Item List

Hollywood Heights: How Hollywood’s Streets Got Their Names

by Mary Mallory H.H. Wilcox’s 1887 map of Hollywood courtesy of USC digital collections. Street names provide a telling story of an area’s development, growth, and history. Real estate promoters and developers give tract streets aspirational titles, monikers that salute subjects or places, or as is often the case, name them after themselves, their friends, and family. Early Hollywood pioneers looking to leave a powerful statement of their accomplishments and importance followed suit, giving the roads and streets through their burgeoning land tracts the names of their closest family members. In this way they provide a telling history of those who built a dusty little farming town into a flourishing entertainment and commercial district, one recognized and celebrated around the world. The following list describes the history of the majority of streets in Hollywood’s original land tracts that surround major thoroughfares like Hollywood, Sunset, and Santa Monica Boulevards, some of which gained their names in late 1912 after the city of Los Angeles changed some of the street names around the metropolis. Beachwood Drive takes its name from developer Albert Beach, who purchased acreage in an unnamed Cahuenga Valley canyon in the early 1900s before opening it up to development. Beach would go on to name the canyon and its main street after himself. Bronson Avenue salutes real estate promoter Marcus Alonzo Bronson, born in Michigan in 1840, who moved to Los Angeles in 1887 and began selling real estate in 1890. He later settled in Hollywood, where he died in 1907. Cahuenga Boulevard “Hollywood’s back door through the mountains,” derives from the Gabrielino word cahuenga as “place of the mountain,” the top of what we now know as the Cahuenga Pass. Originally a footpath for Native Americans, it later served as part of El Camino Real, the Butterfield stagecoach route, and in 1911, served as the Pacific Electric Railway’s Big Red streetcars route to the San Fernando Valley. Cole Street honors Senator Cornelius Cole, who moved to Los Angeles in late 1880 after serving as a congressman and United States senator from 1866-1872 and helping to found the Republican Party in California. His 500-acre ranch, named after his wife, Olive Colegrove, originally part of Rancho La Brea, and deeded to him by the Hancock family, encompassed the area between Gower, Seward, Rosewood, and Sunset Boulevard. Living to 102, he died in 1924. DeLongpre Avenue salutes French-born painter Paul De Longpre, whose Moorish-style residence and gardens at what is now the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue served as the area’s first tourist attraction. Unable to sell paintings in France or New York, DeLongpre moved to Los Angeles, where Daieda Wilcox fell in love with his work and gave him three lots. The residence served as the Hollywood stop on the balloon route, the 1900s version of the Gray Line Tour taking tourists from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica and back showing off the beauty of the area. Visiting out-of-towners loved strolling the beautiful gardens, purchasing De Longpre’s paintings as a souvenir of their visit to charming estate. After De Longpre’s death in 1911, his home was converted to apartments, and demolished in 1927. Eleanor Street recognizes Eleanor Brydges, wife of real estate man Seward Cole, the son of former Senator Cole. Born in London, Canada, she moved with her family to the Hollywood area in 1878 when her father, Edward Brydges, opened Southern California’s first commercial rose nursery on 20 acres near Hollywood and Laurel Canyon Boulevards. She died in 1967. Gower Street takes its name from early resident John T. Gower and his wife, Mary, who owned a 160-acre ranch between Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, taking a claim in 1869, per his son G.T. Gower, in the May 19, 1922, Los Angeles Evening Citizen News. The elder Gower died in 1901. HIghland Avenue salutes Highland Mary Mosby Price, wife of real estate developer Thomas Walter Price. Born in 1866, she died in Hollywood in 1901. C. 1911 postcard of