| ||A nice postcard of the Mason Opera House (now the site of a huge, vacant pit on Broadway between 1st and 2nd streets) has been listed on EBay. The Mason Opera House/Operahouse was one of the leading theaters in Los Angeles and featured many top performers of the early 20th century, including Ruth St. Denis, Julian Eltinge and Geraldine Farrar. |
The Mason was demolished in the 1950s to make way for a Cold War Moderne state building and Concrete Nouveau parking structure that were finally torn down after being damaged in the Northridge quake.
Bidding starts at $6.
Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
July 15, 1910: Belle Elmore, buried in the cellar.
July 15, 1910: Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen.
July 15- 30, 1910: Murder-suspense stories don’t get much better than that of Dr. Hawley H. Crippen, an American living in London who ran off with his secretary after killing his wife and burying her body in the cellar in a particularly gruesome fashion – original newspaper accounts said that most of her bones were missing.
The Crippens went to England and since 1908 had lived at 39 Hilldrop Crescent, North London. Dr. Crippen was involved in a rather mysterious business that kept him away from home and he became involved with his secretary, Ethel Clara Le Neve, whose name was spelled many ways in the old newspapers.
In April 1910, Dr. Crippen wrote to a letter to his in-laws, saying that his wife had died in California during a sudden, unexpected trip to arrange an inheritance of some property. Another of Dr. Crippen’s letters, advising a theatrical guild of his wife’s death, aroused suspicions because he misspelled her last name as Ellmore instead of Elmore and guild officials contacted investigators.
Dr. Crippen disappeared after an initial police interview and investigators thoroughly searched the house, discovering a mutilated body covered with quicklime in the cellar. Police began hunting Dr. Crippen and Le Neve, receiving many clues before determining that they were on a ship headed for America.
Newspaper readers were tantalized by a race across the Atlantic between the ship carrying the fugitive couple and Inspector Walter Dew of Scotland Yard. On July 29, 1910, Dew arrived in Father Point, Quebec, to intercept the ship carrying the fugitives.
The Times published an interview with Crippen’s father, M.A. Crippen, who was living at the Veranda Apartments, 3rd and Flower streets in Los Angeles. The Times also tried to interview Crippen’s son Hawley, who was staying with in-laws at 1612 Holmby Ave.
Sitting in front of the home and armed with a Winchester rifle, Hawley Crippen’s father-in-law, J.C. Herwick, said: "No, sir, my son hain't heerd a word about his pa, ner he ain't goin' to be pestered by no reporters. I don't read the dirty sheets, ner he ain't goin' to talk with any of ther dirty newsgetters, so you kin just dust yourself right along or you'll get into trouble," according to The Times.
It’s Happy Hooligan, master of subtlety!
|An undated album for stamps featuring the Los Angeles Examiner’s comics has been listed on EBay. This was evidently a promotional item for stamps showing characters from “The Katzenjammer Kids,” “Krazy Kat” and “Bringing Up Father,” etc. Note to collectors: There are relatively few stamps in the album. Bidding starts at $19, but there is a reserve.|
July 30, 1960: Matt Weinstock has a curious tale about the influence of the horsefly on American history.
DEAR ABBY: I have a message for "The Other Woman" -- I have offered my husband his freedom so that he could marry you, but he refused. Another thing, we haven't been married 30 years. It was 39. He lied about his age, too.
Tom Treanor gets a brief interview with jeweler Louis Cartier, in exile at the Aviz Hotel in Lisbon.
July 30, 1940: Margaret Lindsay can't stand men who smoke big cigars, Jimmie Fidler says.
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: "Marjorie Bennett playing the movie struck maid in 'M'Lord, the Duke' at the Hollywood Playhouse," according to caption information on a photo marked March 4, 1934.
Please welcome Carmen as this week’s guest host for the mystery photos.
Notice how steep Bunker Hill used to be!
|I stumbled across a copy of “Los Angeles: A Guide Book,” produced for the 1907 National Education Assn. convention, listed on EBay for $9.99 and remembered that I had seen a digitized copy on Google books. The book offers brief snapshots of the city as it was a century ago and because it was produced for teachers it focuses on educational facilities and is loaded with facts for tourists. |
There’s also a handy map of downtown as it was in 1907. You can download the pdf here.
July 29, 1960: Matt Weinstock reminisces about trying to catch grunion and implies it’s nothing but a snipe hunt.
Dear Abby: My husband never swears around the house or anywhere else, but the minute we start to play golf he swears a blue streak.