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Thursday, August 6, 2009


Early photo of the Los Angeles River - likely from Tujunga Avenue Bridge - Gif to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from David High - July 2009 (click on image to enlarge)

I asked Richard Bogy, Toluca Lake historian, to give his opinions about this early photograph of the Los Angeles River. I share his views.

Richard Bogy comments:
"What a great picture! A beautiful shot of what was once a beautiful river.
That is most definitely Cahuenga Peak at the back. I would say this was taken from the old wooden Tujunga bridge sometime in the early spring prior to 1938 and taken during early-mid sunset hours (5 to 6).

1) Judging from the perspective of the Peak to the front hill – which I believe is the hill that juts out at Vineland Avenue . Only two bridges are closer ( Vineland and Lankershim) but the perspective is right for Tujunga.
2) Water in River at the front base of photo has had the natural flow disturbed as evidenced by the turbidity that goes back to a natural ripple in short distance – probably by the footings of the bridge. Water is moving in the right direction.
3) The Tujunga bridge was washed out in January 1939 – thus photo is
pre ’39.
4) The distant foliage and hills appear to be green from winter rains – so it’s early Spring.
5) There is a wire fence just along the south bank of the river. At this time the Weddington family was farming (I think Walnuts) on the north bank of the River here. Cattle were grazed on the South and up the hill – which would be consistent with the wire fence.
6) Sun is setting behind the camera."


Gerald R. Fecht said...

Richard Bogy adds:

Oh, and there are two power or phone lines in near front view. Such lines would have run down Tujunga and make sense to a shot taken from the bridge.

Gerald R. Fecht said...

Peter Irsfeld commented

"Hi. We moved to the valley in '46 and I can remember going down to the river and poking the craw fish. Down the road (in now is/was the proud mary, ca's dad and 2 others owned club 47 and fished out the craw fish and served them"

Gerald R. Fecht said...

When I was in high school, coming from the west on rainy days, we had to cross Tyrone Avenue to get to Notre Dame High School. The street was so flooded on occasion, that we were not able to make it. Great excuse for a day off, without detention.

babbling brook said...

Thanks, Richard. Your insights are always so, well, insightful!

Gerald R. Fecht said...

Pete Irsfeld added:

"Tyrone St (sp) flooded if someone watered their lawn too much."

Bob said...

I think the photo was taken from the Vineland Ave bridge. The foreground hill is now Universal Studios adjacent to Lankershim Blvd. Vineland did not have any hill next to it.
It could also be from the PE RR bridge. Not sure if roadway or RR bridge got built first.