Paul De Longpre’s home, from the California State Library. Hollywood Boulevard replaced Prospect Avenue as the name of Hollywood’s main street in 1910 after residents approved the town’s annexation by the city of Los Angeles. City leaders believed the name befitted a more upscale tract seeking to become a first-class city. Hudson Avenue honors Thomas Hudson, a successful real estate man who constructed a large home on Prospect Avenue in 1902, which later received the address 1635 Hudson Ave. Hudson owned eight acres between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset. In 1917, the home was moved because of the growing commercialization of the area. The August 3, 1917, Los Angeles Evening Citizen News reported that Hudson Avenue was created in 1904 as the land was subdivided. Ivar Avenue takes its name from early pioneer Ivar A. Weid, a Danish immigrant born in 1837 who owned a ranch adjacent to the Wilcoxes that extended into the canyon originally called Weid Canyon, now the home of the Hollywood Dell and Mulholland Dam. Moving to the Cahuenga Valley in 1883, he operated a stone quarry there by the early 1890s that provided material for several Los Angeles buildings while serving with the Internal Revenue Service. He died in 1902. Lodi Place recognizes Senator Cornelius Cole’s birthplace of Lodi, New York, where he was born in 1822. McCadden Place salutes W.G. McCadden, owner of the Rebate Mining Company of Lakeview, New Mexico, who moved to Hollywood in 1901, purchasing 4 1/2 acres on Prospect Avenue one block east of Highland Avenue from real estate promoter H.J. Whitley. McCadden sold real estate, and listed himself in the city directory at McCadden Place as early as 1906. He died in 1935. Selma Avenue honors Weid’s daughter Selma, who was born in Colegrove. Seward Avenue salutes Senator Cornelius Cole’s oldest son Seward, named after Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of State and Cole’s mentor, with whom he first studied law. Seward Cole worked as a real estate developer around the Hollywood/Colegrove area. The younger Cole served as the first postmaster and justice of the peace in Colegrove, dying in 1927. Vine Street takes its name from its start in former Senator Cole’s vineyard down in Colegrove. Waring Avenue salutes Captain Howard Waring, husband of Senator Cole’s oldest daughter, Ella Lucretia. Whitley Avenue recognizes H.J. Whitley, who named the street after himself when he opened his Whitley Heights sub-development. Whitley originally owned an eponymously named jewelry store in downtown Los Angeles before beginning his real estate career. Besides Whitley Heights, he also developed the Hollywood Ocean View Tract on the west side of Highland Avenue with M.H. Sherman, Eli P. Clark, Griffith J. Griffith, and F.H. Rindge in 1901, helping ensure the Pacific Electric Railway cars would chug up and down Highland Avenue on their route to and from the San Fernando Valley. He died in 1931. Wilcox Avenue honors the father and mother of Hollywood, Harvey and Daieda Wilcox. Daieda first gave the subdivision and later the town its name. She fell in love with the sound of “Hollywood” after hearing fellow train passenger Laura Rockefeller mention the name of her estate. Harvey Wilcox employed the name on the tract map he released to the public on February 2, 1887, the beginnings of Hollywood as we know it today. Their 120-acre tract extended from Franklin Avenue south to Sunset Boulevard, Whitley Avenue east to Gower Street. Harvey died in 1891, and his widow, Daieda Beveridge, passed away in 1914. Willoughby Street honors another son of former Senator Cornelius Cole, Willoughby. He was named United States attorney for the Southern California district in 1894, serving for a short time and later worked as an attorney in Colegrove.

Hollywood Heritage goes Virtual

Keep watch for our new "Stories From the Barn" series Coming soon you will find all sorts of adventures as we roam through the museum and our archives to share our collection with you. Two examples of what you will find are available now for preview on our "Stories From the Barn" web page. Join our fan club and let us know what you think.

