,000 acres, including the entire Los Angeles harbor. The land has passed through successive generations and remains in the Dominguez family. Today, the descendants operate the Watson Land Company and the Carson Estates Company on the original Rancho land.***#



(n.d.)* - Aerial view of the restored Dominguez adobe and the Claretian Seminary across the way on Rancho San Pedro.  


Historical Notes

Upon Manuel’s death in 1882, and the passing of his wife one year later, the Rancho lands were partitioned among his six surviving children, all daughters. Three of the married daughters continued the Dominguez legacy through the Carson, Del Amo and Watson families.

All of the daughters made major donations to the construction of St. Vibiana’s, the former Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. In 1922, the two remaining daughters, Susana Del Amo and Reyes Dominguez, deeded seventeen acres adjacent to the family home to the Claretian Missionaries. In 1924, the Claretian Missionaries began using the adobe home as a graduate school for Claretians and later as a seminary. In recognition of this contribution to the Claretians, special arrangements were made to allow Susana and Gregorio Del Amo to be buried in a crypt beneath the altar of the chapel located in the modern day Claretian retirement home.***#





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A part of the original pueblo lands of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula founded in 1781 under the Spanish Laws of the Indies during the reign of King Carlos III, the plaza is located close to the site of the original plaza. It was the center of the settlement founded by Governor Felipe de Neve. When the Plaza Church was completed in 1822, this site was reserved as a public plaza. It was landscaped in 1871 and has served since that date as a public park.



(ca. 1858)** - This is the earliest known photograph of the Los Angeles Plaza. There is a square main brick reservoir in the middle of the Plaza, which was the terminus of the town's historic lifeline: the Zanja Madre ('Mother Ditch'). The reservoir was built in 1858 by the LA Water Works Company. Click HERE to read more about the Zanja Madre and Los Angeles' first water supply.  



(n.d.)** - Sign for the Los Angeles Plaza. It reads "Historical landmark, State of California, No.156." People sitting in the park can be seen in the background.  



(1961)^^ - View of landmark plaque in the Los Angeles Plaza.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Plaza




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Mission San Fernando Rey de España was founded by Father Lasuén in September 8, 1797. A house belonging to Francisco Reyes, on Encino Rancho, furnished temporary shelter for the missionary in charge. An adobe chapel, built and blessed in December 1806, was damaged by the destructive earthquake of 1812 - a new church was completed in 1818.



(1800s)** - View of the Convento Building, also known as the "Long Building". Two families stand next to their horse-drawn carriages, which have stopped along the road that would eventually become "El Camino Real". Location: 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd, Mission Hills. Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-88002147.  


Historical Notes

Its closeness to Los Angeles and location along a popular traveling route made this place unique. Travelers stopped often, and the fathers kept adding onto the convento wing to accommodate them, until the hospice (hotel) became known as the "long building" of the El Camino Real.*



(ca. 1870)^^ - Exterior view of the Mission San Fernando, ca.1870. Two dirt paths enter in from the foreground, intersecting at the adobe cloister of the mission, which stands to the right of center. A collection of archways holds the eaves of the terracotta-tiled roof up over the cloister's patio. More adobe buildings can be seen to the left, with two-story adobe building standing to the left of an older cloister whose roof has collapsed.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Mission




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The mission was founded September 8, 1771 by Padres Pedro Benito Cambon and Angel Fernández de la Somera. The present church building was begun during the latter part of the 18th century and completed in the year 1800.



(ca. 1870)* - Early view of the south facade of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel in San Gabriel, showing the 6-bell campanario on the left, and an exterior staircase can be seen on the right corner, which leads to the choir loft. When this photograph was taken the area looked barren except for the adobe dwelling attached to the left of the church. The dirt road was part of "El Camino Real" - the 600-mile California Mission Trail connecting the former Alta California's 21 missions. The Moorish influence of the mission is evidenced by the Buttressed walls, vaulted roof, and fortress-like appearance. The walls are original and are over four feet thick, with sections through the buttresses as much as seven feet thick. Architecturally, the San Gabriel Mission is unique among the California Missions.  


(Late 1800s)* - View of the western end and south facade of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. When this photograph was taken, the road was still unpaved, the trees planted along the south side were fairly young (these were later replaced with palms), this side of the church was fenced in, and it had not yet placed the large cross that would rest atop this entrance for many years to come. Note the writing on the wooden fence. Many merchants used this space to "advertise" their goods, which included furniture, tobacco, clothing, drug pharmacy, and guns & ammunition - possibly businesses located in close proximity to the mission.  




(19--)* - View of the western end and south facade of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel; a lone horse and buggy can be seen parked along the road. When this photograph was taken, the road was still unpaved, the trees planted along the south side were starting to grow lush (these were later replaced with palms), this side of the church was fenced in, and it had recently placed the large cross that would rest atop this entrance for many years to come.  




(1900)* - Early view of the six-bell "campanario" (or "bell wall") located adjacent to the chapel's east facade, at the far end of the church, with a thin but ornate cross at the very top. This large six-bell campanario was built after the original three-bell structure toppled during the 1812 Wrightwood Earthquake. In olden times, bells were vitally important to daily life at any mission. The bells were rung at mealtimes, to call the Mission residents to work and to religious services, during births and funerals, as well as to signal the approach of a ship or returning missionary, etc. When this photograph was taken, the palm trees were still saplings and the road had not yet been paved.  



(19--)* - View of a sign located on the sidewalk along Mission Drive pointing toward Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. The sign shows an arrow pointing right, with "Historical Landmark No. 158 - State of California" written below it. The Automobile Club of Southern California posted such signs before local government took over the responsibility. A portion of the Mission Museum is visible behind the palm fronds. Location: 537 W Mission Dr at Junipero St, San Gabriel USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: EL MONTE. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-71000158.


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Pío Pico constructed the Pico House in 1869-70. The first three-story hotel built in Los Angeles, it had about eighty rooms, large windows, a small interior court, and a grand staircase.



(1875)* - The Pico House, built by Pio Pico 1869-70. There is a stage coach in front of the hotel. Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 400 block of Main St, Los Angeles. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-72000231.  



(ca. 1920)* - The Pico House, sometimes called "Old Pico House." For a period in the 1920's it became the "National Hotel" and here we see a corner view of the building at the corner of N. Main & Plaza St., with a sign for "Plaza Employment Agency" on the right side of the building. A crowd of people are hanging around the corner, and a row of cars is parked up the left side, while 3 or 4 cars are seen on the right side.  



(ca. 1971)***^ - View of the Pico House's interior courtyard shortly after it was restored.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Plaza




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Known as the 'Oldest House in Hollywood,' this house was built in the 1870s by Eugene Raphael Plummer.



(1932)* - Almost hidden by the trees and shrubs in Plummer Park is a building indentified as the Plummer Ranch House. The house was located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood until it was relocated in 1983 to the Calabasas site of the Leone Adobe. Location: Old location: 7377 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood (Los Angeles) New location: 23537 Calabasas Rd, Calabasas.


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Francisco López made California's first authenticated gold discovery on March 9, 1842. While gathering wild onions near an oak tree in Placerita Canyon he found gold particles clinging to the roots of the bulbs. The San Fernando placers and nearby San Feliciano Canyon were worked by Sonoran miners using panning, sluicing and dry washing methods. Lopez's find predated James Marshall strike at Sutter's Mill by six years.



(n.d.)^^ - In 1842, Francisco López discovered gold next to this oak tree in Placerita Canyon, sparking a gold rush to the San Gabriel Mountains.  


Historical Notes

Rancho San Francisco was a land grant that was deeded to Antonio del Valle on January 22, 1839, by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado, consisting of 48,612 acres. This rancho is famous for having the first documented discovery of gold in California. On March 9, 1842, a family member by the name of Francisco Lopez was pulling a few wild onions from the ground next a tree he had been napping under, and found flakes of gold clinging to the roots. This sparked a gold rush, though on a smaller scale than the more famous California Gold Rush years later, with about 2,000 people coming from the Mexican state of Sonora to mine the gold. During the Mexican-American War, Del Valle destroyed the mine in order to prevent the Americans from gaining access to it. In subsequent years, Rancho San Francisco would change hands several times, from the Del Valle family, to William Wolfskill, and then to Henry Newhall. On August 24, 1956 the adobe headquarters of Rancho San Francisco was designated California Historical Landmark No. 556, and the tree where Lopez took his nap, known as the "Oak of the Golden Dreams", was registered as California Historic Landmark No.168.*



(1937)* - The spot in Placerita Canyon (Los Angeles County) where gold was first discovered in Southern California. "Under the tree gold was first found on the roots of wild onions." Location: Site: Placerita Canyon State and County Park, Placerita Canyon Rd, 4.6 mi NE of Newhall (Los Angeles); Plaque: SE corner I-5 and Lyons Ave, Newhall.  


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Established in 1862, Drum Barracks became the United States military headquarters for Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. It was a garrison and base for supplies, and a terminus for camel pack trains operated by the Army until 1863. Abandoned in 1866, the site remains a landmark of the Civil War in California.



(ca. 1865)^^ - Drum Barracks Warehouse with Camel in front ready for loading for trip to Arizona fort.  



(1889)* - Fort Drum Barracks (also possibly called Camp Burnside) encampment lasted from Aug. 10th to 19th, 1889. (Penciled on photograph are dates: 1861-1862) Photograph shows Commander Mudge, Adj't Myron F. Tarbel, comrade W. Savage among other uniformed men and women. Sign with a mounted flag reads: Headquarters encampment of W.R.C. Location: 1053 Cary St (corner Cary and Opp), Wilmington.  


Historical Notes

Camp Drum and Drum Barracks get their name from Col. Richard Coulter Drum, then Assistant Adjutant General of the Army's Department of the Pacific, stationed in San Francisco, and not after a percussion instrument. There is no record that Col. Drum ever saw or set foot in the station bearing his name.

During the Civil War, Camp Drum was the headquarters of the District of Southern California and the home to the California Column, commanded by Colonel James Henry Carleton. Between 2,000 and 7,000 soldiers were stationed at Camp Drum, and Wilmington became a thriving community with a population greater than Los Angeles during the war.*^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington.



(ca. 1920)* - Fort Drum Barracks at Wilmington, which was built during the Civil War, 1051-1055 Cary Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The surviving 16-room structure was the officers' quarters, which was once one of 19 similar buildings on the site. Today, the barracks is open as a museum which commemorates California's contribution to the Civil War. The building has been designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 21 (Click HERE to see complete listing).*^

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The bones of thousands of prehistoric animals that had been entrapped during the Ice Age in pools of tar that bubbled from beneath the ground were exhumed from this site. First historic reference to the pools, part of the 1840 Rancho La Brea land grant, was recorded by Gaspar de Portolá in 1769 - first scientific excavations were made by the University of California in 1906. The site was presented to the County of Los Angeles in 1916 by Captain G. Allan Hancock to be developed as a scientific monument.



(ca. 1910)* - Standing on the edge of a small pond tar we can look across it to the old Hancock Ranch House. Off to the left in the distance are the oil fields. Beyond lay the Hancock Oil fields and the Hollywood Hills.  



(1924)* - Aerial view of La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park. Location: Hancock Park, 5801 Wilshire Blvd between Ogden and Curson Streets, Los Angeles.



(1968)* - Three life-sized replicas of giant Imperial Mammoths, sculpted by artist Howard Ball, are shown on the shore at the tar pits adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, present in the background.


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The Merced Theatre, erected in 1870 on North Main Street next to the Pico House, was the first building built expressly for theatrical purposes in Los Angeles. It was built by William Abbot, a cabinetmaker, and named in honor of his wife Merced Garcia.



(ca. 1876)* - Main Street and Plaza showing the Pico House and the Merced Theater. The first gas works can also be seen in the foreground; the tanks were built in 1867, the Pico House and the Merced Theater in 1870.  



