WAHA E-News 9-14-2007

Living History Tour deadline for Early Bird Price.

Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Evening Stroll in the Avenues, Felix the Cat, and More.


17th Annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery Saturday, September 29
(Early Bird Deadline for Lower-Priced Tickets is Saturday, September 15)

A Silent Screen vamp, an early California gold miner, a madcap director of Mary Pickford films, a World War II entertainer, and more -- all come to "life" at WAHA's 17th Annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery

If you could meet Mary Pickford's film director, what would you ask him? Or a 19th century female artist, a Temperance-era evangelist, or a silent film vamp? Hear their life stories, and others, at this annual event on September

  1. In addition, view classic vintage hearses on display, courtesy the Vintage Hearse Association.

The Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, one of the city's oldest, most historically significant cemeteries, was founded in 1884, and is now home to many generations of Los Angeles's early citizens, representing every race, faith, and creed. Every year, WAHA focuses on some of their life stories by presenting a Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, featuring actor portrayals, graveside, of some of the individuals buried at the cemetery.

This year, you'll meet:

  • John Marcellus Stewart, an early California gold miner and Los Angeles pioneer nurseryman whose 1871 cottage still stands in West Adams. Stewart made his way from Wisconsin across the Rockies and the desert to pan for gold in Placerville and Calaveras County in the 1850s, before settling in Los Angeles.

  • Louise Glaum, one of the most effective silent film era femme fatales. Glaum was a melodramatic actress of the stage before becoming a sexy rival to fellow screen vamp Theda Bara.

  • Francis Murphy, the "American Apostle of Temperance," a reformer, orator and evangelist who campaigned against alcohol. Murphy led a "Blue Ribbon Army" and eventually convinced 12,000 people to sign pledges against drinking liquor.

  • Ernest R. (Bubbles) Whitman, a radio personality, comic, emcee, and film actor ("Stormy Weather," "Cabin in the Sky") who also starred in the TV series "Beulah." Whitman perfected a word-spinning, tongue-tangling banter as the master of ceremonies for a series of shows recorded by the Army to entertain troups abroad during WWII.

  • Marshall Neilan, charming and madcap film director of several classic Mary Pickford blockbusters, including "Daddy Long Legs." A famously charming womanizer, he was married to the actress Blanche Sweet until he cheated on her one time too many - with equally famous Gloria Swanson.

  • Eliza Griffin Johnston, an artist, diarist, and wife of Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, who was killed in the battle of Shiloh. Johnston was the first woman artist in the American West. "Texas Wild Flowers," a book of 101 of her paintings from the 1840s and 1850s, was published in 1972.

In addition to the graveside portrayals, tourgoers will visit the memorial to the Civil War's Union soldiers, and will also have an opportunity to see a half dozen classic hearse automobiles, courtesy the Vintage Hearse Association (VHA), which was formed in 2002 for the purpose of preserving and restoring antique funeral vehicles.

VHA has exhibited at the Petersen Automotive Museum several times and at many cemeteries in the Los Angeles area, including the Forest Lawn and Dignity family of memorial parks. Last year, VHA took part for the first time in WAHA's presentation of the Living History Tour at the historic Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. The effort proved quite popular, so VHA's members (and their vehicles) are returning this year. They will be on hand to answer any questions visitors may have about these fascinating examples of funerary and automotive history.

We hope you'll join us for this event. This is an outdoor 3-hour walking tour over uneven terrain. Please do wear appropriate clothing, and walking shoes.

Tickets are by advance reservation only -- no walk-ins.

$25 general admission, $20 WAHA members, PAID BY SEPTEMBER 15. Space available, after September 15, all tickets are $30. (Children under 10 attend for free.)

Additional information: 323-732-4223, tours@westadamsheritage.org, or visit www.WestAdamsHeritage.org.

Download an order form here:

http://westadamsheritage.org/images/stories/pdfs/waha_cemetery_tour_flyer_2007 .pdf


We are looking for volunteer help, as always. For those of you new to WAHA, or new to West Adams, volunteering at events is a terrific way to meet your neighbors. There are many tasks that need helping hands - both in advance and on the day of the tour. We need help at check-in, of course, and we also need assistants for our actors. Since this is a guided ("shepherded") tour, we need tour guides (you'll need to attend a training session the weekend before). And we also have a variety of behind the scenes positions, including schlepping, and helping with set up and clean up for a volunteer thank you party. If you wish to be of service, please contact Sally Turner at salturner@sbcglobal.net.

2). Evening Stroll in the West Adams Avenues

Wednesday, September 19, 5 to 7 p.m.
Espresso cart will be placed at 5th Avenue & 25th Street (on the cul de sac)

Please join WAHA on an Evening Stroll through the West Adams Avenues, which is part of one of our community's designated HPOZ historic preservation districts.

As you walk through these tree-lined streets, you'll discover a residence said to have been built by silent film star Ramon Navarro for his brother. You'll learn about a mansion utilized for the past half a century as a noted social club for African American women, and you'll see two elegant homes erected by members of the Wilshire (Boulevard) family.

