As part of our Mission to share the history of El Sereno with the community and public, we plan to present a new picture/historic document every month. This will allow us, the El Sereno Historical Society, to continue sharing recent historic discoveries.
But more importantly it will allow you, our readers and supporters, the chance to have any hidden or long-forgotten historic gems be shared with our great El Sereno community. Sharing and learning about our history is a community effort, and we thank all those who contribute and add to our growing historic community's website.
This month we are featuring a slice of El Sereno's long history with three photos from the same location. It's amazing to see the development and growth of El Sereno over time.
Photo courtesy of El Sereno Branch Library
Photo courtesy of El Sereno Branch Library
Photo of the same location today.
President Jimmy Carter pays a special visit to El Sereno.
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1979. The above and below pictures show President Jimmy Carter out for a morning jog, coming down from El Sereno's Woodrow Wilson High School.
Sources: Los Angeles Times
-Carter Visit: The Guest Made His Hosts Feel Right at Home, May 6, 1979
-The Carter Visit and Mood in El Sereno, May 8, 1979
Back in 1938, the City of Los Angeles was seriously considering creating a roadway through what is today El Sereno's Ascot Hills.
Proposed Short-Cut Through El Sereno's Ascot Hills.
Proposed Short-Cut Through El Sereno's Ascot Hills.
Picture includes El Sereno's Ascot Hills, El Sereno Park (including the historic El Sereno pool, a.k.a. "The Plunge"), the historic El Sereno Clubhouse, Farmdale Elementary, part of the original Wilson High School, as well as many recognizable local streets.
Here is an article from 1958 Scientific Journal featuring a unique fossil found in El Sereno by two boys on a shale embankment on Round Drive near Chester Street. The fossil was so unique that it was sent to the Los Angeles County Museum and was classified as a new genus (Palaeosula) of the SULIDAE Family (medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish and similar prey) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulidae.
Here is a PDF of the article, the El Sereno fossil find starts on page 11. Miocene Sulids In El Sereno
Below are photos sent to us by Megan Kanipe, showing sea shells she found near her home in El Sereno in the 1980s. Just more proof of El Sereno's prehistoric coastal history.
Though El Sereno's history dates further back, June 10, 2015 marks El Sereno's 100 year anniversary as an official community in the City of Los Angeles (part of it was annexed in 1912 and second part annexed in 1915). Here are 100 photos showcasing El Sereno's 100 years as part of the City of L.A.
Our Picture of the Month features Guillermo “Willie” Zuñiga, current president of Grifols Biologicals Inc. and this year’s Honorary Mayor of El Sereno. Grifols Biologicals Inc. is a manufacturer of biological products derived from human plasma that are used as lifesaving therapies for individuals worldwide. Grifols is located at 5555 Valley Blvd, El Sereno.
Willie is a product of El Sereno through and through. He attended Huntington Drive Elementary, El Sereno Junior High, and Wilson High School. He went on to attend El Sereno’s local University, Cal State LA, graduating in 1986, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Willie has worked for years to build a strong relationship with the El Sereno community in an effort to increase community relations. Willie has established a partnership with Wilson High School’s College Corner, exposing our local students to various college and university options nationwide. Through Willie Zuñiga’s dedication, Grifols has given 2 scholarships to Wilson High School graduates every year for the last 8 years. In fact, 3 scholarship recipients now work at Grifols, one of them residing close enough to walk to work. In addition, Willie has worked for years to build a strong relationship with Cal State L.A. and, specifically, the College of Natural and Social Sciences. He has visited Cal State L.A. classrooms to introduce students to careers in the industry.
In line with his belief that education is the key, Willie has been recognized as a “Hispanic Hero” by the Hispanic College Fund. He has spoken to students at the annual Hispanic Youth Institute to promote self-growth and the importance of education.
Willie has also given grants to the El Sereno Stallions, paid for the iron fence that encloses the El Sereno Arroyo Playground, and has donated time and refreshments to various community events. Most recently, Willie opened Grifols’ doors and hosted the El Sereno Chamber of Commerce’s kick-off meeting and gave a $3,000 grant for the 5th Annual El Sereno Dia de los Muertos.
Willie began his career in the Bio-Medical field as an entry-level Process Operator for Alpha Therapeutic Corporation in 1979, where his career included Management and Director level positions. Recognized for his leadership abilities, he was promoted to vice president, and later, senior vice president of manufacturing. When Grifols acquired Alpha Therapeutic, Willie was offered the presidency.