(1870s) - The Merced Theater sits between the Pico House , and two other unidentified buildings close to the right. This was the "first business block on Main Street". Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 420 Main St, Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

The theater was built in an Italianate style and operated as a live theater from 1871 to 1876. When the Woods Opera House opened nearby in 1876, the Merced ceased being the city's leading theater. Eventually, it gained an "unenviable reputation" because of "the disreputable dances staged there, and was finally closed by the authorities." *^



(1890s)*#^ - View of Main Street looking northeast.  The Plaza, Pico House, and Merced Theater are visible.  A sign above the theater reads “Barker & Allen, Furniture & Carpets.” Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 420 Main St, Los Angeles. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-72000231  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza




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In 1875 the Star Oil Company, one of the predecessors of the Standard Oil Company of California, drilled its first Pico Canyon well, which yielded about one hundred barrels per day. The discovery resulted in the erection of the first commercial oil refinery in California the following year.



(1878)* - View of the Pioneer Oil Refinery, located in Newhall of the Santa Clarita Valley, which operated from 1876 to about 1888. Located on Pine Street in Newhall, the refinery dates back to approximately 1876, when driller Alex Mentry broke ground in Pico Canyon and Chinese track layers were hammering rails through Henry Newhall's recently-purchased rancho. The little 15-barrel still that had been erected in 1874 at Lyon's Station (now Eternal Valley Cemetery) just wasn't working out. It couldn't produce a smoke-free kerosene -- oil's major use in those days -- and in 1875 it was shut. Besides, it was almost a mile away from the coming railroad. Location: Site and private plaque at 238 Pine St, Newhall - state plaque at Lang Blvd exit of I-5.


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In October 1784, José María Verdugo petitioned Pedro Fages, Governor of Alta California, for a grant of land. This grant was the first and one of the largest made. When parts of Rancho San Rafael were sold, Tomás Sánchez, Sheriff of Los Angeles County, purchased a tract of 100 acres and in 1865 built this artistic adobe of the hacienda type, restored in 1932.



(1895)^^ - Photographic portrait of Charels and Nellie Bogue in front of the former home of Tomas Sanchez in Glendale, 1895. The one-story adobe, located on the back of the Verdugo Ranch one half-mile west of Brand Boulevard, is shown at center, featuring a wrap-around patio and overhang. In the yard in front, Charles is shown seated to the left with Nellie standing at his side. Grown in the picture, they are the children of C.V. Bogue. A center, three boys in bolero dress identified as the children of "Charles and John" sit astride a burro while two girls identified as "Ruth and Helen" are pictured in lightly colored dressed farther left. The yard appears to be overgrown with sedgegrass. Sanchez lived at the residence between 1872 and 1875.  


(1936)* - Exterior view of the Tomas Sanchez adobe, La Casa Adobe de San Rafael, Glendale, in June 1936, following restoration in 1932. The photo shows its Monterey-style corridor (covered porch). It was built by Tomas Sanchez, sheriff of L.A. County, in 1849 on Rancho San Rafael land owned by Fernando and Rafaela Verdugo. It stands in a city park and is now furnished with furniture, cooking utensils and other relics of its time. Location:1330 Dorothy Dr, Glendale.  

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Pomona College, incorporated October 14, 1887, held its first class in this small frame cottage on September 12, 1888. Those in attendance consisted of a mere handful of eager students, five faculty members, and the president, Professor Edwin C. Norton. Five months later, in January 1889, the college moved to an unfinished boom hotel on a plot of land in the town of Claremont.


(ca. 1889)* - Exterior view of Ayer Cottage, the original home of Pomona College when it was located in Pomona. The rented cottage had four rooms where the College held its first classes in 1888 in exercise of its charter granted October 14, 1887. About six months later the campus moved to Claremont after an unfinished hotel in Claremont, along with adjacent land, was given to the College. Location: SW corner Mission Blvd and S White St, Pomona.  


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The Lugo Adobe, said to have been built in the 1840s by Don Vicente Lugo, was one of the very few two-story houses in the pueblo of Los Angeles. In 1867, Lugo donated this house on the Plaza to St. Vincent's School (forerunner of Loyola University). From the 1880s until it was razed in 1951, the building was occupied by the Chinese.



(1865)* - The Plaza, looking east, with LA's first above ground reservoir to the right of the picture. The two-story building directly behind the reservoir is the Vicente Lugo adobe house. The building in front of the reservoir with the gazebo-like tower is the 'Old Plaza Church'. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the L.A. Plaza.  



(1890)* - The Los Angeles Plaza, around 1890. The one story building on the left is the former residence of Don Augustin Olvera. The large two story on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo. The LA City Water Company is at the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.  



(ca. 1890s)** - Exterior front view of the two-story Vicente Lugo adobe house, seen with hipped roof and dormer windows. The home is on S/E corner of Los Angeles and Alameda Streets,  and faces the Plaza. When this photograph was taken, the adobe was home to Leeching Hung & Co., with adjacent buildings flanking it on either side; horse-drawn carriages are parked on the unpaved road in front of the buildings.  



(1939)* - Exterior front view of the two-story Vincent Lugo adobe house, located on Los Angeles Street and facing the Plaza. It is now flanked by brick buildings, with cars parked on the street in front. Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, SE corner Los Angeles and Alameda Sts, Los Angeles.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza



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NO. 302 - OLD MILL

The Old Mill, El Molino Viejo, was designed by Father José María Zalvidea and built of fired bricks and adobe about 1816 to serve Mission San Gabriel. Another grist mill was built in 1823 near the mission and the old mill was gradually abandoned - it passed from mission control in 1846. The property remained in private hands until 1903, when Henry E. Huntington bought the building and used it for a golf clubhouse. Later owners, Mr. and Mrs. James Brehm, had the mill restored in 1928 by Frederick Rupple.



(ca. late 1800s)^^# - View of the entrance to the Old Mission Mill adobe. The old mill built by the fathers of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel.  



(ca. 1890)* - View of the Old Mission Hill after it moved from mission control to private hands and remodeled. The photograph was taken between 1881 and 1895. View is from the side, with trees in the foreground.  



(ca. 1910)^^# - Exterior view of the Old Mission Mill, used by Henry E. Huntington as a golf clubhouse after he purchased it in 1903. Location: 1120 Old Mill Rd, San Marino.  


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The oldest portion of the adobe was built about 1834 by ex-mission Indians. It was enlarged by Eulogio de Celís in 1846, and an upper story added by Rómulo Pico in 1874. The house was restored by Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Harrington in 1930.



(ca. 1876)++ – View showing Rómulo Pico standing in front of his home.  Rómulo was the son of Andrés Pico, and he lived here with his wife Catarina (Rómulo is at right).  


Historical Notes

Rómulo Pico Adobe, also known as Ranchito Rómulo and Andrés Pico Adobe, was built in 1853 and is the oldest adobe residence in the San Fernando Valley, and the second oldest adobe residence in the City of Los Angeles. Located in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles, the Rómulo Pico Adobe is a short distance from the San Fernando Mission (Mission San Fernando Rey de España). It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.*^



(ca. 1920)^# - Exterior view of the home of Andres Pico (brother of Pio Pico) located near the San Fernando Mission at 10940 Sepulveda Boulevard in Mission Hills.  


Historical Notes

Located on Sepulveda Boulevard in Mission Hills, the original part of the Romulo Pico Adobe was actually built in 1834 by Tongva-Fernandeño, Tataviam-Fernandeño, and Chumash-Ventuaño Native Americans (Indians) from the San Fernando Mission. The original purpose of the structure is unknown, though the adobe was located in the center of the Mission's orchards and surrounding vineyards.*^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Mission.



(1927)^# - The Andres Pico Adobe (also known as Romulo Pico Adobe) before its restoration. The artist in the foreground is Claude A. Whisman, a Los Angeles police officer, who was recovering from a gun shot wound. His painting is on display in the Adobe.  


Historical Notes

The adobe was lived in by the Pico family until the 1890s when it fell into disrepair. In 1930, Dr. Mark Harrington, curator of the Southwest Indian Museum and a famous archeologist, purchased the adobe, renovated it and lived there until the 1940s.^#



(1932)++ – The Andres Pico Adobe after it was restored by Mark Raymond Harrington who was the curator of archaeology at the Southwest Museum from 1928-1964. Photo Credit: West Valley Museum/CSUN Oviatt Library  


Historical Notes

The San Fernando Valley Historical Society saved the adobe from destruction in the 1960s and it now houses the collection of the Mark Harrington Library. The property also houses the Lankershim Reading Room.^#



(1966)* - The 'Rancho Romulo,' one of oldest houses in the southland. Location: 10940 N Sepulveda Blvd, Mission Hills. Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-66000211.  


Historical Notes

In 1962, the Romulo Pico Adobe (Rancho Romulo) was dedicated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 7 (Click HERE to see complete listing).


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Bubbling springs once flowed here from their source in a deep water basin that has existed continuously since the Pleistocene Era. Prehistoric animals, Indians, and early Inglewood settlers were attracted here by the pure artesian water. The springs and valley were named after sentinels guarding cattle in the area.


(n.d.)* - A concrete fountain is the site of Aguaje de la Centinela, or Centinela Springs. The inscription on the fountain reads "Since time immemorial, God's blessing of sweet water to all his creatures." The Centinela Springs Park is visible in the background. Location: Centinela Park, 700 Warren Ln, Inglewood.  


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Designed by A. A. Bennett for entertaining, the cottage was constructed by Elias Jackson ('Lucky') Baldwin in 1881. Since there was no kitchen, meals were served from the nearby adobe (built by Hugo Reid in 1839) where Baldwin actually lived. The building was restored and dedicated May 18,1954 as part of Los Angeles State and County Arboretum.



(n.d.)* - Exterior view of the Baldwin Cottage, also known as the Queen Anne Cottage. Built between the years 1885-86 by Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin, it is believed to have been a honeymoon gift for Lucky's fourth wife, sixteen year-old Lillie Bennett. Lillie's father, architect Albert A. Bennett, designed the cottage. After the May-December marriage ended in 1885, Baldwin converted the home into a memorial to the third wife, Jennie Dexter, who had died in 1881. Jennie's likeness can be seen in a stained glass portrait in the front door and in a large portrait hanging in the parlor, both of which remain in the cottage today. Baldwin resided in the neighboring 8-room adobe house, originally owned by Hugo Reid, leaving the cottage to serve as the ranch guest house. After Baldwin's death in 1909, the ranch land fell into the hands of Baldwin's daughter Anita, who in 1936, sold some acres to Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times. Chandler owned a real estate company, Rancho Santa Anita, Inc., which oversaw the former Baldwin land and developed subdivisions in the area. In 1947, 111 acres of the former Santa Anita Ranch were purchased from Rancho Santa Anita, Inc. by the State of California and County of Los Angeles to develop the arboretum. Location: Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, 301 N Baldwin, Arcadia.



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Hugo Reid, a Scotsman, petitioned the government of Mexico to grant him Rancho Santa Anita. His claim strengthened by his marriage to Victoria, a native Indian of the San Gabriel Mission, he received the grant on April 16, 1841. Immediately upon filing his petition, Reid took possession of the land, started to farm and plant vineyards, and built the first house-the Hugo Reid Adobe-in 1839. In 1875, E. J. Baldwin purchased the rancho and in 1879 added a wooden wing to the old adobe.



(1964)* - Courtyard view of Hugo and Victoria Reid's adobe at the Arboretum. Well is at the left and rocks at right are believed to be the original baptismal font from one of the early California missions. The ranch was owned by E. J. "Lucky" Baldwin from 1875 to 1909. Location: Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia.


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Completed about 1854 and restored in 1939, this was the family home of Don Ygnacio Palomares. Governor Juan B. Alvarado granted Rancho San Jose to Don Ygnacio and Don Ricardo Vejar in 1837.



