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East of Alameda in 1909



Between 1837 – 1842 Native Americans planted over 100,000 grape vines for Jean Louis Vignes (Vignes Street is named after after him).
March 22, 1882: In an attempt to raise money for chandeliers at a soon-to-be-built church, “The Nobby Club” held a fundraiser featuring food and drinks alongside poem recitals and musical performances at the Sunday School at St. Rose Chapel. While the guests dined on fine lemonade and cake, performers sang songs like “When the Mists are Cleared Away” and “Going Home to Clo” and also recited poems like “Deacon Thrust.” The event raised $16.30 which was considered a financial success.
July 14, 1885: “Perfectly pure is Puritas sparkling distilled water”, claims this advertisement, insisting that its brand is a “healthful...refreshing luxury.” Their water was bottled at The Ice and Cold Storage Company at Seventh Street and Santa Fe Track Los Angeles and sold at 136 N. Spring Street and at 216-218 S. Spring Street.
September 2, 1886: A man previously convicted of theft was arrested near the corner of Vignes and First Street for rolling over a drunk man and stealing his money. The Los Angeles Times reported that the criminal had a “seedy-looking gentleman with the expression of a bum.” His voice was apparently “not pleasant to behold.” Eventually, his testimony about the theft was found to have multiple contradictions and he was convicted of the crime.
February 15, 1887: Fears of the Los Angeles River flooding and destroying the buildings east of Alameda were partially realized after an hour's worth of constant rain. Those living near the River and along Vignes Street were rescued and slept in the City Council Chambers until other plans were made for them. The Los Angeles River flooded several times throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, until the River was channelized in concrete in the 1930s. Currently, there are multiple ongoing projects at the individual and institutional level aimed at revitalizing the River through bike paths, parks and public art projects.
May 8, 1889: A scandal erupted as neighbors near East First and Rose Streets began to spread gossip that a grocery store owner was living with a 52-year-old woman in an attempt to get her to marry him and then then have her committed to an insane asylum and take her property. The grocer insisted that he didn’t know she had any property under her name and that they were living together because they were friends and he respected her wishes (which according to the article) involved turning away physicians and Christian healers who wanted to cure her of insanity.
July 17, 1896: The Ice and Cold Storage Company of Los Angeles held a contest asking for short letters less than 200 words that offers “nothing but facts capable of verification” on the benefits of drinking Puritas Water. First, second, third and fourth prize winners receive $10, $6, $3, and $2 respectively.
November 27, 1897: SJ Powell, aka “Six-Shooter Bill”, a “notorious... gangster” is arrested at Seaton Street in a tent near the Arcade Depot. He was visiting his “his sweetheart, a Spanish woman of repute, who lives in the tent on Seaton street.” A year earlier, a warrant was issued for Powell for the attempted murder of one W.S. Tucker at 217 East First Street.
June 14, 1904: In the hopes of teaching children the importance of personal hygiene, the Amelia Street School installed “up-to-date showers” in which both male and female students could shower either by themselves or with the assistance of a “janitor, principal, [or] elder brother or sister”. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Amelia Street School has the reputation of possessing the cleanest, brightest...little students…in Los Angeles.”
August 22, 1904: Both white and colored kids of the neighborhood bathed in Puritas water from the Los Angeles Ice and Cold Storage plant that flowed into the Los Angeles River Bank just north of Seventh Street. The swimming hole was about 5 feet in depth.
March 9, 1905: Union workers threatened to boycott beer from the Maler & Zobelen Brewing Company in Los Angeles after union workers at the brewing company discovered that their new brew house had its structural iron installed by non-union construction workers. Some of the boycotters demanded that every piece of iron be removed and replaced by union workers before they would consider drinking beer from Maler & Zobelen.
October 1, 1905: A new building located on Central Avenue and Fourth Street, became the Everhardy building as it was purchased by M. W. Everhardy. Everhardy intends to use the top three floors as a hotel while using the basement to store eggs, poultry, and fish and will essentially be used as a packing-house for the Palace Market Company.