Hollywood has come calling numerous times in this neighborhood. Stroll past the residences used in the movie "You, Me and Dupree," and HBO's famed series "Six Feet Under," as well as the Craftsman landmark seen every week in the CBS TV series "Numb3rs."

The Avenues is also home to a number of other City Historic-Cultural Monuments, including the Dryden Residence, built for a pioneer Southern California family; the former home of U.S. Congressman Gordon McDonough; and the Alice Lynch Residence, a unique Spanish Colonial Revival adobe.

The restored Joseph Dupuy/South Seas House, on the corner of 24th and Arlington, is the unofficial gateway to the neighborhood. It was saved and landmarked through the advocacy efforts of the entire community.

The Espresso cart will be placed on the 5th Avenue cul de sac, just north of 25th Street (west of Arlington, north of Adams.) WAHA will have a walking tour brochure and map available for you at the Espresso cart, starting about 4:45 p.m. Homes can only be viewed from the outside -- no open houses.

Say hello to neighbors, meet new friends, bring out your (leashed) dogs for a walk, and get a close-up look at this wonderful neighborhood.


Tuesday, September 25
2 p.m.
City Hall, Room 340 (the Board of Public Works meeting room)

This summer, the City's Cultural Heritage Commission voted to declare the Felix Chevrolet Showroom and Neon Sign a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument. The property, located at 3330 Figueroa (at Jefferson), is an iconic piece of L.A. car culture, according to those advocating on behalf of its pending landmark status. The next step in the process is a hearing before the Los Angeles City Council's "PLUM" Planning and Land Use Management Committee, now slated for Tuesday, September 25. (If you are a WAHA member and you received your WAHA Matters newsletter, it mentioned a different date - but currently the item is on the September 25 agenda.) Watch this space for updates.


Friday evening and all day Saturday, September 28 to 29 Self-Guided Driving Tour: Sunday, September 30 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The California Garden & Landscape History Society, the Garden Conservancy, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Los Angeles Conservancy are presenting a three-day conference on Southern California's legacy of Japanese-influenced gardens.

Exotic portions of great estates, commercial teahouse gardens, modest bungalow gardens, and public sister city or friendship gardens -- for more than a century the lure of Japan has inspired a category of gardens that will be the subject of the California Garden and Landscape History Society's conference and annual meeting. Through talks, an exhibition visit, and garden tours, the conference will focus not only on the Japanese-style garden in California but on the Japanese Americans who designed, constructed, and maintained them. Speakers include Kendall H. Brown, author of Japanese-Style Gardens of the Pacific West Coast; Chris Aihara, executive director of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center; and Greg Kitajima, Lotusland Japanese garden specialist.

On Sunday, the public is invited to join conference attendees on the self-guided driving tour, "Cultivating LA: 100 Years of Japanese-Style Garden Making in Southern California." Learn how Japanese Americans have shaped the Southern California landscape through innovation and design. The tour is designed to survey the natural beauty and functions of the Japanese-style garden as well as explore the history of the sites. Los Angeles Conservancy docents will be on hand to interpret five gardens and sites featured in a related exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum and discussed in Saturday's lectures. The day will end in a special private garden.

Cost for the tour only: $30 ($25 for Conservancy members and members of the other sponsoring organizations.) Sing up for the tour at www.laconservancy.org or at this direct link:


To attend the entire Conference, registration and fees are: Members (CGLHS, JANM, GC, LAC) $225.00*
Non-members $270.00*
Saturday Dinner $75.00
Pre-conference bus tour $70.00

  • Includes Friday evening reception and exhibit; Saturday lectures and walking tour of Little Tokyo; Sunday garden tours and closing reception.

For more information visit www.cglhs.org, e-mail conference@cglhs.org or phone (323) 462-2443.

Conference Schedule:

Friday evening
opening reception and exhibit, "Landscaping America: Beyond the Japanese Garden," at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. This multimedia exhibition reveals the personal stories, historical journeys, communities, and creativity that underlie the surface of the "Japanese garden."
lectures at the Democracy Center in Little Tokyo, including a walking tour of Little Tokyo during mid-day lecture break; a late afternoon visit to New Otani Hotel rooftop garden and no-host cocktail reception; and an optional dinner that will include a reading by Naomi Hirahara, an award-winning author of a mystery series set in Los Angeles featuring Japanese American gardener and atomic bomb survivor, Mas Arai.

Sunday: "Cultivating LA" is included with conference registration.


We welcome your contributions to the WAHA E-News and West Adams Heritage Association's monthly publication, "West Adams Matters." Please understand that we do have deadlines. Material for the print newsletter should be submitted no later than the 1st of the prior month (i.e.: April 1 for the May issue). If your event is scheduled for early in a month, we suggest you request coverage for the prior month (i.e.: May issue for a June 3 event), because it's entirely possible that not all of our members will have received their newsletter by then (we do try hard.) We reserve the right to edit submitted material. For the WAHA E-News, we prefer to only send it out once or twice a month. Please don't wait until two days before an event to let us know about it. It may not be sent out.

If you suddenly hear of an important city hearing or other public meeting that is important to West Adams, we will endeavor to send out a special bulletin.

Submit your material to Laura Meyers, editor, lauramink@aol.com.