(Late 1800s)* - Exterior view of Adobe de Palomares, the ranch home of Don Ygnacio Palomares and his wife Doña Concepción López de Palomares, located on the grounds of Rancho San José. Photograph shows a portion of the adobe, which had since fallen into ruins. Don Ygnacio was one of the first Pomona Valley settlers in 1837 and owned, along with the Vejar family, the Rancho San José, which covered eastern Los Angeles County. Location: 491 E Arrow Hwy, Pomona.  


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The Indians of this area obtained salt from this lake. Sometime in the 1850s, Johnson and Allanson erected the necessary works to manufacture salt by artificial as well as solar evaporation. The salt yield for 1879 was 450 tons.



This photo shows the abandoned salt works, and is variously dated as 1895, 1904, and 1906.^^* Location: SE corner Harbor Dr and Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach.  


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This adobe home, built by Diego Sepúlveda in the 1850s, was the first two-story Monterey-type adobe built in Southern California.


(n.d.)* - Exterior view of a two-story adobe home of Don Diego Sepulveda, erected in 1853. Location: 700 block of Channel St, San Pedro.


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The whaling industry is said to have been started by Captain Clark in 1864. Captain Frank Anderson, a Portuguese, tried 2,166 barrels of whale oil at this station from 1874 to 1877. The station was abandoned because of a lack of fuel rather than vessels.



(Early 1900s)* - Panoramic view showing the coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Portuguese Bend, in Rancho Palos Verdes, is seen in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

The name Portuguese Bend comes from the whaling activities of Portuguese whalemen from the Azores. An Azorean shore whaling captain named José Machado brought shore whaling to this bend in the coastline north of San Pedro Bay after the closure of the San Pedro Bay whaling station on Deadman's Island in or about 1862. He brought with him a crew of Azorean whalemen. In 1864, Captain Clark moved his operations to San Simeon Bay. In 1869, the station was operated by the John Brown Whaling Company (Los Angeles Star, March 13, 1869).

In 1874, Captain Frank Anderson (né Anasio) brought a crew from Port Harford in San Luis Obispo County. His operation at Portuguese Bend lasted from 1874 to 1877. During three winters (December–April) he obtained 2,166 barrels of oil from drying out the blubber flensed from gray whales he had caught on their annual migration along the California coast. He abandoned the station thereafter, establishing another further north at Pigeon Point. An 1888 U.S. Fish Commission Report stated that whales had been caught from Portuguese Bend as late as 1884, suggesting another party utilized the area for whaling up until that date.*^



(1955)* - Aerial view of the Portuguese Bend Beach Club (along the bend) and Rancho Palos Verdes vicinity; view is looking southwest. Catalina Channel and the Pacific Ocean are visible on the left, and the hills fill the background toward the right.  


Historical Notes

In 1846 Jose Dolores Sepulveda and José Loreto received a Mexican land grant from Alta Governor Pío Pico for a parcel from the huge original 1784 Spanish land grant Rancho San Pedro of Manuel Dominguez. It was named Rancho de los Palos Verdes, or "ranch of the green sticks", which was used primarily as a cattle ranch.

By 1882 ownership of the land had passed from the Sepulveda through various mortgage holders to Jotham Bixby of Rancho Los Cerritos, who leased the land to Japanese farmers. Early in the 20th century most of Bixby's land was sold to a consortium of New York investors who created The Palos Verdes Project and began marketing land on the peninsula for small horse ranches and residential communities.*^



(2010)*^^ - Portuguese Bend Whaling Station Marker. Location: Portuguese Bend Club, Palos Verdes Dr. and Maritime Rd, Rancho Palos Verdes.  


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This adobe was built in 1818. Dolores had trouble getting his land title cleared, so he took a trip to Monterey to get the matter definitely settled and, on his return trip, he was shot with an arrow by a hostile Indian at Mission La Purísima Concepción.



(n.d.)* - An adobe in Sawtelle built circa 1880 by Dolores Sepulveda on what was once part of Rancho San Vicente. Located three blocks south of Bundy Drive, the adobe was occupied by a Japanese farmer in 1936. Date of original photo is unknown; copy made by WPA April 2, 1937. Location: Approx intersection of Madison St and Courtney Way, Torrance.  


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In 1852 German immigrant Augustus W. Timms obtained Sepúlveda's Landing on the mudflats near here. He built a wharf, added a warehouse, corral and other facilities to service shipping and the running of stages to Los Angeles. Timms was a pioneer in the development of the harbor and for over fifty years this area was known as Timms Point.



(ca. 1865)#* - At the south end of Los Angeles in the 1800s was a mudflat. By 1868 it would be named Timms' Landing and some historians consider it the first Port of Los Angeles. Timms' Landing was surrounded by vast areas of tidal flats and marshes.  



(ca. 1870s)* - View of Timms' Point, Los Angeles Harbor. Breakwaters and Deadman's Island can be seen in the background. Deadman's Island was one of two islands near San Pedro in the 19th century. The land, sometimes referenced as Dead Man's Island, Isla Del Muerto, and Reservation Point, was dredged away in 1928 as part of a harbor development effort. Rattlesnake Island, the other islet in the area, became Terminal Island. Location: Sampson Way at Southern Pacific Slip, San Pedro.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington




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Near this site on January 8, 1847, American forces commanded by Captain Robert F. Stockton, U.S. Navy, Commander in Chief, and Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearney, U.S. Army, fought Californians commanded by General José María Flores in the Battle of the Río San Gabriel.


(n.d.)* - Historical Landmark No. 385 commemorating the Battle of the Rio San Gabriel on January 8, 1847, near this site in Montebello. A cannon is seen. The monument is located at Washington Boulevard and the Rio Hondo River and was placed June 8, 1944, in memory of the battle between American forces commanded by Robert T. Stockton and Stephen W. Kearny and Californians commanded by General Jose Maria Flores. Location: NE corner of Washington Blvd and Bluff Rd, Montebello.  


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This house, built in 1868 by Saturnino Carrión, was restored in 1951 by Paul E. Traweek.



(1936)* - Adobe house of Saturnino Carrion built in 1868 located three miles southeast of San Dimas when the photograph was taken on June 24, 1936. The area later became part of La Verne. Location: 919 Puddingstone Dr, La Verne.  


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Erected during mission days, 1792-1805, this is the second oldest adobe in this region. Originally 'L'-shaped, it is now only half its original size. In 1859, the adobe became the property of Don Jean Vigare and in the early 1860s, as San Gabriel's first bakery, it was separated from the mission's lime orchard by a high cactus wall.


(1939)* - Exterior of the Ortega-Vigare Adobe. Mrs. Lux Vigare, great-granddaughter of a solidier of the Mission San Gabriel Archangel, was in residence at the time the photograph was taken on June 6, 1939. Location: 616 S Ramona St, San Gabriel.  


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The first hydroelectric installation in California for long-distance transmission of alternating current at high voltage was built in 1892 on San Antonio Creek below this spot by the San Antonio Light and Power Company organized by Dr. Cyrus Grandison Baldwin, President of Pomona College. The first high-voltage transformers built by George Westinghouse for this installation provided for transmission of 10,000 volts from the plant to Pomona.




(1956)*^* - The first hydroelectric plant in California was constructed near Pomona by the San Antonio Light and Power Corporation and put in operation in 1892. Electric energy was transmitted a distance of 28 miles at 10,000 volts. Location: Camp Baldy Rd (P.M. 2.0), San Antonio Canyon, 8.1 mi N of State Hwy 166, Claremont.



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NO. 516 - WELL CSO 4 (PICO 4)

On this site stands CSO-4 (Pico No. 4), California's first commercially productive well. It was spudded in early 1876 under direction of Demetrious G. Scofield who later became the first president of Standard Oil Company of California, and was completed at a depth of 300 feet on September 26, 1876, for an initial flow of 30 barrels of oil a day. Later that year, after the well was deepened to 600 feet with what was perhaps the first steam rig employed in oil well drilling in California, it produced at a rate of 150 barrels a day - it is still producing after 77 years (1953). The success of this well prompted formation of the Pacific Coast Oil Company, a predecessor of Standard Oil Company of California, and led to the construction of the state's first refinery nearby. It was not only the discovery well of the Newhall Field, but was a powerful stimulus to the subsequent development of the California petroleum industry.



(Late 1800s)* - Photo of Pico No. 4 oil rig; drilled in Pico Canyon in the San Fernando Valley near Newhall in 1875; Oil rig laid the basis for Standard Oil Co of California. Location: On W Pico Canyon Rd, 3.3 mi W of I-5, Newhall  


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Named after pioneer oil developer Charles Alexander Mentry, who in 1876 drilled the first successful oil well in California. His restored home and barn and Felton School remain here where the Star Oil Company, one of the predecessors of Standard Oil of California, was born.



(Early 1900s)*#* - Mentryville was a booming little oil town in Pico Canyon from about the time of the success of "Pico No. 4" in 1876 until the early 1930s. In this photo, the "Big House" (1898) is clearly visible at lower right; the dance hall that no longer exists is behind it; and the Felton School (1885) is behind that in the trees. The barn is at lower left. Other structures are visible in the photo that no longer exist today. Location: 27201 W Pico Canyon Rd, 2.8 mi W of I-5, Newhall  


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The Portolá Expedition of 1769 encamped at this spring, and it is reported that in 1770 Father Serra said Mass here to the Indians of this area. This spring was also the former water supply of the town of Santa Monica. The site is now the campus of the University High School.

Location: University High School Horticulture Area, 11800 Texas Ave, Los Angeles



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This building was constructed by Charles F. Lummis (1859-1928), author, editor, poet, athlete, librarian, historian, archeologist, etc. He selected this site in 1895 chiefly because of a mammoth, ancient sycamore (El Alisal) which has since died and been replaced by four saplings.



(Early 1900s)* - Exterior view of Charles Lummis' house, 'El Alisal' in Highland Park.  



(n.d.)* - Exterior view of Lummis House, "El Alisal", located at 200 East Avenue 43, in Highland Park. View shows the front facade. Date built: 1898-1910. Architect: Charles F. Lummis. Lummis was the founder of the Southwest Museum and the California Landmarks Club.  



(2007)* - Lummis House, also known as El Alisal, is a Rustic American Craftsman stone house built by Charles Fletcher Lummis in the late 19th Century. It is located near the Arroyo Seco, in Northeast Los Angeles, Southern California. The house's name means alder grove in Spanish. Location: 200 E Ave 43 at Pasadena Freeway No. 11, Los Angeles. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-71000148.*^  


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Dedicated on September 4, 1880, this original building of the University of Southern California has been continuously in use for educational purposes since October 6, 1880, when its doors were first opened to students by the university's first president, Marion McKinley Bovard. The building was constructed under the guiding hand of Judge Robert M. Widney, the university's leading founder, on land donated by Ozro W. Childs, John G. Downey, and Isaias W. Hellman.



(1903)^ - Exterior view of Widney Hall. This was the first building erected on the campus of U.S.C. and the oldest college building in Southern California. Now "Widney Hall", used by the School of Music. The building was built in 1879-80 in a Italianate style, and later remodeled in 1958.  



(n.d.)* - View of Widney Hall. The building moved several times throughout the years but still stands today.  



(n.d.)^*** - View of Widney House with the Old College Building on the right. Location: Widney Hall Alumni House, University of Southern CA, Childs Way, between Hoover Blvd and University Ave, Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

These two buildings were the first to be built on USC’s early campus.  Old College was demolished in 1949, and the Widney House was moved to its current site on the southeast corner of the campus.^***



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of U.S.C.




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Cecil B. DeMille rented half of this structure, then used as a barn, as the studio in which was made the first feature-length motion picture in Hollywood-The Squaw Man-in 1913. Associated with Mr. DeMille in making The Squaw Man were Samuel Goldwyn and Jesse Lasky, Sr. Originally located at the corner of Selma and Vine Streets, in 1927 the barn was transferred to Paramount Studios.



(1938)* - View on Paramount Studios lot of "The Old Barn" also known as "Lasky's Barn" where Cecil B. DeMille and Jesse L. Lasky started at the first picture studio.  



