Founders Day in Montrose
On Sunday, Feb. 22 the City of Montrose will be 104 years old! Mike Morgan, a member of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, will have a booth at the Sunday Harvest Market in Montrose on Feb. 26 and he would love for you to stop by to hear all about the early days of Montrose and its founder J. Frank Walters. The following is a brief history of the first Founders Day and the founders of Montrose from our resident local historian Robert Newcomb.
“It was on Washington’s birthday in 1913 that the subdivision of present day Montrose began. In late 1910, real estate agent Robert A. Walton, a real estate agent, teamed up with capitalist J. Frank and Florence Walters to buy almost 300 acres of undeveloped scrub brush in the southeastern corner of La Crescenta known at that time as North Glendale. They built a water system and graded the land in an unusual pattern with curved streets. In December 1912 they held a contest to name their new town site and selected Montrose, though they never publicly explained the name choice. Then on Feb. 10, 1913, Walters purchased the Glendale and Eagle Rock Railway from the Western Empire Suburban Farm Association and built the railroad from Verdugo Park to the new subdivision Montrose. On Feb. 22, 1913 Walters officially opened Montrose to the public by hosting a large barbecue and selling lots in their new development in Montrose.
“Although Robert Walton was a part of the development of the land, it is John Franklyn Walters and his wife Florence who are credited as being the ‘founders’ of Montrose. Mr. Walters was born in Brooklyn on Aug. 24, 1874. He was a real estate capitalist in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He married Florence (Breckwedel) Walters in 1911 and she helped him with the development of Montrose. (Incidentally, the street Florencita in Montrose is named after her.) The first commercial building was a one-story retail space at the southwestern corner of Honolulu Avenue and Verdugo Road that opened in early 1914. (Today that building is home to the Benetoit Restaurant.) Walton and Walters also bought the Eagle Rock Trolley, renamed it the Glendale and Montrose Railway, and extended the line through Montrose to La Crescenta.”
For more detailed information you can purchase Robert Newcomb’s book “Images of America: Montrose” at Once Upon a Time bookstore in Montrose or log onto www.cvhistory.org for lots of great information from the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley.
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Montrose Harvest Market on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the 2300 block of Honolulu Avenue. Meet Mike Morgan in the Harvest Marketplace!
Annual community awards dinner on Thursday, March 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale.
April business mixer on Wednesday, April 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Montrose Regenerative Cosmetic & Laser Center, 2355 Honolulu Ave., Ste. 200, Montrose.
Candidates Forum on Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Sparr Heights Community Center, 1613 Glencoe Way, Glendale 91208.
Election Town Hall on Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. at Sparr Heights Community Center, 1613 Glencoe Way, Glendale 91208.