Thursday, July 1, 2010


According to Hector Tobar's column in the Los Angeles Times, Edendale was one of LA's first artistic communities. Tobar researched the place because of a woodcut he saw at the Huntington Library. The carving by Paul Landacre showed Landacre's own Edendale home in the 1930s, with two coastal oaks and a stairs that still exist--though the house (now a city historical site) is empty and abandoned. It overlooks the Glendale Freeway. I tried to see the place online, but--as Tobar reported--the street is blocked off and crumbling. Google maps don't go there.

The exact location of Edendale is "the valley that now separates Silver Lake from Echo Park" per Tobar.  He went to Landacre's house and emphasized its history as a landmark in a bohemian neighborhood that is nearly forgotten--yet extremely influential in the image it created, of Los Angeles as a haven for artists and creatives.

The essay is excellent; I don't want to repeat it here--go to the Times and read it!

But when I went to my Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the City and CountyLos Angeles A to Z, Edendale is mentioned as an area of Glendale where motion pictures got their start. Wikipedia has a good amount of info on that, with paragraphs on Selig-Polyscope, Bison Studios, Fox Studios (which took over Selig-Polyscope in 1917 and allowed its biggest star, Tom Mix, to set up a 12-acre Mixville for shooting westerns), Max Sennett and the Keystone Kops.  Lots of Keystone Kops and  other silent comedies--including Charlie Chaplin's first film--were shot in Edendale.

And (per Wiki), Tom Mix's horse Old Blue was buried at the property, at what is today the northeast corner of Glendale Blvd & Silver Lake Blvd!

Here's the online chapter on Mixville that Wiki used as a source.

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