Friday, June 5, 2009

Pt. Fermin, Then and Now

I took this picture while at Pt. Fermin last Monday, and went looking for similar shots from the Good Olde Days. Much to my surprise, I found some!

The old picture is from the LA Library photo collection, of course, and is not dated. This shot of a bluff at Point Fermin seems to be pretty close to the vista below. The "then" shot is of the Los Angeles Camera Club scrambling around. I found references to these folks in several 1888 Los Angeles Times "In Society" columns.

The Los Angeles Camera Club organized in March of that year, with Mr. H. T. Bellsmith of the Eastman Dry Plate Company as president. That changed by April, when the Times listed all officers and members--including a few women!

Looking at their few announcements through the early 1900s, of outings to Hollenbeck Park, Mission San Fernando Re, Santa Monica-by-the-sea, and other spots, it's probably due to them that the library has such wonderful old photos.

Too bad that I can't see anything in this old photo to really date it.

In 1929, part of the Pt. Fermin area broke off and slowly slid into the sea. All but two houses on the endangered land--which moved up to eleven inches a day for months--were successfully moved. Assuming this is a pre-1929 picture, this bluff may not exist anymore. It may be part of the landscape that crumbled.


Phillip said...

Seeing the coastline in the background, I'd guess this photo was taken on the other side of Point Fermin proper, that is to say just past the lighthouse keeper's residence shown in your pic, and looking back towards what is now Paseo del Mar. (BTW, I'm the guy from the Pedro In Film blog, and thanks for your comment!)

Vix said...

Right. I believe the picture is looking southwest, since we'd walked up from Pacific Av, and had yet to pass the lighthouse. (I get my directions confused in San Pedro and Long Beach, because the ocean is not to the west!)
BTW, Phillip's blog, "This Pedro Thing" is at

circuitmouse said...

there are some great historic photographs of the area around Pt. Fermin @ the lighthouse museum. Amazing how isolated and lonely a place it was at the time --especially considering the hard fought battles to ensure that the breathtaking views didn't become an exclusive enclave of million dollar McMansions.

Don't pass up an opportunity to see the view from the top of the lighthouse (when available)!

Vix said...

Thanks! I will definitely get in there (Shakespeare in the Park is performing through August at Point Fermin Park...might be a good idea to go early and visit the lighthouse)