Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


The Valley, circa Sept 1882

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Have you ever Googled yourself? It's strangely fascinating to see what turns up, isn't it? Last week, I performed a similar procedure, but not on myself. Instead of Google, I logged onto the Los Angeles Times historical archive and searched for Encino.

I found a very charming column entitled, "On the Road: A Times man driving through the San Fernando Valley," dated 1882. That's more than a century ago. Here's what he had to say...

From Los Angeles to Encino station on the road to Ventura is a Sabbath day's journey...The distance is eighteen or twenty miles, and there is but little on the road to distract a man's attention from driving. I may remark that up Temple street, over the hills and across the valley to the entrance of the Cahuenga pass is almost a continuous settlement, whereas, a few years ago, there was scarcely a settler on the road. Getting through the pass and landing in the edge of the San Fernando valley, I looked out over thousands of acres of wheat stubble where there used to be brush, cactus and sandy plains, tens of thousands of quails and a goodly supply of rabbits. I know what I'm talking about now, for in years gone by I used to carry a shotgun over those same plains as a protection against quails and rabbits.
I read the passage and mentally drove over his same route. Instead of the thousands of acres of wheat (or brush and cactus), I saw rows and rows of buildings all lining up Ventura Boulevard. Instead of quails and rabbits, I there were dogs out for a walk. What a difference a century makes! Though it might be nice to spot a rabbit around.

Ventura Blvd, circa 2010


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