Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Thursday, March 4, 2010


2010 -- The Year of Valley Adventures
Digital photo of Elsa (Rigg) Brown and son Loren Brown 1923 -
gift of Melissa Brown Bidermann 2010 – Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley – photo 1438 (click on image to enlarge)

Melissa Bidermann of Granda Hills shares this priceless photograph of her family taken in the Fall of 1923. Here at the 25 acre Brown Ranch off of Ventura Boulevard near Reseda Boulevard, Elsa (Rigg) Brown holds her little son Loren Austin Brown.
The first 25 acres was bought around 1917 or 1918, and an additional 20 acres was added around 1925.
Elsa’s husband David Crane Brown was to become the first
president of the Tarzana Chamber of Commerce. His election is believed to have taken place at the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzana Ranch.
Where now stands grocery and drug stores, and the 101 freeway rushes by, was once seen a great flat farming Valley. David Brown was once the president of the Valley Walnut Growers Association. Walnut saplings still "volunteer" throughout the west San Fernando Valley.


Christian said...

The walnut volunteers we see could use a genome genealogy project. For 'a million years or so' the native 'California Black Walnut' (Juglans californica ssp. californica) has grown on primarily north facing slopes here. It is a protected species in the L.A. City Tree Ordinance (with native Oaks & Sycamores). The orchard 'English Walnut' (Juglans regia) is the commercial import. A natural cross-pollination has produced a SoCal-Brit hybrid. The saplings we see are either the native or hybrid versions. Some botanists question if any 'pure natives' still exist after over a hundred years of close communion.

Christian said...

There was a walnut packing plant in Canoga Park just north of Sherman Way on Canoga Avenue, still operating circa mid-1960s. My Mother would get holiday baking supplies there and I remember the wonderful smell and walnut oil stained sacks, they were that fresh.
CSUN's online 'San Fernando Valley History Digital Library' has a circa 1935-'45 series of Canoga Citrus Association's steps, picking through packing house to shipping, in 30 or so fine B&W photos. Back to walnuts, did their Canoga packing house (in photos) shift to nuts as orange groves became homes?

Thanks for this great resource, in words and photos, for Valley history.

owlhart said...

Here's some info about the Valley Shelling Company on Canoga, north of Sherman Way.