Lasky Home Guard Defends America

By Mary Mallory The Hollywood Film Industry has done its part in showing patriotism and serving our country in times of crises, from visiting the troops to selling bonds to serving overseas to producing gung-ho films. Famous Players-Lasky went further, creating its own Home Guard in 1917, outshining all other movie studios. Paramount sold more bonds than every other film production company in 1917, with $75,000 in Liberty Loan bond sales collected from employees and a $100,000 donation from the studio. Two weeks after President Woodrow Wilson declared war, and just a few days before the first draft, passionate director-general Cecil B. DeMille jumped into action, establishing the Lasky Home Guard with himself as commander. Composed of studio employees unable to serve due to age or because they served as the family’s main financial support, the Home Guard possessed such members as actors Tom Forman, James Neill, Jack Holt, Tully Marshall, Hobart Bosworth, Guy Oliver, Lucien Littlefield, Kenneth Harlan, Wallace Reid, and directors William De Mille and Henry Hathaway. Veteran actor Hobart Bosworth took part in the unit, telling the San Diego Union, “I am a private in the rear rank, but I try to do my duty in that sphere of life in which it has pleased God to call me.” Older actor Theodore Roberts would even occasionally muster with the group. Cecil B. DeMille assigned Lieutenant Henry Woodward, who formerly served with troops stationed in the Philippines, to provide discipline and proper training to the studio unit. Recognized as the 51st Company, California Reserves, the group would “guard property and maintain order in the event of the National Guard being called out of the State… .” Young members would be so thoroughly trained that they would advance rapidly if actually called to serve. The June 6, 1917 New York Clipper reported the Lasky Guard contained 125 members, a 30-piece band, four member signal corps, and two machine gun units of six men each, with Cecil serving as commander. Weapons included two automatic machine guns and Remington rifles equipped bayonets, along with portable wireless radio with licensed operator, a complete field telephone unit, field ambulance, and two operating light plants for searchlights. Film vaults held one hundred twenty thousand rounds of rifle ammunition and one hundred thousand rounds for the machine guns. Little American Mary Pickford even presented the group with a silk stars and stripes not long after the organization formed, participating in the donation ceremony at the Lasky Ranch with Reid, color guard for the unit. This ceremony involved drill, review, flag presentation, and skirmish. Pickford later donated an ambulance. Woodward, chief drill master, held non-commissioned officers’ drill every night of the week. Officers attended a special school three nights a week along with drilling by the entire group two nights a week and on Sundays at the Lasky Ranch in the San Fernando Valley. The group was so organized that they could be mobilized and armed in one hour after the alarm sounded per reports. Non-commissioned officers of the group included: Captain, Cecil B. DeMille; First Lieutenant, Henry Woodward; Second Lieutenant, James Neill; First Sergeant, William De Mille; Second Sergeant, Ed Martin; Third Sergeant, J. P. Hogan; Fourth Sergeant, Alvin Wyckoff; Fifth Sergeant, George Melford; Sixth Sergeant, Kenneth McGaffey; Seventh Sergeant, Fred Kley; Eighth Sergeant, Milton E. Hoffmann; Color Sergeant, Wallace Reid; First Corporal, Horace Williams; Second Corporal, Walter Sherer; Third Corporal, J. Parks Jones; Fourth Corporal, Lucien Littlefield; Fifth Corporal, Tully Marshall; Sixth Corporal, Charles M. Geldert; Seventh Corporal, Don Short; Eighth Corporal, Louis M. Goodstadt; Tenth Corporal, Ed. Morrison; Eleventh Corporal, Ted Duncan; Twelfth Corporal, Ernest Traxler; Thirteenth Corporal, Jack Dean, bugler, Guy Oliver. The organization, which Motion Picture News called “the crack military organization of the West Coast,” was sworn into service for the State of California between filming scenes for the Cecil B. DeMille-directed film “The Woman God Forgot.” DeMille was the first to add his name to the roll, followed by his lieutenants Woodward and James Neill, and then by director of photography Alvin Wyckoff, Fred Kley, production business manager and publicity man Kenneth McGaffoy. DeMille kept his men fit and ready for service. Reports indicated they held competitive drills with other guard units nearby and they participated in patriotic meetings and gatherings