(1956)* - View of celebrities standing on the porch of ‘The Old Barn’ during the California Historical Landmark plaque dedication. From left to right are: Samuel Goldwyn; Jesse Lasky; Cecil B. DeMille; Adolph Zukor; Leo Carrillo and Y. Frank Freeman.


Historical Notes

In a ceremony attended by its founders, the Lasky-DeMille Barn was dedicated on December 27, 1956, as "Hollywood's First Major Film Company Studio" and designated California State Historic Landmark No. 554, representing the birth of the Hollywood motion picture industry and becoming the first landmark associated with it.*^



(2007)*^ - View of The Lasky-DeMille Barn at its present day location, 2100 North Highland Avenue (Across from the Hollywood Bowl).  


Historical Notes

In October 1979, the barn was moved off the Paramount lot to a vacant lot in Hollywood. It was then moved by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to the parking lot of The Hollywood Palace theater, where it was boarded up and fenced in until a permanent site could be found.

The Lasky-DeMille Barn was acquired by Hollywood Heritage, Inc., in February 1983. It was then moved to its present site at the southern end of the parking lot of the Hollywood Bowl, where it was restored and made into the Hollywood Heritage Museum.*^


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Approximately one-half mile south of the point was the adobe headquarters of Rancho San Francisco, originally built about 1804 as a granary of Mission San Fernando. The rancho was granted to Antonio de Valle in 1839. Here, in January 1850, William Lewis Manly and John Rogers obtained supplies and animals to rescue their comrades in a California-bound gold-seeking emigrant party that was stranded and starving in Death Valley, some 250 miles to the northeast.




(1843)*^ - Map of Rancho San Francisco, in what is now northern Los Angeles County. Location: SW corner of 'The Old Road' and Henry Mayo Drive, 0.2 mi S of I-5 and State Hwy 126 interchange, Valencia.



Historical Notes

Rancho San Francisco was a land grant that was deeded to Antonio del Valle on January 22, 1839, by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado, consisting of 48,612 acres. This rancho is famous for having the first documented discovery of gold in California. On March 9, 1842, a family member by the name of Francisco Lopez was pulling a few wild onions from the ground next a tree he had been napping under, and found flakes of gold clinging to the roots. This sparked a gold rush, though on a smaller scale than the more famous California Gold Rush years later, with about 2,000 people coming from the Mexican state of Sonora to mine the gold. During the Mexican-American War, Del Valle destroyed the mine in order to prevent the Americans from gaining access to it. In subsequent years, Rancho San Francisco would change hands several times, from the Del Valle family, to William Wolfskill, and then to Henry Newhall. On August 24, 1956 the adobe headquarters of Rancho San Francisco was designated California Historical Landmark No. 556, and the tree where Lopez took his nap, known as the "Oak of the Golden Dreams", was registered as California Historic Landmark No.168.*



Rancho San Francisco Marker.*^^  


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This was the site of Saint Vincent's College from 1868 to 1887. The college, now Loyola University, was founded by the Vincentian Fathers in 1865 and was the first institution of higher learning in Southern California.



(ca. 1887)* - View of St. Vincent's College, circa 1887, located at Hill and Broadway, between 6th and 7th streets. It is believed that the left portion of building was erected for St. Vincent's College, and later, was the headquarters to General Miles of the U.S. Military Dept. of Arizona.  



(ca. 1887)* - View of St. Vincent's College, circa 1887. Location: St. Vincent Court, in alley between Broadway and Hill, and 6th and 7th Sts, Los Angeles.  


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One of the world's most famous wells. Started on March 23,1921, it flowed 590 barrels of oil a day when it was completed June 25, 1921, at a depth of 3,114 feet. This discovery well led to the development of one of the most productive oil fields in the world and helped to establish California as a major oil producing state.



(1926)* - Two men sit on a car parked next to an oil field full of derricks in Signal Hill. A sign reading, "Pacific Coast Welding" is visible at the roofline of the small structure behind the car. Photo dated: Novermber 11, 1926. Alamitos Well 1 Location: NE corner of Temple Ave and Hill St, Signal Hill.  


Historical Notes

Between 1913 and 1923 an early California movie studio, Balboa Amusement Producing Company (also known as Balboa Studios), was located in Long Beach and used 11 acres on Signal Hill for outdoor locations. Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle were two of Balboa Studio actors who had films shot on Signal Hill.

Before oil was discovered in Signal Hill, there were large homes built on the hill itself, and in the lower elevations was an agricultural area where fruits, vegetables, and flowers were grown. Many of the truck farmers were Japanese.*^



(ca. 1940s)*^*^ - Signal Hill in the early 1940s.  


Historical Notes

Signal Hill changed forever when oil was discovered. The hill would soon become part of the Long Beach Oil Field, one of the most productive oil fields in the world. On June 23, 1921, Shell Oil Company's Alamitos #1 well erupted. The gas pressure was so great the gusher rose 114 ft. in the air. Soon Signal Hill was covered with over 100 oil derricks, and because of its prickly appearance at a distance became known as "Porcupine Hill".

The City of Signal Hill is completely surrounded by the city of Long Beach. It was incorporated on April 22, 1924, roughly three years after oil was discovered there. Among the reasons for incorporating was avoiding annexation by Long Beach with its zoning restrictions and per-barrel oil tax. Signal Hill's first mayor, Jessie Nelson, was California's first female mayor. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,465.*^


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NO. 590 - LANG

On September 5, 1876, Charles Crocker, President of the Southern Pacific Company, drove a gold spike here to complete his company's San Joaquin Valley line, the first rail connection of Los Angeles with San Francisco and transcontinental lines.



(1926)^^ - Crowd of onlookers on the tracks in front of two engines at the recreation of the Southern Pacific Line's completion, September 5, 1926.  



(2008)*^^ - Lang Southern Pacific Station Marker. Location: Soledad Canyon, Lang Station Rd, 0.4 mi S of State Hwy 14 (P.M. 35.6), Shadow Pines Blvd, 4. 7 mi E of Canyon Country.  


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This is California's first ranger station, built in 1900 by Louie Newcomb and Phillip Begue, early Forest Service men. The cabin took its name from the 'Short Cut Canyon Trail,' as the cabin was one of the main stopping points on this trail.


This cabin was built in 1900 by Ranger Louie Newcomb, and was the first Forest Service ranger station in the San Gabriel Mountains - the second in the United States.

The cabin was originally located where Shortcut Canyon joins the West Fork, and was moved here (Chilao Visitor's Center) and restored in the early 1980's. It stands as a memorial to the pioneers whose job it was to manage and protect the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve (renamed the San Gabriel National Forest in 1907, and the Angeles National Forest in 1908).**^

Location: Angeles National Forest, Chilao Visitor's Center, Angeles Crest Hwy (State Hwy 2), 27 mi E of La Canada.


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San Rafael was granted to José María Verdugo on October 20, 1784. Don José died April 12, 1831, leaving his estate to his son Julio and his blind daughter Catalina. This adobe was built for Dona Catalina in the 1830s; she lived here until her death in 1861. Still in excellent condition, the Catalina, or Original Mud Block, Adobe is now in private ownership.



(1895)* - Children, adults and a dog outside the Catalina Verdugo adobe in Glendale in 1895, under the old olive trees. It was at the time the Casa Verdugo Restaurant. Location: 2211 Bonita Dr, Glendale


Historical Notes

Jesus Pico, representing Lieutenant Colonel Fremont and the United States met with his brother, General Andres Pico, commander of the Mexican army on the Verdugo Adobe property in January 1847, and recommended that they surrender to the United States due to the size and strength of Fremont's Army.  Terms of the surrender were discussed and agreed upon under the large oak (“Oak of Peace”) located 30 yards from the Catalina Adobe. The actual signing of the treaty came two days later, near what is now the Hollywood Bowl.

Many consider the "Oak of Peace" to be the birthplace of California.+#


(ca. 1900)^^ – View showing a "Tropico & Glendale" electric car outside Casa Verdugo adobe (Catalina Verdugo Adobe) in Glendale. The conductor stands outside of his electric car on the right with the tracks in front of him leading to the left foreground. Two more men stand next to an electrical pole at center while others sit under the shade of trees at left. The adobe can barely be seen through the trees.  


Historical Notes

After a series of ownership changes, the property was sold to land developer, F.P. Newport. Newport knew of the historical value of the adobe and was careful to preserve it.  The property was later sold to Dr. Ernest Bashor and remained in the Bashor family until it was sold to the City of Glendale in 1989.+#


(1947)* - A plaque mounted at the Catalina Verdugo adobe in Glendale states that the San Rafael Rancho was first granted to Jose Maria Verdugo on October 20, 1784. The Catalina adobe was built about 1825, and the oak tree was General Andres Pico's camp site before he surrendered to General John C. Fremont in 1847. Marked by California Parlor No. 247, Native Daughters of the Golden West, September 28, 1947.  


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This is the grave of 'Greek George,' a camel driver from Asia Minor who came to the United States with the second load of camels purchased by the War Department as an experiment to open a wagon road to Fort Tejón from Fort Defiance, New Mexico. Because of the Civil War, the experiment was abandoned. 'Greek George' became a naturalized citizen in 1867 under the name of George Allen. He built an adobe home on Santa Monica Boulevard.




(? - September 2, 1913)*^ - Yiorgos (or George) Caralambo was a camel driver hired by US Army in 1856 for the Camel Corps experiment in the Southwest. The camels were to be tested for use in transportation across the "Great American Desert." Location: Founders' Memorial Park, Broadway at Gregory Ave, Whittier (gravestone in storage, 1993).



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This is the terminus of the Los Angeles-Owens River Aqueduct, which brings water 338 miles from the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada to the City of Los Angeles. Begun in 1905, the great aqueduct was completed November 5, 1913. The Mono Craters Tunnel project, completed in 1940, extended the system 27 miles to its present northernmost intake near Tioga Pass.


(1913)** - Crowds watch as the water gates are opened and the Los Angeles Aqueduct water starts to flow down into the San Fernando Valley. William Mulholland, builder of the aqueduct and H. A. Van Norman, Chief Engineer and General Manager, Water Bureau.  



(1913)** - Photograph caption reads: "Southern California's tremendous growth necessitated the building of the great Owens Valley aqueduct. This photo shows a crowd at its dedication, Nov. 5, 1913. "To care for future water needs of this area citizens of 13 cities prepare to vote on the bonds to build the world's greatest aqueduct to carry Owens River river water 226 miles across desert and mountains". Location: 0.1 mi N of intersection of Foothill Blvd and Balboa Blvd, 4 mi NW of San Fernando.  



Click HERE to see more in Construction of the LA Aqueduct




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Spanish colonization of California began in 1769 with the expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolá from Mexico. With Captain Don Fernando Rivera v Moncada, Lieutenant Don Pedro Fages, Sgt. José Francisco Ortega, and Fathers Juan Crespí and Francisco Gómez, he and his party camped near this spot on August 2, 1769, en route to Monterey.

Location: Elysian Park entrance, NW corner of N Broadway and Elysian Park Dr, Los Angeles.



  Oil painting of Gaspar of Portolá. He was painted about 1770.*^  


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Near this spot stood the Bella Union Hotel, long a social and political center. Here, on October 7, 1858, the first Butterfield Overland Mail stage from the east arrived 21 days after leaving St. Louis. Warren Hall was the driver, and Waterman Ormsby, a reporter, the only through passenger.



(ca. 1867)* - The Bella Union at 314 N. Main St. later became the St. Charles Hotel. To the left is the original home of Farmers and Merchants Bank, later merged into Security Pacific Bank. Standing on the balcony is Mrs. Margarita Bandini Winston, owner of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

In the 1840s, a one-story adobe owned by Benjamin Davis Wilson stood here. It later became the last capitol of Mexican Alta California. The building served as quarters for American troops in the late 1840s, a saloon, a courthouse (LA's 1st Courthouse), and a commercial coach hub operated by Phineas Banning. In 1851, a second story was added, and a third in 1869.*



(ca. 1870)* - View of North Main Street taken after erecting Pico House, but before completion of Merced Theater. The Bella Union Hotel can be seen at right-center of photo.  