ESHS appreciates all that Willie Zuñiga has done and continues to do for our community of El Sereno. He truly is an outstanding role model.
This month we are featuring a map of the arroyos that made up El Sereno's historic watershed.
The map, courtesy of L.A. Creek Freak, shows two prominent arroyos:
Arroyo Rosa de Castilla and Arroyo de las Pasas.
Arroyo Rosa de Castilla is the best known of the two. This arroyo is actually a perennial stream which comes from an underground spring and flows year-round. El Sereno's historic Rancho Rosa de Castilla got its name from this arroyo due to the abundance of wild roses that grew along its bank. It was also the source of water which allowed the rancho to flourish during the 1800s, when the Batz Family took over the rancho (for more in-depth info about this arroyo and its impact on El Sereno, visit our Special Collection page).
Although most of this arroyo has been channeled underground, a portion of it can still be seen running along the 710 south freeway as you enter it from Valley Blvd. The stream eventually drains into the Los Angeles River.
The second is Arroyo de las Pasas, a seasonal arroyo that flowed down from Monterey Road/Collis Ave, to Huntington Drive and into Eastlake Park (today Lincoln Park). Many believe the name comes from the dried grapes (raisins) encountered along this creek during the Spanish exploration.
There are several other minor seasonal creeks on the map as well. The unnamed creek in-between Arroyo de las Pasas and Arroyo Rosa de Castilla has been previously featured in our November 2013 Picture of the Month (see Special Collections page).
The red circle shows the location of the historic Pacific Electric Bridge at Soto Street and Mission Road. The blue lines on the map indicates former creeks, now drained or buried. The tan colored lines indicate where a creek's original flow has been made into a concrete channel.
This month we are featuring an aerial photo of El Sereno's Ascot Hills, from 1972. You can see El Sereno residential areas that surround Ascot Hills, the newly built Woodrow Wilson High School on the center-left of the photo, as well as a snip-it of El Sereno Park.
Reminder: El Sereno's Ascot Hills Challenge 5K Run/Walk/Hike 2015 will be on
Saturday, September 19, 2015 @ 8:30AM
Address: 4371 Multnomah St., Los Angeles, CA
TO REGISTER VISIT WEBSITE: Ascot Hills Challenge 5K Run/Walk/Hike 2015
This month we are sharing a few photos from Season1 of Fear the Walking Dead, which features El Sereno and our local Wilson High School. We are also sharing a little clip from the show which has a bit of El Sereno's history and even uses the 'G-word' (Gentrification).
Click on pic above to view the short clip...photo courtesy of Esmeralda Perez.
Below is a short photo album featuring locations in El Sereno on Fear the Walking Dead.
Locations in El Sereno on Fear the Walking Dead.
This month we are featuring the murals designed and painted by the 6th grade students of Huntington Drive Elementary. Since 2010 the culminating class has been involved in an extensive process of planning, designing, and painting a mural with the guidance of staff member Juan Martin. Each mural is unique, featuring a spectrum of themes, memories, and culture. The tradition of murals started prior to 2010. With the help of artist Juan Martin, the murals have become an annual tradition at the school.
Huntington Drive Elementary is located in the Westside of El Sereno. It serves students from grades K-6. It is home of the Panthers.
Mural by class of 2015, featuring Huntington Drive and some local hills.
The picture below shows the historic East Los Angeles Dirigible Transport Lines station that was located in El Sereno, right next to the historic Soto Street Bridge. Both historic landmarks have been demolished, despite community opposition. With the help of artist Juan Martin, the class of 2013 paid homage to these historic landmarks. To read more about the ELA Dirigible Transport Lines visit the link: atomikaztex.wordpress.com
This month we are graciously featuring a classic photograph submitted by Patsy Lala. The picture shows Patsy, age 10, in her snow-covered front yard on Tampico Ave in 1949. The unusually cold weather that year presented Southern California with three days of snow. It was so cold that there is even a news report of snow falling on Catalina Island!!
Here are a few more LA Times articles describing the snow storm that took place in early 1949...
Wind Driven Snow
Snow Paints an Old Fashioned Picture in Elysian Park
That White Stuff Has Funny Effects
Trees Bend Under the Weight of Snow in Overnight Storm
Fantastic View From Air