Cute Enough to Deserve Them

 gladys

January 6, 1927
Los Angeles

itsaCRAVINGGladys Nolan, 22, of 5510 Lexington Avenue, had a craving for fine clothes and expensive perfumes.  She needed them.  Yes, there’s a difference between needs and wants.  She NEEDED them.  

Gladys was no klepto.  She paid for the items, and not with money from the handbag of some white-glove spinster she’d clobbered and left twitching in her death throes down a urine-soaked alley.  Gladys paid for these things with all the nicety befitting a girl of refinement, trouble being, she paid for the lovely things with forged checks.

A $200 ($2,206 USD 2007) fur coat and $34 bottle of perfume, she picked up at I. Magnin’s; a check signed in a fictitious name at Maison Blanche allowed her a gown and hat totaling $110.  Some killjoy by the name of “Deputy District Attoney Frampton” got in a twist about this, convincing some other sourpuss called “Judge Ambrose” to hold her to answer in Superior Court and fix bail at $2000.

Gladys was given probation and told to keep her nose clean.  Which she almost did.

ohgladysnotagain

Whatever became of Gladys Nolan?  A lady whose refinement and obvious taste sadly outdistanced her pocketbook?  Guess we’ll never know.

November1939 

A chunk of bog and thou

September 7, 1927
Los Angeles

When, oh when, oh when will something be done to soothe the smoldering peat fires that spill noxious smoke and gas from the vicinity of Jefferson and Hauser Streets in the Baldwin Hills? For more than two years the fire has crept inexorably deeper into the peat beds, and now twelve acres are burning just under the topsoil, endangering the health of 200,000 local lungs and the ankles of any local foolish enough to tramp through the booby-trapped fields. Forget the living! What of the mummies?!

Former City Councilman Mallard has issues a plea on behalf of his neighborhood that the City Council take this "rank poison" threat seriously and extinguish the blaze immediately. He even tells them how to do it: through steam shovels that can expose the burning beds, so water can be introduced. Of course, Mallard’s suggestion that the fire be fought in the manner of William Mulholland’s aqueduct project—get it done first, then get the permits—seems in retrospect to be in somewhat less than good taste, but the St. Francis dam disaster is still six months away, and the Mullholland name an untarnished example of Angeleno ingenuity.

*

In New York City, pioneer developer Gaylord Wilshire has died. In recent years, he devoted himself to promoting an electric "health belt" of his own invention, the “I-ON-A-CO.”

How to Meet a Big Movie Star

April 21, 1927actorscar
Los Angeles

Angelenos had a rough time on the road today—Miss Rachel Miller was struck by Joseph J. Reuter as she crossed the 2600 block of Pico, suffering a fractured skull, concussion of the brain, a broken knee and leg; Henry Van De Kamp was struck by I. Tomioka at East Second and harlanpicCentral, fractured skull, concussion of the brain; J. L. Perrine, who admitted his brakes were “not so good,” drove into and off of a 400-foot embankment on Effie in the Moreno Highlands, multiple abrasions; four motorists walked away when the front half of their auto was flattened by the Los Angeles Railway car at First and Hill; and one Miss Mollie Reesor miraculously suffered only black eyes and a nasal fracture after being hurled twenty-five feet by a hit-and-run at the corner of Washington Street and Harvard Boulevard.

Most notable, naturally, was the pedestrian-killing of Mrs. Eleanor Bishop, fatally injured when run down by prolific film star Kenneth Harlan, of 810 Camden Drive.  Harlan, on his way to a benefit at the Alexandria, statedharlanprevost that the woman stepped from behind a parked car near Wilshire and Tremaine.  After he struck Bishop, he drove her to the office of Dr. James Johnston at Sixth and Western, where she nonetheless expired.  Assuming Harlan still had time to make the benefit, his day looked like this.

 

(Here’s Harlan putting the lovey dovey on then-wife [and subject of continued tasteless interest] Marie Prevost.  They divorced in 1927.)

All About the Weird West Adams Tour

WHAT: 1947project Weird West Adams Crime Bus Tour, Saturday 12/16/06, 11am-4pm. $47 cost includes snacks, beverages and five-hour luxury coach tour.
 
LOS ANGELES- Since January, the bloggers at 1947project have taken their Los Angeles crime history research on the road with their lively, mysterious and very popular Crime Bus tours. Past routes have explored the dark side of Pasadena, the secret history of downtown and the real story of the Black Dahlia case. In December, 1947project offers a new tour celebrating the Beverly Hills of the early 20th century, that grand swath of city just west of downtown: Weird West Adams.

On this five-hour tour, Crime Bus passengers will be treated to detailed descriptions of some of the most notorious, strange and fascinating forgotten tales from the past hundred years, each told at the scene of the crime. They’ll thrill to the carjacking horror of silent film starlet Myrtle Gonzalez, shiver as Dream Killer Otto Parzyjegla chops his newspaper publisher boss to pieces with the paper-cutting blade, shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber, marvel at the Krazy Kafitz family and their litany of murder-suicides, attempted husband slayings, Byzantine estate battles and mad bombings, then gag at terrible fate visited on kidnap victim Marion Parker by The Fox. There will be some celebrity sites along the route, including the death scenes of Motown soul sensation Marvin Gaye and 1920s star Angels baseball catcher Gus Sandberg.

And in a special treat for the holiday season, the Crime Bus will toast the Winter Solstice by visiting the city’s shortest street and remembering 2′ 11" Angelo Rossitto, the charismatic cult actor / newsstand operator ("Freaks," "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome") who famously visited the spot in his teeny-tiny car on 12/21/37.  All this, plus a robbery by Pretty Boy Floyd, Prohibition-era houses transformed into secret distilleries, fumigations gone terribly wrong, mashers, bad marriages, rotten drivers, assorted weirdos and a mummified teenage cult priestess.

Upcoming Crime Bus Tours include the 60th Anniversary Real Black Dahlia (January 13, 2007).

Want to reserve a seat for West Adams or the Black Dahlia? Just email us with the number of spots you’d like.
 

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation

Nov. 10, 1907
South Pasadena

What sort of monument do we leave for real estate developers? For John B. Althouse, who built hundreds of homes in the Wilshire district, as well as the West Adams district and the San Gabriel Valley, the answer might be nondescript offices and vacant lots.

Here’s the house he built for himself at Oxley and Fremont in South Pasadena, a few blocks from my home. In fact, I pass the corner every day.

Here’s another one he built on Manhattan Place.

Don’t rush out to look for them, though. They’re gone, although the wall around Althouse’s home survived.

Born in Baltimore, Althouse died in July 1939 at the age of 72 at his home, 230 S. Gramercy Place. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1886 and spent 37 years in the real estate business after operating a fruit store at 1st and Main Streets for many years. He constructed hundreds of homes in the Wilshire district and was one of the first members of the Los Angeles Realty Board.

What’s this? One has survived in the West Adams district, 1415 S. Gramercy Place. Also read here. And here. Zillow link.

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

e-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com

Update: Further research reveals the home of Daniel T. Althouse, a partner in Althouse Brothers, at 2125 S. 4th Ave., where he died of blood poisoning in 1914.