Alcatraz Island and the Workman and Temple Families, Part Two

by Paul R. Spitzzeri If President Millard Fillmore's executive order of December 1850 stipulating that Alcatraz Island, along with other California parcels, was government property was truly the last word about the legal status of the island, this post would have been limited to yesterday's part one. But, over five years later, a newspaper article... Continue Reading →

Noah’s Flood in an ARkStorm on the San Gabriel River/Rio Hondo in Whittier Narrows

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This summer marks the 250th anniversary of the Portolá Expedition, the first European land-based travel through California, and, as some posts here last month noted, the fifty-plus members of that group came over la abra ("an opening" or La Habra in a corruption of that phrase) in the Puente Hills and descended into... Continue Reading →

Locating a Lynching in San Gabriel, January 1857

by Michael Ackerman At last August’s Curious Cases series presentation at the Homestead, The King Family of El Monte and Personal Justice, 1855-1865, Paul Spitzzeri briefly recounted the lynching of four Latino men following the killing of Sheriff James Barton and a three-man posse, though he'd given a more detailed account in a previous Curious Cases... Continue Reading →

Sharing History with the La Verne Historical Society on Curious Cases and District Court Judge Benjamin Hayes, 1852-1864

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Despite the rain, about 75 people showed up tonight at the Hillcrest retirement community for my presentation, the third for that group in recent years, to the La Verne Historical Society based on the Homestead's Curious Cases program on Judges in Los Angeles, 1850-1875, otherwise titled "Shoot Away, Damn You!" That... Continue Reading →

On This Day: The Chinese Massacre of 1871 and the Workman and Temple Families

by Paul R. Spitzzeri On the evening of 24 October 1871, an ongoing series of disputes among rival tongs, or companies, in the small, but growing community of Chinese residents of Los Angeles, led to violence as shots rang out in Calle de los Negros (called by some Americans and Europeans Nigger Alley, though the name was... Continue Reading →

On This Day: The Birthday of Jonathan Temple (1796-1866), Part Two

by Paul R. Spitzzeri By the end of the Mexican-American War and the seizure of California by the United States, Jonathan Temple had been a resident of Los Angeles for twenty years, building a successful store, acquiring valuable property in the town and outside it, and establishing himself as a prominent citizen. This trajectory continued... Continue Reading →

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