Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



During a conversation yesterday with LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian and his District Director Damian Carroll, I made a passing comment about The Museum's frequent need to stop what we're doing and to respond to an immediate historical or cultural opportunity. As I was leaving the Councilman mentioned that I should see something that Damian has on the wall of his office. The photograph and two badges framed there turned out to be little gems of Los Angeles history.

 left - Damian Carroll, Jerry Fecht and Councilman Paul Krekorian
Standing in front of artifacts from the career of Damian's ancestor,  Los Angeles City Councilman Winfred J. Sanborn.

  Winfred J. Sanborn (1869 – 1947) 
Sanborn served on the Los Angeles City Council under a nine ward system (representing the 9th ward) from 1919 until the city's charter was changed in 1925. Under a new charter, the council was changed to a fifteen district system. Sanborn served the new 9th district from 1925 until 1931. When Councilman Howard E. Dorsey died in 1937, Sanborn was appointed to replace him and served until 1939. (source Wikipedia) 

Sanborn's motive in running for City Council in 1919 was to improve transportation from East Los Angeles to downtown, which required crossing the Los Angeles River and the adjacent railroad tracks.

    Los Angeles County badge - purpose unknown.  
Digital image courtesy of Damian Carroll
    (click on image to enlarge) 
    During Sanborn's first six terms, his chief accomplishment was the financing and building of six viaducts for traffic to cross the railroads and the Los Angeles River without the need to stop for trains. Sanborn was unanimously elected President of the Los Angeles City Council from 1929 to 1930.




Brian said...

I am Damian's uncle, and share his interest in Councilman Sanborn and Los Angeles during the period in which he served. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson stopped in Los Angeles as one of the final stops on his ill-fated trip to sell the League of Nations to the American people. I mention that here:

Another interesting visit came in 1931 (while Sanborn was acting mayor), of Prince and Princess Takamatsu (the 2nd younger brother of Emperor Hirohito). A parade carried them through Little Tokyo and to the Biltmore Hotel.

In addition to bridges downtown to separate automobile and rail traffic, I believe one of my great-grandfather's active interests was water, and he supported the work of William Mulholland during the water wars of the 1920s.

Gerald R. Fecht said...

Thanks for sharing this really interesting information. The Museum Community will continue to follow the history of Councilman Sanborn.
Jerry Fecht