(1871)* - A 4th of July parade on North Main Street of the Veterans of the War of 1812. Men are seen in two lines standing in the street, horses and carriages waiting and people on the sidelines. The Bella Union Hotel in the background is partially obscured by trees.  



(ca. 1875)* - Exterior view of the St. Charles Hotel, originally the Bella Union Hotel. Horses and buggies are lined up along the street. In the foreground a sign reads, “Rifle and Pistol Shooting,” a reminder that Los Angeles was a Western frontier town.  



(1958)* - Location: Fletcher Bowron Square, 300 block of N Main, between Temple and Aliso Sts, Los Angeles.  


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Erected by the Gilroy family in 1876, this building was purchased in 1902 by George T. Webber, who operated it as the Western Hotel. The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce was organized in its dining room. Between 1905 and 1913, construction crews of the Los Angeles-Owens River Aqueduct were housed here, and it became a center of commercial and social activity in the early life of the community.



(2012)*^^ - Western Hotel Marker. Location: 557 W Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster  


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As originally built in 1869 by A. R. Loomis, the house had only two rooms, but other rooms were added by subsequent occupants. It was marked as the 'Oldest House in Compton' in 1955 - in 1957, it was purchased by the city and moved from 209 South Acacia Street to its present site. It has been restored, refurnished, and renamed by the citizens of Compton as a tribute to early settlers of the community.

Location: NW corner of Willowbrook Ave and Myrrh St, Compton


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The expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolá from Mexico passed this way en route to Monterey to begin the Spanish colonization of California. With Captain Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada, Lieutenant Don Pedro Fages, Sergeant José Francisco Ortega, and Fathers Juan Crespí and Francisco Gómez, Portolá and his party camped near this spot on August 3, 1769.



(n.d.)* - Plaque commemorating the Portolá Trail, where an expedition from Mexico passed on their way north to Monterey. Location: 325 South La Cienega Blvd between Olympic and Gregory, Beverly Hills.  



Map of Gaspar de Portola's route from San Diego to San Luis Obispo in 1769, projected on a modern map.^^  


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This was the site of 'Los Robles,' the 400-acre estate of Governor George Stoneman. President Rutherford B. Hayes was entertained here in 1880. The first schoolhouse in the San Gabriel Valley, California's first tennis club, and the first municipal Christmas tree of San Marino were located here.

Location: 1912 Montrobles Place, San Marino



(1863)*^ - Union General George Stoneman (center) & staff, 1863. George Stoneman, Jr. was a career United States Army officer, a Union cavalry general in the American Civil War, and the 15th governor of California between 1883 and 1887.  


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Planted in 1907 by George Weinshank and assistants under the direction of Professor Ralph Smith as part of an experimental planting for the University of California Experiment Station, this tree stands as a monument to the early cooperation of state educational system with local walnut industry.


(n.d.)* - Plaque commemorating a Paradox hybrid walnut tree planted in 1907 as an experiment for the University of California. It was dedicated in 1963 as California Registered Historical Landmark No. 681 by Whittier Area Community Beautiful; Grand Parlor, Native Daughters of the Golden West; and Whittier Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Location: 12300 Whittier Blvd at Mar Vista, Whittier USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: VENICE.


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This site was the location of a combination store, post office, telegraph office, tavern, and stage depot accommodating travelers during the Kern River gold rush in the early 1850s. A regular stop for Butterfield and other early California stage lines, it was purchased by Sanford and Cyrus Lyons in 1855, and by 1868 at least twenty families lived here. Eternal Valley Memorial Park has called their final resting place "The Garden of the Pioneers."

Location: Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 N Sierra Hwy, near State Hwy 14 and San Fernando Rd, Newhall


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The Franciscan padres used Encino as their headquarters while exploring the valley before establishing Mission San Fernando in 1797. In 1849 Vincente de la Osa built an adobe with nine rooms. The next owner of El Encino Rancho was Eugene Garnier, who built the existing two-story limestone house in 1872. In December 1891 Domingo Amestoy acquired the property.




(1880s)*^*^* - Panoramic view showing Rancho Los Encinos. This is the best surviving photograph of Rancho Los Encinos during its time of greatest prosperity. All the key elements of the current park are visible, as well as some interesting frame structures (probably used for grapevines) and a fence or structure running West from the South end of the De La Ossa adobe.  


Historical Notes

Because of its water supply from a natural spring, the Franciscan padres used Encino as their headquarters while exploring the valley before establishing Mission San Fernando in 1797.

In 1849 Vincente de la Osa built an adobe with nine rooms on Rancho Los Encinos. Twenty years later (1869), Eugene Garnier bought Rancho Los Encinos and, in 1872, built a French Provincial two-story limestone house adjacent to the existing adobe. He was a French Basque and the house was similar to those in his homeland.#^

The Garniers were energetic builders, and added much to the Rancho. They built a stone-lined pond, in the shape of a Spanish guitar at the site of the spring; they built a two story limestone building to serve as a bunkhouse and they built a roadhouse across the road (Ventura Blvd.) which became the focal point of the local Basque community.*^*^*



(ca. 1945)#^ - View looking north of the Garnier House at Rancho Los Encinos.  


Historical Notes

The name of the rancho comes from the original designation of the San Fernando Valley by the Portola expedition of 1769: "El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de los Encinos", with "encino" being the Spanish word for oak, referring to the many oak trees in this area, to include a fair number which still exist on the site.*^*^*



(1900)* - Exterior view of Rancho Encino's Garnier House, built in 1872 by French Basque sheepman, Eugene Garnier. The home is a replica of his French home.  


Historical Notes

In 1889 Domingo Amestoy acquired all 4,500 acres of Rancho Los Encinos. After his death in 1892, his sons, John and Peter Amestoy, assumed ranch operations and changed the name to Amestoy ranch. Like other ranches in the San Fernando Valley at the time, the Amestoys cultivated wheat and barley. The Amestoy family held title to rancho for fifty-five years.*^

Amestoy Avenue in the San Fernando Valley was named in honor of Domingo Amestoy.

Louise Avenue was named after Louise Amestoy, a daughter of Domningo and Marie Amestoy.*^*^*



(1920s)#^*^ - View showing sheep grazing near the Garnier House.  


Historical Notes

In 1916, 1,170 acres of land were sold from Rancho Los Encinos. This parcel was subdivided and became the city of Encino.*

The Amestoys held on to 100 acres, which included the old adobe until selling the property in 1944.*^




(ca. 1935)* - Exterior view of Rancho Encino adobe, built in 1849 by Don Vicente de la Osa on land under the jurisidiction of Mission San Fernando Rey, founded in 1797. The Garnier House is seen in the distance behind the adobe. Location: Los Encinos State Historic Park, 16756 Moorpark St, Encino. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places: NPS-71000142.  


Historical Notes

In 1949, through the efforts of Mary Stuart in mobilizing the local community to save the buildings from developers, the last remaining parcel of land, containing the De La Osa adobe, Garnier House and spring were purchased by the State of California, and the Los Encinos State Historic Park was created. *^*^*




(2014)#*^# – View of Los Encinos State Park with the Garnier Building on the left and the Rancho Encino adobe at center. Location: 16756 Moorpark Street, Encino.  


Historical Notes

The Visitors' Center in the Garnier Building is open for self-guided tours during regular park hours.  The park is opened Wednesday through Sunday between 10 AM and 5 PM.  Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.  Click HERE to see more.



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Originally part of the San Fernando Mission lands, this ranch was purchased by David Wark Griffith, revered pioneer of silent motion pictures, in 1912. It provided the locale for many western thrillers, including Custer's Last Stand, and was the inspiration for the immortal production, Birth of a Nation. In 1948 it was acquired by Fritz B. Burns, who has perpetuated the Griffith name in memory of the great film pioneer.



(1957)* – Panoramic view from a spot near today's 210/118 Freeways. The photo was taken from the ridge flanking Lopez Canyon and shows the large ranch of Fritz Burns (previously the Griffith Ranch) with a new subdivision in the far background sweeping in from the San Gabriel Mountains. The charred area on the mountain top is above Olive View Sanitarium in Sylmar.  



(2007)^^#^ - California Historical Marker #716 marking the site of D.W. Griffth's movie ranch. Location: 12685 Foothill Blvd at Vaughn St, San Fernando.  

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The first national forest in the State of California and second in the United States, Angeles National Forest was created by proclamation of President Benjamin Harrison on December 20, 1892. The first name given to the forest, "'San Gabriel Timberland Reserve," was changed to "San Gabriel National Forest" March 4, 1907 and then to "Angeles National Forest" on July 1, 1908.



(ca. 1988)* - Two hikers are seen enjoying the beauty of Sturtevant Falls in Big Santa Anita Canyon of the Angeles National Forest. Location: San Gabriel Mtns, Santa Anita Ave/Chantry Flats Rd, 4.9 mi N of I-210, Arcadia.


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About a half mile southeast of this spot, on Dominquez Hill in historic Rancho San Pedro, the first air meet in the United States was held during January 10-20, 1910. This area has evolved into one of the world's leading aviation-industrial centers.



(1910)*##^ – Postcard view of the Los Angeles International Air Meet in Dominguez Hills.  


Historical Notes

The Los Angeles International Air Meet (January 10 to January 20, 1910) was among the earliest airshows in the world and the first major airshow in the United States. It was held in Los Angeles County, California at Dominguez Field in present day Carson, California. Spectator turnout numbered approximately 254,000 over 11 days of ticket sales. The Los Angeles Times called it "one of the greatest public events in the history of the West”.*^



(1910)* - Composite photograph of early-model biplanes, a monoplane, a dirigible, and a gas-filled balloon passing by bleachers filled with spectators at the 1910 Dominguez Field Air Meet.  


Historical Notes

Following the Reims International Air Meet of 1909 (France) enthusiasm for aviation began to increase in the United States. At an aviation meet in St. Louis fellow enthusiasts discussed the possibility of holding an air meet in Los Angeles. This group, which included Charles Willard, Roy Knabenshue, and Glenn Curtiss, followed through on the proposed project and sent Dick Ferris to Los Angeles to make the preliminary contacts and finalize the plans for the proposed Air Meet. After arriving in Los Angeles Ferris met with various contacts and an International Air Meet was proposed which would include Louis Paulhan-a renowned French aviator. The location was selected, Dominguez Field, which was part of one of the original Spanish land grants-The Rancho San Pedro. - Peter Bergen^^



(1910)* - A balloon in front of the grand stand of the 1st Aviation Meet. On the ground are three concentric rectangles serving as take-off and landing area. Location: 18501 S Wilmington Ave, Carson.  


Historical Notes

There were two International Aviation Meets held at Dominguez Field, Los Angeles. The first ran from Jan. 10-20, 1910; the second from Dec. 24-30, 1910-Jan. 1 and 3, 1911.*



Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles




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Dedicated to the firemen of the Los Angeles Fire Department-past, present, and future-who, by their courage and faithful devotion to duty, have protected the lives and property of the citizens of Los Angeles from the ravages of fire since 1871. This was the first building constructed as a fire station in Los Angeles. Built in 1884, it served as a firehouse until 1897. After this it was used for various purposes until restored in 1960 and opened as a museum of fire-fighting equipment of the late 19th century.



(ca. 1884)** - Photograph showing Los Angeles' first fire staion, near the Los Angeles Plaza, with a horse and buggy firefighting team (The First Volunteer Company), located at 26 Plaza Street.  



(1894)*#^ - Firetruck, men and horses in front of the Plaza Firehouse.  



