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Thursday, July 24, 2008

TUJUNGA - PART OF THE VALLEY - OR, NOT?

Tujunga California - "The best little town in the USA" Postcard in the collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gary Fredburg - 2008 (click on image to enlarge)

The ancient Tongva people were dependent on the Los Angeles River and its tributaries (commonly called "washes"). Year-round water sources from the San Gabriel, Santa Monica and Santa Suzanna Mountains provided critical resources for the Indians. The Tongva migrated between "nga"s (occasional villages), hunting wild fowl, deer and rabbits, and harvesting the precious acorns from live oak trees.
One of the main tributaries of the Los Angeles River is the Tujunga Wash originating from the sloping hills between the Crescenta and San Fernando Valleys. At the turn of the 20th century, a utopian cooperative was organized by one M. V. Hartranft in what was generally called Tujunga. The socialist community shared the motto, "A Little Land and a Lot of Living." Outsiders called the idealists, "Little Landers."
Unaware of the grave dangers from earthquakes, the utopians and their neighbors built homes from large, round stones taken from the Tujunga Wash. Few of those stone buildings remain. However one such structure, named for the American author Bolton Hall, remains. The building, opened in 1913 is now a historical monument. A volunteer organization called the Little Landers Historical Society operates a museum there.
By the arrival of the Great Depression, the Little Landers had disbanded. In 1932, Tujunga was annexed into the City of Los Angeles.

Bolton Hall Museum
10110 Commerce
Tujunga, CA

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