November 10, 1905: A large group of Los Angeles residents met at the Hotel Westmoore to welcome Mrs. Margaret Bottome who founded the “Order of the King’s Daughter’s” who try to do ‘In His Name’ what the daughters of the heavenly King would have them do.” Mrs. Bottome said of the natural beauty of California, “I must confess, that everything has surprised me, although I was prepared to be surprised.”
December 30, 1905: The North Ontario Packing Company's Molino Street building caught fire, causing $27,000 of damage while their insurance covered only $13,000 dollars of damage. Located at 508 Molino Street, the building contained a great quantity of fruit that either perished in the fire, or was ruined by large amounts of water used by the fire department. The packing company owned multiple packing-houses in California and the Molino street packing-house was one of the smaller ones.
April 28, 1906: John Bowman and Lester Myers, two missing 12 year-old boys, were “arrested for stealing rides on refugee trains between Burbank and Los Angeles”. Initially believed to have run away to become “bandits” in order to live a life similar to the “Nick Carter” novels they read, the two boys admitted they ran away from home to see if they could ride the refugee train without showing a ticket (like they had heard in rumors). They were missing for a total of two days but received food and water from “relief committees.”
August 31, 1906: Essentially “ignoring Labor Day as a holiday for cessation of work” the “Associated Jobbers of Los Angeles” which consisted of over 87 businesses, told their workers that Labor Day would not be a holiday and that they must report to work or be fired.
November 22, 1907: Armed with a revolver, a man by the name of Jefferson B. Larkin attempted to murder his wife on 417 Colyton street. However, his plan failed when his 16 year old son attacked him with a baseball bat. Wounded and dazed, Mr. Larkin ran down the street, stopped, and killed himself. As medical help arrived, Mr. Larkin claimed he was attempting a murder suicide because his wife was divorcing him even after he provided much financial assistance to the family while he was away working. Both his wife and son claim he lied because they never recieved any help after he had left their home.
November 3, 1908: In a lawsuit between the winemakers of the Italian-Swiss Company and the Italian Vineyard Company of Los Angeles over whether the Italian Vineyard Company has any right to create a wine named “Tipo Barbera” while the Italian-Swiss company has a wine already named “Tipo Chlantl”. One lawyer suggested that both wines be tasted for comparison. According to this article, there were many volunteers eager to try the different wines.
November 19, 1908: The “Factory Visiting Committee” announced a city-wide factory tour to show people “how things are made in Los Angeles.” The Factory Visiting Committee requested that all interested visitors show up at the Chamber of Commerce where cars will transport visitors from one participating factory to the next. They also announced that any person with a car to loan for “half a day...or even for a couple of hours will confer a benefit from the committee.”
January 3, 1909: The City of Los Angeles, alongside personal contributions from citizens and companies like the Italian Vineyard Company raised over $6,000 to donate to Italy for the 1908 Earthquake. In addition, performances at the Lambardi Opera Company and a Soccer game between the Thisties and the Rangers at Fiesta Park donated money to the cause.
March 1, 1909: An employee at the Everhardy Hotel nearly died at her home on 316 ½ Second Street when her gas stove began leaking and her apartment filled with gas. She was found only when her boss called her home when she did not report for work. Although she was found unconscious after what must have been several minutes, she regained consciousness and was expected to make a full recovery.
October 19, 1909: Attracting at least 5,000 visitors on the first day, the Pure Food Show, run by the Merchants Exchange opened at an old building on South Main street. Over 97 “pure foods” were on display including “breakfast mush to raisins” and “Pure Food cigars.” Free food, like one-pound cans of peaches and small salt packets were distributed at the show occasionally creating “small riots.”
June 21, 1910: A Deputy Constable named Jack Castillo was shot at while he was on duty protecting workers from an allegedly violent labor union at the Maler Brewery. Castillo was shot by someone in the dark. Although he did not see who shot him, the Los Angeles Times claimed there was a suspect who will be questioned for having “murder in his heart” and instilling “fear into the hearts of... honest laborers who have taken [his] place.”
October 22, 1910: A new organization known as “The Camraderie Club” was established “having as members young men of Ontario.” The club’s headquarters had a living room and a game room with a pool table. The club had “two evenings and one afternoon a week as ladies’ days.”