(n.d.)* - Ready for the horses to be hitched up, the old Los Angeles fire wagon is waiting to roll down Sunset to right any conflagration. The firehouse with its wagon, equipment, and the only firehouse turntable in the country faces the Plaza. Firemen have dubbed the old vehicle "Firetruck No. 1". The last fire horse ran in 1929. Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 501 N Los Angeles St.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Plaza




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The Butterfield Overland Mail Company took an option on this piece of property in August 1858 and acquired it on December 7, 1859. A large brick building containing offices and living quarters, with shops and stables in the rear, was completed in 1860. With the exception of the station at El Paso, Texas, this was the largest and best equipped station on the entire route.



(1876)* - On Spring near First Street in 1876. Stage depot/livery stable at left offering horse shoeing had once served as headquarters for the Butterfield Overland Stage, which arrived in Los Angeles for the first time in 1858. Location: 145 S Spring St, Los Angeles.  


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Earlier known as Morningside Cemetery, this is the oldest nonsectarian cemetery in San Fernando Valley. It was used from the early 1800s until 1939, it was legally abandoned in 1959, when Mrs. Nellis S. Noble donated the site in memory of the pioneers of San Fernando.



(2010)*^^ - The San Fernando Pioneer Memorial Cemetery Marker. Location: SW corner of Bledsoe and Foothill, Sylmar .  


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Southern California's first newspaper, The Los Angeles Star, was founded in this block on May 17, 1851 and for many years exerted a major influence upon this part of the state. Suspended temporarily from 1864 to 1868, it continued later as an effective voice of the people until its final termination date in 1879.

Location: Fletcher Bowron Square, 300 block of N Main, between Temple and Aliso Sts, Los Angeles


Aliso Street: 1854 - When early settlers arrived at the Los Angeles River (El Rio de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles de Porcinucula) by way of Mission Road, they picked as a nearby gathering point a huge sycamore that gave them shelter and became a landmark, "El Aliso." That Spanish word for sycamore was later used to name the road carved out near the river, which then was not a concrete channel.^*^



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The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Los Angeles (1854), first charitable organization in the city, acquired this site from the city council by deed of April 9, 1855. This purchase of a sacred burial ground represented the first organized community effort by the pioneer Jewish settlers.



(1885)^^^ - This photograph, showing the Hebrew Cemetery in Chavez Ravine at the upper left, was taken from the northeast slope of Fort Moore Hill, a few hundred feet north of the present intersection of Hill and Temple Streets, a distance of about a half mile.  




(1968)^^^ - Community leaders present at the dedication of the historical marker (left to right):  Victor M. Carter, then president of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles; Dr. Norton B. Stern, originator of the site research; Dr. Justin G. turner, honorary president of the Southern California Historical Society; and William R. Blumenthal, president of the historical society. Location: Chavez Ravine, behind US Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, 800 W Lilac Terrace near Lookout Dr, Los Angeles.



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In 1887, the State Board of Forestry established the nation's first experimental forestry station. Located in Rustic Canyon, the station tested exotic trees for planting in California, established plantations for management studies, and produced planting stock for scientific and conservation purposes. The station was operated by the Board of Forestry until 1893 and by the University of California until 1923.



(ca. 1890s)* - View of a campground located on the Rancho Boca de Santa Monica in Santa Monica Canyon (near Rustic Canyon), which once belonged to the Marquez Family. The family allowed visitors throughout the Los Angeles area to camp there and enjoy the scenery and the cool ocean breezes.  


Historical Notes

The Santa Monica Canyon area was experiencing a land boom during the late 1880’s attracting tycoons (either actual or potential) of every industry. One such industrious man was Abbot Kinney who opened the first forestry station in the adjacent Rustic Canyon in 1887. One of his objectives was to test trees, primarily eucalyptus, as cash crops. On 247 acres of land Kinney began planting trees. Despite the success of the trees, it was clear they were not an effective cash crop and Kinney soon sold the property. Notwithstanding a devastating fire in 1904, many of the trees survived creating the plentiful and beautiful eucalyptus groves in Rustic Canyon today. A plaque was dedicated on August 18, 1971, officially designating the eucalyptus groves as a California State Historical Landmark.^##*



(1890s)^*# - View from the hills looking toward the mouth of the Santa Monica Canyon. The Long Wharf can be seen in the distance. Location: Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, NW corner of Latimer and Hilltree Rds, Los Angeles.  


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Built in 1908, the David B. Gamble House is a tribute to the genius of architects Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene. Its design represents a unique California lifestyle and is a masterpiece of American craftsmanship. In 1966 it was made a gift by the Gamble family to the City of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California.



(ca. 1975)* - Exterior view of the Gamble House in Pasadena. Built in 1908 and designed by brothers Charles and Henry Greene. Location: 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena.  


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William Workman and John Rowland organized the first wagon train of permanent eastern settlers, which arrived in Southern California on November 5, 1841. Together they owned and developed the 48,790-acre La Puente Rancho. Workman began this adobe home in 1842 and remodeled it in 1872 to resemble a manor house in his native England. He also established 'El Campo Santo,' this region's earliest known private family cemetery, in 1850, the miniature Classic Grecian mausoleum was built in 1919 by grandson Walter P. Temple.


(n.d.)* - View of the Workman family plot at El Campo Santo Cemetery, located in the City of Industry. William Workman was one of the first overland settlers to come to Southern California, and along with John Rowland was owner of Rancho La Puente, a 49,000-acre land grant. The Workman family established the cemetery in the early 1850's with David Workman, William's older brother as the first family member to be buried there in November 1855. Location: 15415 E Don Julian Rd, City of Industry.  


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In 1893 the Southern Pacific Railroad Company completed its 4,720-foot wharf, which served as a deep water port for the Los Angeles area. But after San Pedro became Los Angeles's official harbor in 1897, shipping activity at Port Los Angeles declined and the wharf was finally dismantled. Today, no trace remains of what was once the longest wooden pier in the world.



(ca. 1893) - Aerial view of the Southern Pacific Mammoth Wharf, Port Los Angeles, Calif. The wharf was also known as the old Santa Monica Long Wharf, north of Canyon. A white cloud of smoke can be seen from a train travelling on the tracks to the business end, at the end of the wharf.  



(1893)^^ - View of the entire length of the Long Wharf from the beach all the way to its extremity almost a mile away. Note the RR turntable in the lower right corner. A horse-drawn carriage can be seen on the beach between the rail cars and the wharf. Empty railcars sit on a bridge over a gully.  



(1916)^^ - Birdseye view of the Southern Pacific Long Wharf in Santa Monica, September, 1916.  



(1927)* - A view of the palisades of Santa Monica, looking north along Roosevelt Highway next to an unbuilt beach (today's Will Rogers Beach).



(ca. 1927)* - View of the Santa Monica Bay coastline, showing a lighthouse and bathhouse near the Pacific Palisades. The lighthouse stands at the spot where the Long Wharf used to extend out into the ocean. Location: Will Rogers State Beach lifeguard hdqtrs, 15100 W Pacific Coast Hwy 1 (P.M. 375), Pacific Palisades. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica.  


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Founded in 1917 by Gilmor Brown, the Pasadena Playhouse was designed by architect Elmer Grey and the cornerstone laid May 31, 1924. In 1928 the College of Theatre Arts was incorporated with the Pasadena Playhouse Association as a non-profit institution. In 1937, the Playhouse received the honorary title 'State Theatre of California' from the California Legislature.



(1935)* - Exterior view of the entry and court of the Pasadena Playhouse, designed by architect Elmer Grey in Spanish Colonial Revival style and built in 1924-1925. Location: 39 El Molino Ave, Pasadena.  



(1930)^*# - Interior view of the Pasadena Playhouse Auditorium.  Back then it was known as the Pasadena Community Theatre.  



(n.d.)^**^ - The historic Pasadena Playhouse theatre was built in 1925 in the heart of Pasadena. This sign is on Colorado Boulevard just north of the theatre. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Pasadena Playhouse.  


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Commonly referred to as the Great White Steamer, the ship was specially built by William Wrigley to serve his Catalina Island as a passenger ferry. She was christened on May 23, 1924. During World War II, she was requisitioned for use as a troop carrier, but in 1946 she resumed her voyages to Avalon.



(1920s)* - View of Avalon Bay across Crescent Bay, on Santa Catalina Island as seen from a mountain top. Small houses as well as various tourist-oriented businesses and office buildings appear close to the shoreline, with several larger apartment complexes nestled in the hills farther away. The Catalina Casino, surrounded by the sea on three sides, is visible at the edge of the bay on the right along with several boats along with the S.S. Catalina, "The Great White Steamer".  



(1920s) - View of the dock, or ferry slip, which is full of passengers that appear to be unloading out of the S.S. Catalina, nicknamed "The Great White Steamer". Dozens of people wait for these travelers, making a pathway for them to walk through. The Post Office and Island Gift Shop can be seen on the left, and several small boats are visible to the right of the wharf. Location: Original location: Port of Los Angeles, Catalina Terminal, Berth 96. New location: Ensenada Harbor Ensenada, Mexico.



(ca. 1938)* - View of the S.S. Catalina docked at the Los Angeles Harbor.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Catalina




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The Chatsworth Calera is one of the few surviving representative structures of the early 19th century lime industry. This kiln marked the introduction to California of the European industrial process for vitrifying limestone building blocks which were used in the construction of the missions.



(n.d.)**# - Chatsworth Reservoir Kiln Site, Valley Circle, Chatsworth. Location: From State Hwy 27 and Plummer, go W 2.7 mi to the intersection of Woolsey Canyon Rd and Valley Circle Blvd, site is 500 feet NE of intersection, Chatsworth.  


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Planted in 1901 by the R. H. Hamlins, early citrus growers, the Glendora bougainvillea is the largest growth of this exotic plant in the United States. The parent stock was brought to California by a whaling ship about 1870. The vines are one of the best remaining illustrations of the image of California as a paradise that was spread by early 20th-century promoters.



(1924)* - Aerial view of Glendora, with Michigan Ave. (now Glendora Ave.) toward the top of the photo. Orchards dominate most of the area. At the time this photograph was taken, Glendora had already begun to have that "developed" appearance. The surge of prosperity had started 20 years earlier when plenty of water was found in the lands below the mouth of San Dimas Canyon. With that, the area really mushroomed. Location: 400 block of E Bennet Ave at Minnesota Ave, Glendora.  


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The 185-foot concrete St. Francis Dam, part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system, stood a mile and a half north of this spot. On March 12, 1928, just before midnight, it collapsed and sent over twelve billion gallons of water roaring down the valley of the Santa Clara River. Over 450 lives were lost in this, one of California's greatest disasters.



(1928)** - St. Francis Dam before failure. This pre-failure photograph shows the exterior of the dam and surrounding countryside. Some water stains can be seen on the wall. This was taken just before the break.  



(1928)* Failed St. Francis Dam Photo showing several men looking very small as they stand in the area below the failed dam. One large chunk of dam remains standing while another lays on the ground below it. Location: San Francisquito Power Plant No. 2, 32300 N.San Francisquito Canyon Rd, 9.2 miles north of Saugus.  



Click HERE to see more in St. Francis Dam Disaster



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The first known commercial structure on the shore of San Pedro Bay was built here in 1823 by the trading firm of McCulloch and Hartnell to store cattle hides from the San Gabriel and San Fernando missions. Richard Henry Dana described this adobe hide house in Two Years Before the Mast. Thus began the development of the Port of Los Angeles.



(1900)* - In 1829 the Hide House was sold to Mission San Gabriel and five years later it was acquired by Abel Stearns and became known as Casa de San Pedro. Ruins of the Hide House, Casa de San Pedro, stood on the military reserve (Fort MacArthur). Location: Middle Reservation, Fort MacArthur, 2400 block of Pacific Ave, E side of parade field, 300 feet S of intersection of Meyler and Quartermaster Rds, San Pedro.  


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This was the site of the most important non-religious Utopian experiment in western American history. Its founder, Job Harriman, was Eugene Debs' running mate in the presidential election of 1900. In subsequent years, Harriman became an influential socialist leader and in 1911 was almost elected mayor of Los Angeles. At its height in 1916, the colony contained a thousand members and was a flourishing communitarian experiment dedicated to the principal of cooperation rather than competition.



