Mystery Solved

Dec. 22, 2006
Los Angeles

A quick (well, relatively) check of the Sanborn maps (online via the Los Angeles Public Library website) shows (Vol. 11, Sheet 1143) the intersection of McCollum and Berkeley. Alas, the impact crater was not recorded. Apparently all other variants were typos.

e-mail: lmharnisch (AT)

The Edendale Asteroid

December 20, 1907meteor

Was Los Angeles nearly ground zero for a Cretaceous-tertiary extinction event-styled piece of catastrophism?  Sort of.  Not really.

An asteroid nearly reached the open field near the home of Joseph Phillis, at the corner of McCullom and Berkeley early this morning.  It exploded just before impact, leaving a burned patch twelve feet in diameter.  The neighborhood was filled with heavy sulphurous smoke, in the center of which burned a dim blue flame.

Surrounding homes were rocked by the loud explosion and lit up by a Fourth of July spectacular, but the only extant remains of our spacejectile the shaken denizens could find were chunks of meteorite that resembled volcanic rock.

Otherwise neighbors, and dinosaurs, were not affected.

Mr. Wrong, Edendale-Style

October 3, 1907

It’s 2006, and Edendale is the quaintest durn area of Silver Lake, where you may dine at the Edendale Grill and think back on when Edendale was full of Keystone Kops and horses from Tom Mix’s Mixville Studios.  You can mull over Edendale’s history as the birthing-place of identity politics, where gay rights began and Communists cruised the hills and bohemianism was actually daring.  And now, next time you’re in Edendale, I hope you think of Mr. A. B. Wright.

Mrs. Jennie Gamble bought a lot in Edendale when it was laid out in 1903, and built a nice little four-room cottage.  She decided to sell in 1907, and did so, to the aforementioned Mr. Wright, the $1200 deal was closed, and Mrs. Gamble deposited her deed with a trust company.  All fine and good, except for one thing:  A. B. Wright is black.

The neighborhood went nuts, threatening “dire things” and making uncomplimentary remarks to Mrs. Gamble.  A great banner was raised, announcing a mass meeting set for tonight to protest against the incursion.  

But the protest was averted, as R. R. Carew, original promoter of Edendale and a resident therein, “proved to be the Moses in the present difficulty, and led his people out of trouble.”  And he would have been in trouble indeed, in that he had personally assured prospective homemakers that no black family would be allowed to settle in the community.  What Carew said to Wright is unknown, but Wright did ultimately decide not to move his family into Edendale.


There still aren’t a lot of black people in Edendale.