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 →

Through the Viewfinder: Photographs Showing Transformations in Greater Los Angeles, 1870-1930

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This afternoon was the last of three presentations in the "Through the Viewfinder" series lectures on regional photography and focused on photos from the Homestead's collection that reflect transformations in many areas of life in greater Los Angeles from 1870 to 1930.  The images included views of Los Angeles, suburban areas,... Continue Reading →

Homestead Book Club Discussion on “Whitewashed Adobe” and Ethnicity and Race in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Los Angeles

by Paul R. Spitzzeri The Homestead Book Club wraps up its 2018 calendar this fall with a trio of books related to Los Angeles history.  Today's discussion concerned William Deverell's remarkable Whitewashed Adobe, which examined several ways in which ethnic groups and the past were manipulated by the dominant power blocs in the city and region.... Continue Reading →

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