The Evolution of Christmas: Selling the Holiday in Los Angeles, 1874

by Paul R. Spitzzeri In the mid-1870s, greater Los Angeles was at the peak of its first significant and sustained growth boom, which began several years prior.  As its population rose and economy grew, its commerce reflected the good times, including more choices for residents with their consumer spending. More generally, Christmas was moving up... Continue Reading →

Ygnacio Sepúlveda’s “The Spanish- Californians” in “Touring Topics,” November 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri The Automobile Club of Southern California's magazine Westways is one of the more recognizable products of this long-standing and very popular association, which was formed in 1900 just a few years after the first automobile appeared in Los Angeles.  The magazine was launched in 1909 with the title Touring Topics and, though there... Continue Reading →

No Place Like Home: “Real Estate Offerings” from Pacific States Auxiliary Corporation, 15 November 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri A major issue in our region is the high cost of housing, with demand outstripping supply and rents and sale prices of dwellings rising over recent years to levels that increasingly are unaffordable for more people.  While the state has responded by calling for more building of apartments and houses, concerns... Continue Reading →

Honoring Our Veterans: Sergeant Willliam Workman Temple, 4th Artillery Regiment, U.S. Army, 1880-1884

by Paul R. Spitzzeri As we remember our veterans on this day, which was initially Armistice Day marking the end of the First World War, we recognize the service of another member of the Temple family, William Workman Temple (1851-1917).  He was the subject of a "Portrait Gallery" post here back in July 2017, which... Continue Reading →

On This Day: A Letter from Thomas W. Temple II to Walter P. Temple, 8 November 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Just after the royalty checks started arriving from the first oil well on the Temple lease at the Montebello field in summer 1917, Walter and Laura Temple began sending their four surviving children (a daughter died in infancy) to local private schools.  Within a couple of years, eldest child, Thomas W.... Continue Reading →

That’s a Wrap: A Broadside for “Ben-Hur,” October 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri It was an epic in more ways than one in that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Ben-Hur was not just a biblical extravaganza at a time when Hollywood had several major features in this genre like Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923) and King of Kings (1927), but it was colossal in terms of its tortured and expensive... Continue Reading →

Portrait Gallery: Cabinet Cards of Adele Harbeck Lauth and Adele D. Lauth, ca. 1875 and 1887

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Over and over again, artifacts that have been acquired for the Homestead's collection, whatever obvious or surface value that may be in mind, have stories that emerge on investigation that provide added interest to the former or completely change the perception of what the value is. Tonight's highlighted objects from the... Continue Reading →

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