A vanished city lives again...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Year of the palm?

Will 2010 be the year that I can finally tell the whole story of the Longstreet palms in West Adams? Here's hoping! I've kind of come to an impasse in my own research, unfortunately, as I do not live in the Los Angeles area and so do not have access to the libraries and archives which likely hold the answers I seek.

In the meantime, I recently obtained this unusual "double postcard" of the palms which dates to around 1907. The detail in the enlarged card is remarkable, I think. In this picture, I can distinctly see the Singleton Court gateway in the distance all the way from Adams Street.

Interesting caption on the card. Palm Drive is referred to as being "famous," and the palms "historical" for being "planted by Gen. Longstreet."

Makes me wonder when (and why) the Longstreet palms stopped being famous and became all-but-forgotten relics of Los Angeles's past.

Read the final installment in the saga of the Longstreet Palms: 'Palms puzzle finally solved'



Duncan said...

It seems that the History Channel needs to be alerted to your palms research, Scott-- I just came across an episode of a show called "Life After People", which maintains that the palms were imported to L.A. "in the 1930s."

Bradford Caslon said...

This might help.

J Scott Shannon said...

Thank you, Bradford!

AimlessInLA said...

As the author's exhaustive research shows, in this and later posts, palm trees were imported well before the 1930s. In the 1880s or thereabouts, the then-independent town of Palms also planted a number of them around the area of the old SP depot to justify the name. History Channel; Life After People....what a sad pile of garbage.

Clark said...

> Great research on the Longstreet Homestead on Palm Ave. in Los Angeles. Very well done and thorough.
> Just wanted to make an observation based on my research. The Charles A. Longstreet (Charles Augustus Longstreet who married Lucy Eddy on 30 Oct 1861) referred to in your blog was a wholesale clothing merchant who moved to Los Angeles from New York and became very wealthy with the help of his father, Cornelius Tyler Longstreet. He and General James Longstreet were 3rd cousins once removed.
> General Longstreet did visit California once as part of his duties as U.S. Railroad Commissioner and briefly stayed at the house of Frederick Dent, a son of President U.S. Grant. Gen. Longstreet and U.S. grant were very good close friends before and after the Civil War. General Longstreet travelled frequently by rail inspecting the conditions, progress of, etc. of the U.S. railroad system in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
> I can find no instance, except in commentary, of Charles A. Longstreet ever being called General Charles Longstreet. As a mater of fact, there has never been a General Charles Longstreet that I have been able to discern in my research on this Longstreet family over the last thirty years. It may have been a courtesy military title (but these are usually Col., Maj. or Capt., etc), however, I cannot find a courtesy military title used at all for Charles A. Longstreet, before or while this Longstreet family owned the property in Los Angeles. It can only be found in commentary about the property.
> Just thought I would add my two cents worth.
> Regards,
> Clark T. Thornton

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