Saturday, June 03, 2006


June 3, 1907
Los Angeles

It was to be one of the grandest society weddings of the season: An orchestra was hired, a caterer had been selected after lengthy interviews, gowns for the bride and bridesmaids had been sewn and the Hotel Lankershim had been hired for the occasion.

In preparation for the grand event, Dr. Harris C. Garcelon and his fiancee, Genevieve Smith, attended the wedding rehearsal at Christ Episcopal Church performed by the Rev. Baker P. Lee.

Lee said: “While the young people were talking with me, one of them asked if they could not get married right away. No, I will not say which suggested it first. I told them a license was really all that was necessary. I believe both dreaded the big formal affair and wished to avoid it. They were of sufficient age to decide for themselves. Members of my household acted as witnesses. Miss Smith’s engagement ring was used in the ceremony. I married them and Dr. and Mrs. Garcelon went away.”

Dr. Garcelon managed to spirit his wife’s luggage out of the Hotel Lankershim, under the watchful eyes of her parents, and off they fled for Salt Lake City, leaving Rev. Lee to break the news to her mother.

The Times said: “It is hinted that a function will be arranged at the hotel which Dr. and Mrs. Garcelon will be actually forced to attend.”

Dr. Garcelon died Aug. 2, 1935, in San Bernardino at the age of 65. At his request, his ashes were scattered over the Mojave Desert. The former police surgeon and assistant health officer was survived by his wife, Genevieve, who died in 1958 at the age of 81.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Theater Rises on Broadway

June 2, 1907
Los Angeles

The Hamburger Department Store announces plans for a theater just south of its new building on South Broadway at 8th Street, designed by the architecture firm of Edelman and Barnett.

According to plans, the horseshoe-shaped theater is to seat 1,600 people, with a balcony and a gallery. The stage is to be 40 feet by 80 feet, with a proscenium 36 feet wide and 32 feet high.

“The interior of the arch will be finished in ‘Art Nouveau’ as a suggestion of the beautiful effect given by the arch of the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City,” The Times said.

The facade of the eight-story building is to be pressed brick and terra cotta with inlaid colored glazed tile. The marquee of hammered copper is to measure 14 feet by 23 feet, extending from the building to the curb.

A June 14, 1908, Times story says the interior was designed by Antoon Molkenboer. The panel over the proscenium will portray 16 larger-than-life figures titled “The Cast of Characters.”

Ramon Novarro began as an usher at Hambuger’s Majestic (later the Majestic) and kept as mementos a pair of ticket stubs given to him by Charlie Chaplin. Edward Everett Horton, Lewis Stone and Franklin Pangborn also performed at the theater. In its final years, it was a burlesque house and figured in an obscenity case before it was torn down in 1933 to make way for parking.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hard Questions

June 1, 1907
Los Angeles

Voir dire, in which lawyers question prospective jurors, is a rough and tumble affair, especially when the case involves prostitution.

The matter at hand involves Tom Savage, boss of the 8th Ward, known as the “Bloody Eighth,” on charges of running a disorderly house, the Arlington Hotel, in the Tenderloin.

Savage’s unidentified defense attorney interrogated prospective panelists closely about their familiarity with bordellos and prostitutes. One man tucked his long, white beard into the waistband of his pants before entering the jury box and when asked about the Red Light district looked at the accused prostitutes in court and said: “Well, young feller, I ain’t much on sparkin’, but them there do sure seem to be likely gals.”

The first question asked of each prospective juror—what church they belonged to—caused The Times to remark: “From the number who answered in the negative there seems to be considerable missionary work yet to be done in Los Angeles.”

One man replied: “I ain’t been to no church for 10 years, but I ain’t missed a chance to vote the Democratic ticket for the past 30 and that oughter qualify me some.”

Several men were accompanied by their wives and became increasingly nervous during questioning about whether they had ever been to a house a prostitution.

“Once,” one man said nervously. “I was showing a friend about the city.”

“I’ll show you about the city when I get you home,” his wife exclaimed from the back of the courtroom.

The jury deadlocked and Savage’s case was dropped. The onetime newspaper pressman, who was elected to the council in 1894, died of a morphine overdose in his room at 111½ Commercial St., in what was then the 8th Ward. The man who once boasted “I’ve got all the votes you need right here in my vest pocket” was 47.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Some coding for Nathan

OK, Write something here. Write something else here.
And here.

Labels: , , ,

Memorial Day

May 31, 1907
Los Angeles

In one Memorial Day observance, Col. James H. Davidson of Pasadena addresses the crowd at Memorial Hall.

He says, in part: “Another decade or two and taps will have sounded and lights will be out for the entire muster roll of Civil War veterans. Let us see who made possible the perpetuity of the Union, who fought its battles and upheld the flag, who filled the ranks, who rushed to the rescue, who died on sea and land that our great nation might survive.

“It was the men behind the guns, the private soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. Their valor, their heroism, their endurance, made possible those brilliant names of generals and admirals that blaze on the pages of our country’s history.”

Labels: , , , , ,

Hop Chung--In Trouble Again

May 30, 1907
Los Angeles

Hop Chung is in trouble again.

Chung, it seems, is no stranger to the legal system, with a police record going back to 1883. Ten years later, he and customer D.E. Dorsey were arrested at Chung’s laundry at 1st and San Pedro for fighting over a bill.

The next year, he was arrested on a charge of battery when he got into an argument with Mrs. D.W. Diaz, operator of a Spring Street rooming house, who refused to pay him because he lost some of her laundry. Also in 1894, he and Ah Sing were fined $1 for not hitching their horses as they plied the streets of Los Angeles.

But all of that was a mere prelude to the current problem. In 1907, Chung opened a new laundry on Thompson between West Adams and 23rd Street, much to neighbors’ dismay, for the council had designated the area a residential district, banning laundries, livery stables, undertaking parlors and coal yards.

Chung was arrested once more, but because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, he took the case to federal court rather than the state, claiming that the city had no authority to create what we know as zoning. Chung’s lawyer maintained that as long as the laundry was sanitary, the city had no authority to force him out.

Taking the case under advisement because there were few legal precedents, the federal court ruled in June against Chung and in favor of the city.

Chung remained out of the news until 1932, when the health department refused to renew his license because he had a connecting hallway between his living quarters and laundry.

No obituary appeared on Chung and he isn’t listed in the California death records, so there’s no easy way to find out what became of him. As for the laundry, Thompson doesn’t appear on any of my historic maps and the Sanborn Maps website doesn’t recognize my firefox browser.

Here’s the link in case you want to check

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, May 28, 2006