Nightmares of Bunker Hill – June 10

Gentle riders,

Won’t you please join us on Saturday June 10th, for our second tour of the downtown area to explore some of the weirdest criminal and spectral happenings of the past century?

Each ticket costs $47, and entitles the bearer to a 5-hour guided tour on a n air-conditioned luxury coach, snacks, beverages and the fascinating company of fifty-some fellow crime and social history buffs.

Tickets may be purchased here, via paypal:
https://www.dumplinglab.com/crimebus/

Or if you prefer to pay by check, just get in touch and we will hold your seat.

best regards,
Kim

Avoid The Rush, Get On The Crime Bus

Tomorrow, at 10am, 10:40am and 11:20am, you can tune in to KFWB radio 980-AM to hear several different features on the upcoming Nightmares of Bunker Hill Crime Bus Tour, Sunday April 16 (Easter), noon-5pm.

If you were holding off reserving your seat, we suggest you email me promptly to reserve, because the radio spots might well cause the Easter bus to sell out. We will run this tour again soon if demand so indicates.

best regards,
Kim

Trolley vs Ruminant

March 22, 1907
Pasadena 

A special correspondent follows up on the distressing report of a cow gravely injured when struck by an electric car near Lamanda Park. Bossy was found happily chewing her cud with no sign of injury. As near as can be figured, the trolley ran over the cow’s tether, pulling it taut and forcing the reluctant acrobat to turn a dramatic aerial flip. She seems to have landed safely and forgotten all about her wild adventure, until the cries of do-gooders to the Humane Society roused an interest in her case.

Virtue Stolen, Innocence Lost

March 20, 1907
Los Angeles 

Revealed today, with the arrest of M.M. Martinez, proprietor of the Esmeralda Club at Amelia and Ducommon Streets, is a terrible tale of innocence stolen. Several young girls are willing to testify that their virtue was taken from them by Martinez and club regulars following the introduction of drugged champagne into their tender mouths.

Inside the walls of this vile palace of sin unfolded the debauchery of Miss Nellie McCarthy, 668 Date Street, and Miss Julia Wood, 812 South Wall Street. Both girls are just 17 years old, and are telling their stories to Proscecuting Attorney Adcock, and are willing to repeat these horrors for a jury. The girls are being "sent to Whittier" because their parents do not know what to do with them.

Martinez’ arrest came about at the insistence of the mothers of the broken blossoms, who declared their children were pure and lovely in character before they began attending social events at the noisome venue.  

 

Editrix’ note: "sent to Whittier" is a euphemism that was apparently familiar enough to the readers of the 1907 newspapers to require no further elaboration. By reading numerous c. 1900 stories that included the phrase, most dealing with delinquent and sexually promiscuous youths, I discovered that Whittier was the location of the State Reformatory (above), opened in 1891; it operated as the Fred C. Nelles School through 2004, and is currently being redeveloped as a residential/commercial project. Henceforth I will threaten Nathan that he will be "sent to Whittier" should he misbehave.

No More Tamales

March 19, 1907
Los Angeles 

For the past two years, Mrs. C.M. Gray, elderly owner of the Hotel Gray at Third and Main Streets, has received a $15 monthly rental from a tamale vendor who sold his wares on her front walk. This illegal commerce has been stopped, and Mrs. Gray convicted and fined $50. Just the cost of doing business…

Los Angeles Panoramas

My little ode to my favorite city, covering a roughly 20-year period centered on 1907 with the idea of giving a general introduction to Los Angeles from the 1890s to the eve of World War I. (The Times bombing and the air meet at Dominguez Hills were in 1910, for example). The Skunks of Los Feliz actually discovered this sometime back but I didn’t want to tip my hand by saying anything. Fortunately, I received some very flattering comments. Although the music sounds very contemporary, I chose it because it was written in 1907.

Here’s a high resolution version, but it only works with the newest versions of Windows (sorry folks with Win 98SE) and doesn’t play well with Mac OS X.

A Ghostly Visitor

As I began to write my grand opening about Los Angeles in 1907, I felt a ghostly hand pluck ever so gently at my sleeve.
“Promise me, dear boy, you’ll remember to say that women couldn’t vote in 1907.”
“Yes, of course.”
Now where was I? Ah yes. The street names are deceptively familiar: Broadway, Spring Street and Main. But stand up on Bunker Hill and look at the city below and you might pick out the Bradbury Building and the Alexandria Hotel. Maybe the Pan American building at Broadway and 3rd Street, kitty-corner from the Bradbury and currently undergoing loft conversion, and the Rosslyn Hotel on Main.
Nothing remains of the old City Hall on Broadway but the parking lot between the Los Angeles Times garage and Victor Clothing, otherwise known as the Hosfield Building, erected as an annex for city offices in 1914 and opened in 1915 as City Hall South.
There are no freeways in this alien city. No television, no radio (or “wireless” as it was previously known) and no movie theaters. There aren’t even any comic strips in The Times, let alone crossword puzzles. Luckily, the operatic repertoire hasn’t changed greatly; Angelenos in 1907 could hear “Carmen” and “La Traviata.”
The ghostly hand intruded again, a bit more forcefully.
“Dear boy, remember about women not being able to vote?”
“I’ll get to that.”
There are a few automobiles (or “machines” as they were called) sold by dealers who set up shop on South Main around 12th Street. Reo, Rambler, Jackson, Pope-Toledo, Stevens-Duryea and Overland. Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Packard are the only familiar names. But machines seem only a bit more common than Segways are today. There are no more than 30 cars listed for sale in The Times classified ads for March 14, 1907, far outnumbered by horses; buggies and wagons, streetcars and bicycles appear to be the main modes of transportation.

Sample ad:
POPE-TOLEDO 24-H.P. TOURING CAR
with touring car body, canopy top and run-
about body. This car has just been thoroughly
overhauled and is in first-class condition.
The BIGGEST bargain offered in
Los Angeles
$1,000 ($20,523.57 USD 2005)
Western Motor Car Company
415 S. Hill
Patent medicine, séances, licensed saloons and something called a blind pig. The pages of The Times are brimming with vintage malfeasance.
“Ow! You don’t need to pinch me.”
“Dear boy, women’s suffrage?”
“Very well.”
Women in Los Angeles couldn’t vote until 1911, when a new law allowed them to cast ballots in the local elections. The 19th amendment, granting women’s suffrage, was ratified by California on Nov. 1, 1919, and proclaimed by the secretary of State on Aug. 26, 1920.  (Not passed by Mississippi until March 22, 1984? Are you serious?)
“I’ll even mention suffragette Rachel Foster Avery’s visit in August 1907. How’s that?”
“Thank you.”

April 16 Crime Bus Tour: Nightmares of Bunker Hill

Oh, you delightful sickniks! After tabulating the votes for the next Crime Bus date, I saw that the majority of respondents asked for the tour to roll on Easter Sunday, 4/16.

And so it did, to the queasy glee of all. Stay tuned for photos from the tour.

Want to hear what some of the passengers said about the last Crime Bus tour? Check out the latest podcast.

The next scheduled Nightmares of Bunker Hill tour is Saturday June 10. Please email if you are interested in an alternate date.

best regards,
Kim
1947project