A Letter from Walter P. Temple, Sr. to Thomas W. Temple II, 1 May 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri For roughly a decade after the Temple family's oil lease at the Montebello field yielded its first royalties in 1917, Walter P. Temple, Sr. utilized telegrams as his preferred method of communicating with his four surviving children, Thomas, Agnes, Walter, Jr. and Edgar, when the quartet were attending a variety of... Continue Reading →

Getting Schooled with the Star and Crescent Literary Society, Los Angeles High School, 29 April 1898

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Among the many transformations in greater Los Angeles during the Victorian era, which basically lasted from around 1840 to about 1900, was the dramatic growth in education among its citizens.  Taking just the Workman and Temple families as an example, Antonia Margarita Workman, who was of school age from the mid-1830s... Continue Reading →

A New Acquisition: A Decorative Tile by Pedro Sánchez of Puebla, Mexico, ca. 1920s.

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Almost two weeks ago, our general information email box contained a message from someone wanting information on Pedro Sánchez, a Mexican tile artist, because a hand-painted tile was donated to a Upstate New York thrift shop at which, Tasha Statham, the correspondent works.  The beautiful piece was assumed to have some... 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 →

“A School for Scandal”: A Letter from Agnes Temple to Thomas W. Temple II, January 1925

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Two years ago, the Homestead received a donation of Temple family letters, mostly from the 1920s, by descendant Ruth Ann Michaelis, whose father Edgar, was the youngest of the four surviving children of Walter P. Temple and Laura Gonzalez, owners of the Homestead at the time. These letters are fascinating to... Continue Reading →

The Budding Genealogist and Historian: Journal Notes of Thomas W. Temple II, 8-9 January 1930

by Paul R. Spitzzeri From the time that revenues began to accrue from the royalties derived at the Temple family's oil wells at Montebello in June 1917 and from other sources for the next thirteen years, Walter P. Temple invested significantly in the education of his four surviving children: Thomas, Agnes, Walter, Jr, and Edgar.... Continue Reading →

“Dearest Dadup”: A Letter from Thomas W. Temple II to Walter P. Temple, 11 December 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri The sudden and startling surge to wealth experienced by the Temple family in the late 1910s resulting from the accidental discovery of oil on their Montebello-area ranch transformed their lives in so many ways.  For the four surviving children (Thomas, Agnes, Walter, Jr., and Edgar), one of the most direct was... Continue Reading →

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