around the Los Angeles area. They sometimes held performed military drills at these public events. They also took part in Liberty Loan rallies around Hollywood and Los Angeles. During a giant Liberty Bond demonstration in Hollywood on Saturday, April 13, 1918 with Lieut. Henry Woodward as grand marshal, the Lasky Home Guard’s band, infantry, and one machine gun unit joined the parade from the Lasky Studio up Vine Street to Hollywood High School. Other units participating included 500 soldiers from Fort McArthur, the Hollywood police department, the Hollywood High School cadet battalion and band, Boy Scouts, Red Cross, Hollywood’s Woman’s Club, Mrs. William C. De Mille’s Junior Red Cross, Hollywood school children, and the Joan of Arc Club, “headed by Joan of Arc in full armor and white uniform.” Just a few weeks later, on April 30, a fire occurred in a film storage room at the Lasky Studio. Newspapers reported that “thousands of rounds of blank ammunition for machine guns, stored in the stock room, began to explode in quick and menacing succession.” The fire started from sparks of wire on a cutting machine, causing some film to be lost, including color positive scenes for DeMille’s film “New Wives For Old.” During a massive patriotic rally at Clune’s Auditorium downtown Los Angeles on May 26 for the organizing of the Motion Picture War Relief Association, at which “practically every motion picture star and director was present,” the Lasky Home Guard performed a drill as part of the program. Other acts included tableaus, the participation of the Junior Red Cross, and military bands. For Memorial Day that year, the Home Guard and its band joined the Hollywood High School cadets and war service girls. and Hollywood’s officers’ training school, over 300 strong, to march to Hollywood Cemetery to decorate the graves of Civil and Spanish-American War veterans with flowers. They would later participate in a Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce patriotic rally at Exposition Park near the end of June. Governor Stephens of California addressed the Home Guard Wednesday evening, July 24, 1918 at the Studio, praising them for their service to state and country. Motion Picture News recorded his words. “As Governor of the State and Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State, I wish to express my appreciation and to say that the State and your Governor stand behind you and will do everything in their power to help you. I know that every man of you will fight if the necessity arises, or even the opportunity, for I have heard many fine things of this organization from various sources.” In August, newspapers reported that the Lasky Studio leased a large tract of land near the studio on which the Lasky Home Guard could conduct its drills. Just two weeks later the enlarged Lasky Guard participated in a Motion Picture Rally and parade for the war effort led by Douglas Fairbanks. Major DeMille led his two companies marching in three platoons each followed by their machine gun units with actual weapons, mounted on carriages, ambulance, and signal unit. While most of the Lasky Home Guard merely served in Hollywood, some younger members did serve overseas. Patriotic and loyal, Cecil B. DeMille and his crack military unit brought recognition and distinction to the Lasky Film Studio in their service to their country. # # #

“The Deadlier Sex”

By Angie Schneider Silents Under the Stars Blog Edition Lobby Card with Blanche Sweet & Boris Karloff 1920 The Deadlier Sex Director: Robert Thornby Writers: Fred Myton and Bayard Veiller (play) Starring: Blanche Sweet, Winter Hall, Mahlon Hamilton, and Boris Karloff The Silents Under the Stars movie choice acknowledges the centennial of the Women’s Suffrage of 1920. On August 18, 1920, the 19thAmendment for the constitution was ratified giving women all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship with the right to vote. This is a movie, with a touch of humor, a play written by Bayard Veiller (author of “The Thirteenth Chair”) has Blanche Sweet playing the role of a modern business girl, Mary Willard, to prove that she is deadlier than the male counterpart after taking over her father’s railroad. When the railroad is threatened by the character Harvey Judson (Mahlon Hamilton), a young capitalist; Mary Willard (Sweet) arranges him to be abducted and taken to a shack in the North woods. It is a well told story in which a big businessman is pitted against an intelligent woman. Following Blanche Sweet’s first two movies with PathéExchange, Blanche was declared a favorite actress of over 