Treasures of the Valley

News of the Valley – Summer 1929

Newspapers of the valley’s past give a view into the daily life of our early residents. Here’s a skim of the headlines and story summaries of a particular day in the summer of 1929, almost a century ago, along with a few observations of my own.

“Deny Knowledge of Effort to Disrupt La Crescenta Route” Rumors of a takeover of parts of La Crescenta’s rural mail route by the Montrose Post Office seem to be the biggest news in the summer of ’29, the rumor being featured in two front page articles. The rumor “went viral,” as we’d say today. The rumor was that the move precipitated a “land grab” by Montrose, perhaps even an annexation of La Crescenta to Montrose. It was all rumor, though, and no fact. But with historical perspective we do know that 20 years later Montrose was annexed by Glendale.

“Lack of County’s Help Hits Humane Work in Valleys” Mr. Hoffman of 2817 Piedmont had resigned as an officer of the local Humane Society. He’d let his own yard serve as the local animal shelter and provided kennels for the animals. Despite the Humane Society’s pleas, the County refused to help even on a financial level.

“Local Court Has Busy Sessions As Many Cases Called” A Montrose man was charged with violating the Wright Act (California’s Prohibition law) and reckless driving. (In other words, he had a bottle of hooch in the car.) Rather than jail time, he paid $100 and $50 respectively. Another guy was fined $10 for smoking in the San Gabriel Mountains. Driving without a license was a $5 fine for a Pasadena man, but the fine was suspended when he returned to court with his license. Court was held in the sheriff’s station on Ocean View Boulevard, just north of Honolulu Avenue.

“Ban Firearms In Local Hills By Order” The LA County Board of Supervisors declared a ban on shooting or carrying a gun in the Verdugo Hills due to fire danger.

“Montrose, Scotland Letter Is Mis-sent To Local Post Office” The letter came all the way from England to be delivered to Montrose, California rather than Montrose, Scotland.

“Band Will Feature Affair” The Montrose Chamber of Commerce was putting together a grand street jubilee. Two big bands would set up on the boulevard. Robert’s Golden State Band and the Harold Lieberman Orchestra were both booked to provide music for an evening street dance. Thousands were expected to attend. Some “snappy entertainment” was promised.

“Act To Clear High School Tract” The 20-acre site chosen for the valley’s new junior high (today’s CV High) was to be cleared of sagebrush by community volunteers. The tract had been declared a fire danger and valley residents were expected to turn out to “lend a hand.” The cut brush would be piled at the center of the cleared area and burned, with a County fire truck on hand.

“Sun Baths Feature Course At Crescenta Health School” The Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Association were putting on a Summer Health School at La Crescenta Elementary School. Boys wearing only shorts and girls in sun suits were to lie in the sun on gunny sacks brought from home. Timed exposure to the sun would be increased each day, from a one-minute start to a full hour, including play time as the summer progressed. The head physiotherapist of the health schools stated, “Sunlight is a very important factor in the production of healthy infants and children.” She also cautioned “that sun baths should not be given within one half-hour before meals or two hours after meals.”

“Evening Dispatch of Montrose Mail Changed by Plan” The evening delivery of mail would be pushed back a few minutes. The morning delivery would still be at the same time. (Yes, we used to get two mail deliveries a day.) Users of airmail should note that mail scheduled for the evening plane should be in the post office by 11 a.m.

Quiet and prosperous times in the summer of 1929 but unknown then it was just a couple of months away from the chaos of the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression.

Mike Lawler is the former
president of the Historical
Society of the Crescenta Valley
and loves local history.
Reach him at