(1915)* - Meeting hall of the Utopian Llano Del Rio Cooperative. Location: On State Hwy 138 (P.M. 64.1), Llano  


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The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps. These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country. Beginning on March 30, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention.



(1942)* - View showing Japanese men, women and children boarding trains and buses as they started their journey at the old Santa Fe station to Internment staging centers and/or camps including the one at Santa Anita Racetrack Park.  



(ca. 1942)^*# - Japanese Americans arrive at the Internment staging center at the Santa Anita Racetrack Park.  



(1942)^x^ – View showing a Japanese Internment guard tower at the Santa Anita Racetrack.  Photo date: April 6, 1942.  


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NO. 939 - Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments (Thematic)-OLD TRAPPER'S LODGE

Old Trapper's Lodge is one of California's remarkable Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments. It represents the life work of John Ehn (1897-1981), a self-taught artist who wished to pass on a sense of the Old West, derived from personal experiences, myths, and tall tales. From 1951 to 1981, using his family as models, and incorporating memorabilia, the 'Old Trapper' followed his dreams and visions to create the Lodge and its 'Boot Hill.'

Location: Original location: 10340 Keswick Ave at San Fernando Rd, Sun Valley. New location: Los Angeles Pierce College, Cleveland Park, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills



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The March 11, 1889 Act of the California Legislature authorized the establishment of a school for juvenile offenders. Dedication and laying of cornerstone was done by Governor R. W. Waterman on February 12, 1890. Officially opened as 'Whittier State School' for boys and girls on July 1, 1891. Girls were transferred in 1916 and only boys have been in residence since that time. Renamed 'Fred C. Nelles School for Boys' in 1941 ('For Boys' was dropped around 1970). This school has been in continuous operation serving the needs of juvenile offenders since 1891.



(1905)* - Exterior view of Whittier State School, later renamed the Nelles School for Boys. In 1941 the school was renamed the Fred C. Nelles School in honor of the man who served as the facility's superintendent from 1912 to 1927. In 1942 the school became part of the Youth Authority. In 2004, the CYA (California Youth Authority) closed the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier. This was its oldest facility spanning more than 100 years. The last ward left the facility on May 27, 2004. The CYA, the largest youthful offender agency in the nation, was created by law in 1941, but it wasn't until 1943 that the agency began to operate "reform schools" such as the Fred C. Nelles School for Boys, among others. Location: Department of the Youth Authority entrance, 11850 E Whittier Blvd, Whittier.  


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This stadium was originally completed in 1923. It was partially redesigned and enlarged for the 1932 Olympic Games. Both designs were by architects John and Donald B. Parkinson. The coliseum has witnessed many important sports, political, and historical events. When the games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad began here on July 28, 1984, the coliseum became the first stadium in the world to host the Olympic Games twice.



(1922)* - The Coliseum, shown above still under construction, was commissioned in 1921 as a memorial to veterans of World War I (rededicated to veterans of all wars in 1968). The official ground breaking ceremony took place on December 21, 1921 with work being completed in just over 16 months, on May 1, 1923.*^  



Click HERE to see more Early Views showing the Construction of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum




(1932)* - Crowds have filled the Olympic Stadium (the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) for the 1932 Olympic Games; the Los Angeles Swimming Stadium, another Olympic venue, can be seen in the upper left. Location: South end of University of Southern California, 3911 S Figueroa, Los Angeles. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.  



(1984)* - Close-up view of the torch at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Los Angeles also hosted the 1932 Olympic Games.  



Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Olympics




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Greenacres, one of the greatest estates of Hollywood's Golden Era, was built in 1929 for the internationally known silent screen comedian, Harold Lloyd. With its formal gardens, it is one of the finest Mediterranean/Italian Renaissance style residential complexes remaining in the state. The 44-room house was designed by Sumner Spaulding and the gardens planned by A. E. Hansen. The estate is patterned after the Villa Gamberaia near Florence, Italy.



(1974)*^ - Built in the latter 1920s by silent film star Harold Lloyd, it remained Lloyd's home until his death in 1971. The estate originally consisted of a 44-room mansion, golf course, outbuildings, and 900-foot (270 m) canoe run on 15 acres. Greenacres has been called "the most impressive movie star's estate ever created." After Lloyd died, the estate was subdivided into multiple lots, though the mansion remains and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Location: 1740 Green Acres Place, Beverly Hills.  


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Long ago, Mohave Indians used a network of pathways to cross the Mojave Desert. In 1826, American trapper Jedediah Smith used their paths and became the first non-Indian to reach the California coast overland from mid-America. The paths were worked into a military wagon road in 1859. This "Mojave Road" remained a major link between Los Angeles and points east until a railway crossed the desert in 1885.

Location: Site of road runs from Drum Barracks in Wilmington to where State Route 66 crosses Los Angeles County line into San Bernardino County.



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On November 24, 1793, English explorer George Vancouver, commander of an expedition to determine the extent of settlement of the northwest coast of America, named this rocky promontory, Point Dume, after his Franciscan friend, Father Francisco Dumetz, at Mission San Buenaventura. Point Dume is the western terminus of Santa Monica Bay and has been an important landmark for navigators since Vancouver's voyage in 1793.



(2011)^* - Point Dume, Malibu. Location: Point Dume State Beach, corner of Cliffside Dr and Birdview Ave, Malibu.  


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This Spanish Colonial Revival home contains the best surviving examples of decorative ceramic tile produced by Malibu Potteries. During its short existence from 1926 to 1932, Malibu Potteries made an outstanding contribution to ceramic art in California through its development and production of a wide range of artistic and colorful decorative tile. The home was built for Merritt Huntley Adamson and Rhoda Rindge Adamson, daughter of Frederick Hastings Rindge and May Knight Rindge, last owners of the Rancho Malibu Spanish grant.



(n.d.)* - Exterior view of the Spanish style Adamson House, which was designed by Stiles O. Clements in 1929 for Rhoda Rindge Adamson and her husband, Merritt Huntley Adamson. In 1968, the State purchased the property. In 1971, the president of Pepperdine University moved in, as part of an effort to maintain the house until it could be properly restored for the public access. The Malibu Lagoon Interpretive Association was formed in 1981, and in 1983 they carefully planned for the opening of the house as a museum. Location: 23200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu.  


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Designed as the largest enclosed structure without walls in the world by noted California architects Robert Clements and Associates, this Art Deco building, constructed between 1938 and 1941 by the WPA, is the largest and second-oldest Navy Reserve Center in the United Stages. It has served as the induction, separation, and training center for more than 100,000 sailors since World War II well as the filming site for countless motion pictures and television shows.



(1940)^^ - View showing the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center under construction in Chavez Ravine.  



(1941)^^ - Final construction stage of what was once the largest Navy Reserve Center in the U.S.  



(1955)#+ - A cannon sits in front of the entrance to the United States Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Chavez Ravine. Location: 1700 Stadium Way, Los Angeles.  



(1980)#+ - A firefighter checks the auditorium of the United States Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chavez Ravine.  


Historical Notes

On Feb. 27, 1980, a fire heavily damaged the center. Los Angeles firefighter Frank Hotchkin was killed when a portion of the roof collapsed.

The building is now operated by the Los Angeles City Fire Department at the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Facility. #+


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El Monte, on the bank of the San Gabriel River, played a significant part in California's early pioneer history. It was first an encampment on the Old Spanish Trail, an extension of the trail from Missouri to Santa Fe. By the 1850s, some began to call El Monte the 'End of the Santa Fe Trail.' Early in that decade a permanent settlement was established by immigrants from Texas, the first settlement in Southern California founded by citizens of the United States.



(1922)* - This is the oldest house in El Monte. It was built by Mrs. Almira Hale and her son and daughter, Moses and Almira Hale. Mrs. Hale's husband had died while the family was crossing the plains and is buried near Mountain Meadows, Utah. This was in 1849. This house was built the same year. Mrs. Hale later married Nickie Smith. She, and her children homesteaded 160 acres here and had about 300 Indians on the ranch. Most of them went to the war in Owens Valley in 1865.Photo dated: June 25, 1922. El Monte is known as the first Southern Californian settlement established by immigrants from the U.S. It is called the "End of the Santa Fe Trail". Landmark Location: Santa Fe Trail Historical Park, Valley Blvd and Santa Anita Ave, El Monte.


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The 27,000-acre Rancho was once part of an 18th-century Spanish land grant to soldier Manuel Nieto. The Monterey-style adobe was constructed in 1844 and served the Temple and Bixby families as headquarters for large-scale cattle and sheep ranching operations in the 19th century. In the 1880s, the land was subdivided for farming and city development.



(1890)* - View of Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach showing the original front entrance into the courtyard with view, and peaked roofs on the north and south wings of the buildings.  



(1931)* - Exterior view of the adobe house at Los Cerritos Rancho. This vast and beautiful rancho (site of park of Long Beach today) came into John Temple's possession thru his marriage to Doña Raphael Cota. Photo dated: September 19, 1931. Location: 4600 Virginia Rd, Long Beach.


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Contained within this building are the remaining portions of an adobe house built by Francisco Salvador Lugo and his son Antonio María Lugo. Francisco Lugo was a prominent early landholder and Antonio served as the Alcalde of Los Angeles. They completed the building in 1810. Henry Tifft Gage acquired the property in 1880 and lived here from 1883 until 1924. Gage served as the Governor of California from 1899 to 1903.



(ca. 1892)^^ - View showing ten members of the Vincente Lugo family (includes two women and a small child) posing at the ranch house (Rancho San Antonio, Baker Avenue stores on Telegraph Road opposite Laguna School House), on the balcony and ground below.  Pictured on the porch (left to right): Vicente Perez Lugo (sister), Victoria Avila Lugo (sister), Annie Lugo Smith (niece), A.E. McConnell, Vicente Lugo (older brother), Andres Lugo. Pictured below (left to right): Felipe Lugo, Toney Lugo (nephew), Pedro Lugo, Governor Argullo (not a family member), B.A. Lugo (brother) [identifications by Pedro Lugo, 15 July 1924].  


Historical Notes

Don Vicente Lugo retired to Rancho San Antonio in 1850, after having donated the family "town house" on the Los Angeles Plaza to Saint Vincent's College. The ranch house was built circa 1855. Avila Lugo lived on 35th Street near Maple Street. Andres Lugo lived in the first house north (of the ranch house).^^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza.


(Early 1900s)^^ - View showing Don Pedro Lugo and friend who are both mounted on horses in front of the Lugo home. The men are wearing cowboy-like outfits. Vines partially cover the walls of the two-story home behind them. Location: 7000 E Gage, Bell Gardens.  


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Grace Nicholson, a noted collector and authority on American Indian and Asian Art and artifacts, supervised the design of her combination gallery and museum which was completed in 1929. It has been called an outstanding example of 1920s revival architecture and is unique for its use of Chinese ornamentation.



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Grace Nicholson Bazaar and Art Gallery, now the Pacific-Asia Museum. Photo is dated July 26, 1939. Mrs. Nicholson was a dealer in Oriental art and books, and this was her shop and home. Later it became the Pasadena Art Institute. This photo shows that she rented apartments, store space and assembly halls in this building. Location: 46 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena.  

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The 135 Deodar Cedar trees were planted in 1885 by the Woodbury Family, the founders of Altadena. First organized by F.C. Nash in 1920, the 'Mile of Christmas Trees' has been strung with 10,000 lights each holiday season through the efforts of volunteers and the Christmas Tree Lane Association. It is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in Southern California.


(ca. 1928)* - Passengers in a car travel south on Santa Rosa Avenue, also known as Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena. The nickname was given to the street when the tradition of lighting the large deodar cedars with lights at Christmas time was started. Location: Santa Rosa Ave, both sides of street from Woodbury Rd to Altadena Dr, Altadena.  



(1938)#+ – View showing a line of cars driving up Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena.  



