A Fatal Can of Beans

Jan. 5, 1907
Los Angeles

Charles Edward Abbott, 23, of Artesia had lived his entire life in California without seeing snow except on faraway mountains and suggested that Mabel Carter, 28, and her father, Henry, 63, join him on a trip to Cucamonga Canyon.

The Carters, who once owned a grocery story at 10th Street and Alvarado before moving to Ontario, and Abbott went to Cucamonga, expecting to spend several days there.

During their stay, they ate a can of pork and beans that had been purchased in September and stored with other provisions in a commissary box under an orange tree in the yard outside the cabin.

Henry Carter was the first to fall ill. Assuming some other cause, he encouraged his daughter and Abbott to take a hike while he stayed behind. They were too ill to go far, however, and returned to the cabin, where they ate another can of pork and beans.

The three victims returned to the Carter home in Ontario. Mabel Carter was the first to die, tended by Abbott, who was next, followed by Henry Carter.

Four physicians attending the victims were unable to explain what killed them.