A magical place to grow up and an exceptionally lovely place to live, Los Gatos has transformed from its agrarian roots to an upscale community at the southern tip of Silicon Valley. With its sublime Mediterranean climate and stunning natural setting, the town has progressed while still valiantly protecting its small town character and customs. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit Los Gatos hard, creating a devastating litany of 481 damaged homes and businesses, many of them historic. Los Gatos made the decision to rebuild and restore what had been lost, with picture-perfect results.
In 1878, Charles Erskine Scott Wood, builder of the Cats Estate, wrote Good citizens are the riches of a city. From its beginning, Los Gatos has suffered no shortage of hardworking, inventive, entrepreneurial, and gifted people. Early orchardists found the land unbelievably productive, but their crops were threatened with disease and pesky infestations of gophers. John Bean and Zephyr Macabee provided solutions. Louise Van Meter was an unconventional teacher who championed the new concept of kindergarten. Neta Snook Southern defied traditional female roles to become a pilot. She taught Amelia Earhart to fly before retiring to Los Gatos, where she raised prunes, apricots, and miniature horses. John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath during one long, hot summer in town. Steve Wozniak settled in Los Gatos and donated computers to schools. The lives presented here have contributed to the sparkling legacy of the Gem City of the Foothills.
Nestled in the heart of a dramatic natural amphitheater formed by the Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Gatos serves as the gateway from the Santa Clara Valley to the Pacific Ocean. This happy accident of location allowed historic Los Gatos to witness a colorful parade of swashbuckling explorers, Franciscan padres, and hearty American pioneers, many of whom came to harvest virgin redwood forests from the mountains and grow fruit in exceptionally fertile soil. Los Gatos grew up around the 1850s flour mill established by Scotsman James Alexander Forbes. In 1878 the railroad arrived and was a powerful influence for more than 80 years. Named for the mountain lions that still inhabit the area, Los Gatos has reflected the expansive richness of the California Dream for 150 years.
From its beginnings as a Mexican land grant, Los Gatos has been filled with promise. A beautiful natural setting attracted a fascinating population of innovators, inventors, intellectuals, and artists; those who dreamed and those who cultivated the splendid richness of the soil. A gracious integration of fruit, flowers, and a gentle, delightful climate allowed settlers to thrive and find sure success. Inevitable tragedy and troubles also beset the little settlement at the western edge of the country, especially a series of devastating fires and episodes of raw frontier violence in the 1880s. Yet through all of its history, Los Gatos has prided itself on its strong sense of community, each generation proud of its heritage and of what they accomplished. A gathering of talent graced each decadehopeful, hardworking people who appreciated the unique combination of an ideal place and abundant opportunity existent in their corner of the Valley of Hearts Delight.
Larchmont Boulevard is more than a street; it is the soul and spine of the surrounding neighborhoods created in the early 1900s when Los Angeles was just coming into its own. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Larchmont Boulevard is a charming, walkable street running north and south from Third Street to Melrose Avenue that gives residents and visitors the feeling of a small town tucked inside the vast, car-centric city of Los Angeles. This book tells the story of Larchmont's beginnings in 1921 when the Los Angeles Times reported that developers Julius La Bonte and Charles Ramson had purchased seven lots on Larchmont Boulevard to create a business district of 30 stores between First Street and Beverly Boulevard. The one-block stretch, where a trolley line once ran, is affectionately known as "the village" by locals in the surrounding neighborhoods of Brookside, Citrus Square, Country Club Heights, Fremont Place, Hancock Park, La Brea-Hancock, Larchmont Village, Melrose, Oakwood-Maplewood-St. Andrews, Ridgewood-Wilton/St. Andrews Square, Sycamore Square, Western-Wilton, Wilshire Park, Windsor Square, and Windsor Village.
A place whose history has long been a source of fable and fascination, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a community whose ancestors summered by the sea and ultimately stayed through the seasons. After founders Frank Powers and Frank Devendorf populated the once-barren potato patches with artists and academicians, it became a place defined as much by legends and landscape as by the characters who came to Carmel. Whether it is the clear light that attracted photographers Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Doug Steakley, and Bob Kolbrener; the whisper in the trees, the rhythm of the waves, and the stillness at dawn that seduced writers Mary Austin, Robinson Jeffers, Jack London, Bob Campbell, Rick Masten, and Jane Smiley; or the unbridled beauty in a majestic mountain, surging sea, or verdant valley that drew in artists Mary DeNeale Morgan, William F. Ritschel, E. Charlton Fortune, Mari Kloeppel, Carol Chapman, and Loet Vanderveen, the truth is that Carmel-by-the-Sea gets in one's soul and makes its home there.
The charming town of Los Gatos is nestled at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains and is sometimes referred to as the Gem City of the Foothills. It has inspired hundreds of postcard images through the years, many reflecting the areas abundance of natural beauty. As the town and surrounding area grew and prospered through agriculture, logging, and commerce, the local architecture and landmarks became popular subjects. Glimpses of everyday lifechurches, schools, houses, and businessesfurther enhanced the pictorial history the postcards represent.