(ca. 1947)* – Christmas Tree Lane (Santa Rosa Avenue) in Altadena, looking north from Woodbury Road.  



(2006)*^ - Road and historical landmark sign for Christmas Tree Lane on Woodbury Road.  Located on Woodbury near the junction of Santa Rosa Avenue, Altadena  


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The Watts Towers are perhaps the nation's best known work of folk art sculpture. Using simple hand tools, cast off materials (glass, shell, pottery pieces and broken tile) Italian immigrant Simon Rodia spent 30 years building a tribute to his adopted country and a monument to the spirit of individuals who make their dreams tangible. Rodia's Towers inspired many to rally and preserve his work and protect it for the future.



(1953)#*^ – View of Simon Rodia standing high on his Watts Towers.  



(1960)* - The Watts Towers as seen from the Pacific Electric Red Car route, now the Metro Blue Line.  



(1964)* - Close-up view from the inside of one of the towers looking up. Location: 1765 East 107th St, Los Angeles.  


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The Tuna Club of Avalon marks the birthplace of modern big game sportfishing in 1898. Led by Dr. Charles Frederick Holder, the club's founding members adopted the rules of conduct stressing conservationist ethics and sporting behavior. Today, their work remains the basis for the sport's internationally accepted principles.



(1908)^^ - View of the Tuna Club under construction on the shore of Avalon Harbor. The club can be seen in the foreground at center and is missing its roof. The harbor can be seen at left and is very calm. A large ship is docked at a wooden pier at left, while many small sailing vessels can be seen moored near the shore. The city of Avalon is at right and is composed of many small wooden buildings. A dense forest can be seen at the base of a steep hill in the background.  




(1928)^*# - Ground view showing the Tuna Club.  In the background can be seen the 2nd Catalina Casino under construction adjacent to ‘Little Sugarloaf’ rock formation.  


Historical Notes

Early members of the Avalon Tuna Club included Zane Grey, Bing Crosby, Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Hal Roach, Cecil B. De Mille, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, George S. Patton and Winston Churchill.*^



(ca. 1929)* - View of Avalon Bay across Crescent Bay, on Santa Catalina Island as seen from a mountain top. The Catalina Casino, surrounded by the sea on three sides, is visible at the edge of the bay. The S.S. Catalina is docked at the pier, with the Tuna Club just beyond it. Note that 'Little Sugarloaf' adjacent to the casino is no longer there (see previous photo).  


Historical Notes

In March, 1929, Little Sugarloaf was blasted away to give what is now called Casino Point, the look that it offers today.**#*



(1938)#*^ – Postcard view of the Catalina Island Tuna Club, Avalon.  




(1984)#** - View of the Tuna Club and Avalon Bay. Location: 100 St. Catherine Way, Avalon.  



Click HERE to see more of Catalina in "Early Views of Catalina"




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Beale's Cut is the only physical and cultural feature of its kind in the entire Los Angeles Basin. At the time of its construction in 1862, the actual creation and maintenance of the Cut was considered a significant technological and physical feat consisting of breaching the former impassable geographic barrier of the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountain ranges. General Edward F. Beale is attributed with the construction of a toll road across the mountains. Beale's Cut was also used as a favorite film-making location by pioneer film maker, David Wark Griffith, and others.



(1870s)* - A horse and wagon is seen in Beale's Cut in the early days. It was an early access road cut by General Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a landowner and surveyor, who in 1863 made the 90 feet cut to get coaches through. Located in the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles County, it is visible from the Sierra Highway, not far from the intersection of The Old Road and Sierra Highway, just after the first bridge under the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14). The slot-like roadway appeared in many silent western movies.  



(ca. 1875)* - Freighting strings belonging to Remi Nadeau are captured here in Soledad Canyon. During the 1870's, Nadeau and his men hauled silver-lead bullion from the Soledad and Cerro Gordo mines to Los Angeles via Beale's Cut. Note the design of the wagons, tall and narrow. This enabled them to fit through the canyon passes such as Beale’s Cut, the only passable road cut through the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountain ranges.




(n.d.)^** - View of a horse-drawn carriage making its way up toward Beale's cut. Note the grooves in the bedrock from all the years of traffic. Although the cut still remains, it is now only 30 feet deep, as it suffered a partial collapse.





(Early 1900s)^^ - Beale's Cut in the early 1900s. Location: Intersection of Sierra Hwy and Clampitt Rd, Santa Clarita.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley



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This house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924 for Charles and Mabel Ennis. It is one of four textile block houses registered as Landmark No. 1011.



(1953)^#^ - Exterior view of the Ennis House located at 2607 Glendower Avenue in Los Feliz, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's textile block houses built in 1924. Photo by Julius Schulman.  


Historical Notes

The landmark Mayan Revival home was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1923, and construction was handled by his son, Frank Lloyd. After costs soared, Wright left the project under unhappy conditions, and the home was completed without him in 1924.^*^#


(1926)^*^# – Interior view of the Ennis House, located at 2607 Glendower Avenue.  



(1980)* - Interior view of Ennis-Brown house showing vertical interiors with 16-inch concrete-block columns done in Maya Revival style. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright.  


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The Samuel and Harriet Freeman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924, is one of four residences that were designed to be affordable and modular constructed using the cheap building material of concrete. These houses were constructed from a textile block system of handmade concrete tiles held in a matrix of steel bars, anchored and protected by a concrete mixture, and stacked without grout.



(1928)* - Exterior view of Freeman House, a textile block house located at 1962 Glencoe Way, in Los Angeles. Home built in 1924. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright. The free-standing furniture and built-in was designed by Schindler in 1927.  


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Created in 1932 for the rowing events of the Xth Olympiad, the Stadium was the first manmade rowing course in the United States. Its width allowed four teams to race abreast, eliminating additional heats and allowing oarsmen to enter the finals at the peak of their form. Later it served as the venue for the 1968 and 1976 United States men's Olympic rowing trials and the 1984 United States women's Olympic rowing trials. The site remains an important training and competitive center for rowers, including our National and Olympic teams.



(1932)* - Spectators attentively watch as four rowing teams with coxswains compete in the 8 oar rowing event at the Long Beach Marine Stadium during the 1932 Olympic Games. The area's oil richness is revealed by the numerous derricks present behind the stadium. Location: Pete Archer Rowing Center, End of Boathouse Lane, Nieto Ave & Appian Way, Long Beach.  


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Designed by City Engineer A.L. Harris, this pier was constructed by the City of Manhattan Beach during the years 1917-1920. The roundhouse building was added a year later. Harris' innovative design featured a rounded end to the pier, which helped it withstand the pounding of the Pacific. Although the roundhouse was reconstructed in 1989, the pier itself survives as Southern California's oldest remaining example of early reinforced concrete pier construction.


(1940)* - Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Ocean Drive, with Manhattan Beach Pier in the background.


(n.d.)* - Fishing from the Municipal Pier, Manhattan Beach, California. Location: West of Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach.


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In 1923 the Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union 510, a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), called a strike that immobilized 90 ships here in San Pedro. The union protested low wages, bad working conditions, and the imprisonment of union activists under California's Criminal Syndicalism Law. Denied access to public property, strikers and their supporters rallied here at this site they called "Liberty Hill." Writer Upton Sinclair was arrested for reading from the Bill of Rights to a large gathering. The strike failed but laid a foundation for success in the 1930s. The Syndicalism Law was ruled unconstitutional in 1968.

Location: Vicinity of 5th St. & Harbor Blvd., San Pedro.



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NO. 1038 - Hay Tree

The Hay Tree is an old, 50 foot high camphor tree standing in the middle of a grassy area in downtown Paramount. The tree is a rare remnant of the city’s once thriving dairy and hay industry. The towns of Hynes and Clearwater, which later incorporated to become Paramount, were in the middle of Los Angeles County’s extensive region of dairy farms that thrived during the first half of the twentieth century. Hynes-Clearwater was the “Hay Capital” of the world from about 1930 to about 1960. There are no other properties in Paramount that are linked to the hay industry except for this tree.



(2007)^* - Paramount Hay Tree Plaque. Location: 16475 Paramount Blvd., Paramount.  

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NO. 1041 - Site of the Childhood Home of the Beach Boys

It was here that the childhood home of Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson developed their unique musical skills. During Labor Day weekend 1961, they, their cousin Mike Love, and a friend Al Jardine, gathered here to record a tape of their breakthrough song “Surfin’.” This marked the birth of the rock group known worldwide as the Beach Boys, and the beginning of an historic musical legacy. The music of the Beach Boys broadcast to the world an image of California as a place of sun, surf, and romance.



(n.d.)* - A sign on a Streamline Moderne nightclub reads "The famous Beach Boys celebrating return - playing nightly."  


Location: The Wilsons' California house, Hawthorne, where the Wilson brothers grew up and the group began, was demolished in 1986 to make way for Interstate 105, the Century Freeway. A Beach Boys Historic Landmark (California Landmark #1041 at 3701 West 119th Street), dedicated on May 20, 2005, marks the location.*^*^  



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References and Credits

^ California Historic Landmark Listing (Los Angeles)

* LA Public Library Image Archive

**DWP - LA Public Library Image Archiv

^^USC Digital Archive

^#Oviatt Library Digital Archives

#^San Fernando Valley History Digital Library - CSUN Oviatt

#*Flickr: History of San Pedro Harbor and Terminal Island - Timm's Landing

++Facebook: San Fernando Valley Historical Society

#+LA Times Framework: Christmas Tree Lane

+#Catalina Verdugo Adobe

^*Flikr: Hay Tree Plaque - L. Avacado; Point Dume - Mr. Tofu 1017

^**San Fernando Valley Relics - Facebook.com: Beale's Cut

^*#California State Library Image Archive

^^*Redondo Beach Patch: Our Own Great Salt Lake

*#*SCVHistory.com: The Story of Mentryville

*#^LAPL-El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Photo Archive

^#^Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

^x^Facebook.com: Photos of Los Angeles

**#Mentalfloss.com: A Utopian Ghost Town in the California Desert

*^#Los Angeles Visionaries Association: El Ranchito

#^*Library of Congress Image Archive

#**LA County Library Image Archive

#*^Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

*^*Awesome Stories.com: Power Plant - Pomona, First in California

**^USDA - Angeles National Forest Chilao Visitor Center

**#San Fernando Valley Landmarks: Valley Relics-flickr.com

^*#Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Japanese Internment; Tuna Club

*^*^Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

^^^Early Jewish LA

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^*^*The Rockits: Beach Boys

^*^#Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

***^UCLA Libraries Special Collection: Pico House Courtyard

**#*Creating a Landmark: the Historic Casino Point

^***Before USC

^**^Pinterest.com: Janet Fong


*#*#Press Reference Library, Volume 2 (Google eBook)

^##*Inthecanyon.com: History of Santa Monica Canyon

^^#^Facebook.com - Great Photos from Los Angeles' Past: D.W. Griffith Ranch Historical Marker No. 716

***#Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum

^xx^Dominguez Hills Digital Archive

#^*^Facebook.com: West San Fernando Valley Then And Now

#*^#Google Maps and Street Views

*^*^*Los Encinos State Historic Park: historicparks.org

*^^The Historical Marker Database: Western Hotel; Dominguez Ranch House; Portuguese Bend Whaling Station; Rancho San Franciscio

*^ Wikipedia: Beach Boys; University of Southern California; LA Memorial Coliseum; Harold Lloyd Estate; Lummis House; Arcadia, California; Rancho San Francisco; Gaspar de Portolà; George Stoneman; D. W. Griffith; Yiorgos Caralambo; Pio Pico; Campo_de_Cahuenga; Rómulo Pico Adobe; Signal Hill; Drum Barracks; Portuguese Bend; Rómulo Pico Adobe; Los Angeles Plaza Historic District; The Church of Our Lady the Queen of Angels; Lasky-DeMille Barn; Los Encinos State Historic Park; 1910 L.A. International Air Meet at Dominguez Hills; Tuna Club of Avalon


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