6,000 theatres in the United States. When the announcement was made for the March 28, 1920 release of The Deadlier Sex Pathé began recording heavy advanced bookings at the big theaters. The premiere and pre-release of The Deadlier Sex took place at the Broadway Theatre in New York City beginning March 14, 1920 for one week. This movie has northern scenery which forms the backdrop for the better part of the movie which is attractive and excellently photographed. To accomplish this, director Robert Thornby, filmed the movie in Truckee, California. The Filming of The Deadlier Sex “Train Wreck, storm, auto smashup, all in the day’s work” is Blanche Sweet’s description of filming The Deadlier Sex for the Montana Great Falls Tribune (March 7, 1920). “Never in my whole screen existence,” said Miss Sweet, “have I ever appeared in serial photoplays but during the filming of The Deadlier Sex.” (There were a series of unexpected occurrences which should rank with many of the well-planned episodes in serial thrillers). “I don’t mean the action of the play,” explained the star, “although heaven knows, there is action aplenty in it for me, but little things which cropped up most unexpectedly—such as train wrecks.” Steer Upsets Things “This was one of the most sudden train wrecks I ever met, although, I suppose all train wrecks are sudden, or there wouldn’t be any. It was really quite serious. We were enroute to Truckee, which abounds in beautiful scenery, and a steer got on the track and baggage cars were thrown into a ditch near Mojave. Both engines and two engineers were killed. I came out quite safely myself, but I did get a severe shaking up.” “We went to Truckee to take the summer scenes and we arrived right in the middle of a snowstorm. It lasted for two days. Now if we wanted a winter scene, I am sure the birds would have been singing, the flowers in bloom and the sun shining.” “I also discovered that the Truckee river at this season of the year, is no place to take a bath. You see we have some canoes and you have to be most skillfully managed going over the rapids. I never had any trouble before with a canoe and always prided myself that I could handle the most elusive, but these particular rapids were not the best-behaved ones I have met.” Planks Were Loose “When we finished up the filming, Mr. Thornby (my director), informed me to get ready for an automobile wreck. ‘Delightful,’ I thought, ‘the man has a sense of humor.’ But woe was me when he showed it to me in the scenario.” “So, we filmed the auto wreck. It happened in this way—I was in a high-powered car—I think it was a Ford, and we were trying to beat another car to the railroad station. On the way, we crossed a small bridge over a creek. Several of the planks were loose, thanks to Mr. Thornby, and over we go in a heap, with the other car crashing into us.” “I really think the author overlooked something here as it should have been taken in the rain. Then we would have skidded in a thrilling manner and been all covered with water and mud. Things would have been more complicated anyway.” “And yet they say film stars are overpaid! But look at the fun we have! We have our thrills made to order while you, Mr. Blasé Millionaire, appear to be bored to death with life. Try a fling at the movies and after you are put through a few stunts, the subway in rush hours will be but a meek reminder. But how us little ‘hot house plants’ do enjoy it!” The introduction of a Modest, Man-Made Monster “The only time I was ever so frightened was in a silent little effort called The Deadlier Sex, featuring Blanche Sweet and Mahlon Hamilton. In that movie I played a French Canadian. I had appeared in many movies previously, but none in which I could see myself. This time the camera picked me up a long way off—in a wood as it happened. I came walking slowly toward the camera and was for a long time nothing more than a figure in a forest. ‘Yes, yes, there I am,’ I thought. I had time to recognize and get used to my shape before seeing my face for the first time, and I settled back to enjoy my face. Then I sat up suddenly. ‘My goodness,’ I thought, ‘is that really my face?’ It was a terrible shock. Seeing my face as others saw it, seeing the back of my head, that sort of thing. You know, sometimes, I still feel a little shaken after viewing it.” The Deadlier Sex restored print is rarely seen and will be shown virtually with donated proceeds going to both Hollywood Heritage and the Santa Monica Fund. Showing dates will be July 19thand July 26th. Pennants and photographs from the collection of Angie & Chris Schneider