January 1, 1912: The owners of Pioneer Boiler & Machine Works were owners of not only the boiler and tank shop, but also a foundry, pattern, and machine shop. They created hot air furnaces and ranges as well as oil cars. The shops were located at Palmetto and Carolina Streets.
September 30, 1913: The Barker Brothers four story warehouse on Palmetto and Molino Streets burned down causing a quarter million dollars in losses. The Los Angeles Times reported that thousands of people rushed to put out the fires alongside the firemen in order to prevent the fire spreading to their homes. The cause of the fire was unknown.
August 2, 1913: A man named EC Harden was robbed of 60 cents by two masked men on First and Rose Streets.
February 3, 1914: The “Honey King” of Los Angeles, also known as Henry J Mercer, was sentenced to nine years in Sing Sing Prison in New York City. Mercer was given his sentence for forging a mortgage for $250. He also is wanted in Los Angeles for “hypothecating fraudulent notes alleged to be worth $2000. He was called the “Honey King” after he became very successful in the honey business.
December 27, 1914: A brick building previously owned by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company on Palmetto and Colyton Streets was purchased by the Los Angeles Terminal Company.
March 5, 1916: Claiming losses of over 150 million dollars and 100,000 jobs to “grape men,” the Southern California Grape Protective Association announced their opposition to Prohibition, which would be a possible amendment to the California Constitution if chosen by voters in November.
December 31, 1919: After three years of wondering who killed Modesto Cerrutti near Palmetto and Carolina streets, Frank Jovanitti, a 56-year-old Italian, confessed to the police of committing the crime. Jovanitti states that Cerrutti had pointed a gun at him and he was therefore only acting in self-defense.
August 29, 1920: A giant plane, constructed in Los Angeles called a “leviathan of the Skies” or also known under the model name “Cloudster” was expected to be finished in early 1921. The combination passenger and mail plane could carry “a pilot and five hours of fuel, seven passengers, and 1000 pounds of mail.”
February 24, 1921: A giant plane was completed at 421 Colyton Street. Called a "leviathan of the Skies" or "The Cloudster" was designed by Donald Douglas and was the first to carry a load greater than it own weight. According to aviation historian Judy Rumerman: "In June 1921, the Cloudster set out for its transcontinental flight from March Field, California, to Curtiss Field, New York. But engine trouble forced it to make an emergency landing in Texas. After its aborted flight, Davis lost interest and left the company, taking the plane with him. The plane would have a second career later when it was sold to T Claude Ryan of San Diego in 1925 for $6,000 and converted to a passenger plane for Ryan Airlines, one of the first US scheduled passenger airlines, flying between San Diego and Los Angeles. After Ryan Airlines went out of business, the plane was used for charter flights, including ferrying liquor between towns in Mexico near the California border during Prohibition."
June 2, 1923: The Barkers Brothers’ Furniture company warehouse on Molino and Palmetto Streets did an estimated $100,000 dollars worth of damage and resulted in the death of the 61 year old warehouse watchman. A home next to the warehouse was also seriously damaged. The fire department suspects arson.
May 30, 1925: The Kahn Beck company, makers of Arizona Chocolate candy, small cakes, and crackers, offered shares that earn 8% of interest. In their ad, they asked only “Isn’t this a notable thing to do?” meaning “put your spare dollars into a typical California home industry.”
July 3, 1926: Firefighters showed up on 658 Cores Avenue, after being called to help with an emergency-- a cat stuck on top of a palm tree.
October 2, 1930: 53 barrels of illegal beer were confiscated at 440 Seaton Street by Federal Prohibition officers who conducted raids across the city.
November 8,1932: FJ Frederick saved the lives of three coworkers when he pulled the unconscious workers from thePure Carbonic chemical plant at 514 Molino Street. The internal chamber of the plant was flooded with noxious fumes when the vent was closed. Frederick held his breath each time he entered the plant to drag his coworkers from the building and collapsed shortly after. All of the men recuperated at the Georgia Street Hospital.