Transformations in Transition: Challenges for People and Place in Los Angeles, 1830-1880

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This morning, the Homestead hosted the first of two workshops for teachers organized with the UCLA History-Geography Project, an initiative launched in the early 1990s with the expressed purpose of "collaborating with teachers to make history relevant and empowering for students.  A Framework Alignment utilizes the CLIC concept embodying Content, Literary,... Continue Reading →

Portrait Gallery: Ernesto Tomás Yorba, ca. 1875

by Paul R. Spitzzeri In sparsely populated pre-American California, referred to once as the "Siberia of Mexico," the familial connections between the Californios were often very complicated with intermarriage providing all kinds of tightly held bonds.  This often extended to some of the earliest Anglo arrivals in the area, including the Workman and Temple families, and... Continue Reading →

Treading the Boards: “Unequalled Vaudeville” at the Pantages Theater, Los Angeles, 21 January 1911

by Paul R. Spitzzeri A post on this blog in October 2018 concerning the 1929 sexual assault trial of Alexander Pantages, accused of an attack on teenage dancer Eunice Pringle led to a presentation last fall on the topic.  A surprising and vital last-minute addition to the discussion was the participation of Marcy Worthington, the... Continue Reading →

“The Marvel of the Age in City Building”: Harrison Gray Otis on Los Angeles from Sunset Magazine, January 1910

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Harrison Gray Otis (1837-1917) was one of the most powerful and influential figures in Los Angeles from about the time of the famed Boom of the Eighties until his death some three decades later.  His Los Angeles Times went from a relatively new and modestly successful publication to a dominant force in... Continue Reading →

One for the Books: The Remarkable Life and Careers of Mary Eliza Foy (1862-1962)

by Paul R. Spitzzeri In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were a handful of women in greater Los Angeles who were leaders in advancing the cause of their gender in education, economics and work, politics and other elements of regional society.  Caroline Severance, Clara Shortridge Foltz, and Mary Julia Workman (whose great-uncle... Continue Reading →

Of Pigeons and Polygamy: The Strange Saga of J.Y. Johnson’s Los Angeles Pigeon Farm, 1898-1914

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Greater Los Angeles, generally from the 1890s until the World War II years, had a wide array of animal farms, many of which had a fundamental economic function while also serving as tourist attractions.  Some are better known today than others, whether they be the Cawston's Ostrich Farm, on the border... Continue Reading →

“Dry Land; That’s All”: Prohibition (Sort Of)Takes Effect, 17 January 1920

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Last year, the Homestead mounted exhibits for the centennial of the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called "noble experiment" to prohibition the manufacture, sale and consumption of most alcoholic beverages in the United States.  These displays, ably planned and carried out by several of my talented colleagues,... Continue Reading →

From Point A to Point B: A Stock Certificate for the Sierra Madre and Antelope Valley Toll Road Company, 16 January 1896

by Paul R. Spitzzeri One of the most popular hikes in the San Gabriel Mountain range is the Sturtevant Falls Trail in Big Santa Anita Canyon above Sierra Madre.  The 3.3 mile trek from the end of Chantry Flats Road is mostly along a wide road following Santa Anita Wash deep into the canyon and... Continue Reading →

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