1870-1880 Young

Betty Lou Young Our First Century: The Los Angeles Athletic Club 1880-1980, LAAC Press: Los Angeles, California 1979, 176 pp., 1870s

     "During these turbulent years, Los Angeles earned its reputation as the "wickedest town" in the U.S.A. Bandits, wanton killers, and common drunks roamed the narrow streets and frequented the saloons near the Plaza. In the name of frontier justice, the Rangers and other vigilante groups retaliated with lynchings and hangings. . . . after the transcontinental railroad line to Sacramento was completed in 1869 and scores of Chinese laborers from Northern California moved into the adobe huts east of the Plaza. . . . in 1871 . . .nineteen . . . Chinese were massacred by a . . . mob in an alleyway called the Calle de los Negros, between Los Angeles Street and the Plaza.

     " . . . homes and businesses . . . toward the south . . . along with commercial nurseries and European wine and beer gardens offering outdoor dancing and games."

     " . . . 1871 . . . Turn-Verein Germania . . . built "the Turn Halle, a large frame clubhouse which provided the best gymnasium and concert stage in the city.

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     "The final phase of the Americanization of the city came after the transcontinental railroad line was extended to San Francisco in 1870, and a connection to Los Angeles was completed in 1876. . . .

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     " . . . Washington Gardens at Main and Washington streets, the most elaborate of the private amusement parks, provided year-round fun [band concerts, picnic grounds, games and a menagerie] for the whole family. Santa Monica also learned early to cater to tourists and visitors, accommodating campers and bathers, staging old-time equestrian events, and sponsoring the first polo match played in the Southland.

     "Competitive foot-races in the seventies often had a carnival air and were little more than an excuse for betting. Walking, on the other hand seemed to dovetail more naturally with the growing interest of the average man in health and physical culture. Amateur and professional walkers were turned loose in "walkathons"-endurance contests lasting for five or six days.

     "Dedicated outdoorsmen began to head for the hills, emulating John Muir who made the first vertical ascent of Mount Wilson from Pasadena in the late 1870s, a three-day venture. Carrying three loaves of bread, half a pound of tea, and a blanket, it took him one full day to reach the mouth of Eaton Canyon; from there it was a stiff climb up a waterfall and through dense brush to reach the summit."

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017