The Back Story

The historical photos in this blog (unless credited elsewhere) come from "Greater Los Angeles and Southern California: Their Portraits and Chronological Record of their Career", an apparent vanity publication. Published by Robert J. Burdette (who along with his wife is one of the entries), the book used here is a 1910 edition, which has more house photos and more profiles, comprising  approximately 80 more pages than an earlier version of 1906.  Two copies of the 1906 edition (from Bancroft Library of California), and a 1910 edition from the Allen County Public Library (but not this one) are posted at

There are no addresses listed for the houses, so each location has been researched by first using 1910 Federal Census records for the address, then confirming the outline of the houses using Sanborn Fire Maps for Los Angeles and surrounding suburbs. Another useful aid in finding details has been copies of the Los Angeles Herald through 1910 that are posted at

The headline banner for the blog is an early view of Chester Place, Los Angeles taken from a postcard. Prominently featured is the Posey/Doheny mansion, which may still be toured today.  The complete postcard is shown below:

2 & 8 Chester Place

Photos of the houses were scanned at 300 dpi, then reduced to 1600 pixels horizontally, and uploaded using Picasa.