Reading Between the Lines: A Letter from Walter P. Temple to Laura Gonzalez, 5 July 1887

by Paul R. Spitzzeri La Casa Nueva, the 11,000-square foot Spanish Colonial Revival mansion built by the Temple family between 1922 and 1927 at the Homestead, is a remarkable residence for many reasons.  One of them is that it was, as remembered by Walter P. Temple, Jr. in a 1980s oral history, the "dream house"... Continue Reading →

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Los Angeles, 1892

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This Independence Day takes on particularly poignant and powerful meanings as the values embodied in colonial America's war of independence against the British Empire continue to be both an inspiration and a challenge to Americans—an inspiration because of the vital expression such essential goals of freedom, the pursuit of happiness and... Continue Reading →

At Our Leisure From Point A to Point B: “A Southern California Mountain Railroad” from “The Californian” Magazine, July 1892

by Paul R. Spitzzeri As greater Los Angeles underwent the famed Boom of the Eighties, peaking during 1887 and 1888 when William Henry Workman, nephew of Homestead founders William and Nicolasa Workman, was mayor of Los Angeles, tourism was a significant part of the region's economic growth.  Beach resorts, fine inland hotels and other offerings... Continue Reading →

No Place Like Home: Another Trio of La Casa Nueva Construction Photos, ca. 1924-25

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Tonight's post features another grouping of snapshot photographs of the construction of La Casa Nueva, taken in the mid-1920s with two taken by professional photographer Albert J. Kopec and third likely by Thomas W. Temple II, the eldest of the four children of Walter P. Temple and Laura Gonzalez, who were... Continue Reading →

Through the Viewfinder: The Temple Block, Los Angeles, ca. 1872

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Tonight's highlighted artifact from the museum's collection is an excellent stereoscopic image by Henry T. Payne, one of the early photographers of Los Angeles, of the Temple Block, taken about 1872.  The view captures the four-building complex as it anchored the central business section of the growing city and region then... Continue Reading →

“The Girl Graduate: Her Own Book” Grace Alice Barnes and Her Los Angeles Normal School Scrapbook, June 1914

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Another recent donation made its way to us from Lucy Hull, a resident of a small town in eastern Tennessee, who came across "The Girl Graduate: Her Own Book," a scrapbook of Grace Alice Barnes of the Los Angeles Normal School when going through items donated to a local charity.  This... Continue Reading →

“The Hanging Gardens of Southern California”: Edwin G. Hart and the Avocado Subdivisions of Hacienda Heights and La Habra Heights, 1913-1930

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Yesterday was long planned to be an avocado festival held at the South Coast Research and Extension Center of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was recast into a week-long virtual one.  As part of it, I was... Continue Reading →

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