Evidence of Ancient Beasts Beneath Mission Road

March 16, 1907
Los Angeles 

Sometimes, exhausted after a day pulling clay out of the earth to make into bricks, the workers of the Los Angeles Brick Company would stop by Slovenian laborer George Laubro’s room at 735 Buena Vista Street and say, "Hey George, can we see that thing you found?" And George would open his trunk, unwrap the long, heavy object, and pass it around to his friends. "Have you ever seen the like?" Teeth as big as apples! Fused together in a row!

Word of the workman’s two-year-old discovery recently reached the ears of Jerome Craite, a mining man with an interest in obsolete fauna, who requested that Laubro exhibit his find. Astonished at the fine quality of the specimen, Craite inquired further and learned that the Brick Company pit, on Mission Road just south of the County Hospital, had often offered up the remnants of strange beasts, including a tusk that the son of A.A. Hubbard, former head of the brick concern, has taken home.

Professor A.B. Ulrey, head of the biology department of the University of Southern California, examined the teeth and determined that they were the right lower molars of some large herbivore, possible a mammoth or mastadon.

Laubro was mildly amused at all the interest in his oddity, but remarked that he would much rather have a full larder than some old creature’s teeth in his trunk. 

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Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.

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