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The Trolley Took Us There 06.04.10

June 4, 2010

The Yellow Car of Los Angeles Railway's "W" line passes the Southwest Museum on Marmion Way. Photo circa 1954 by Alan Weeks via Metro Library and Archive.

This series The Trolley Took Us There is inspired by the Metro Library and Archive’s Flickr collection of historic transit photos of Los Angeles. The transit Mecca that is Highland Park is predominately featured in their collection with Kodachrome shots like the one above. This photo taken around 1954 shows the W passing the Southwest Museum that Northeast Los Angeles hero, Charles Lummis founded in 1906.

Charles Lummis was lucky enough to live near five rail lines in his day. There was the trolley on Griffin Avenue, the L.A. & Salt Lake Railroad (later Southern Pacific) that ran next to his property, the Pacific Electric trolley that ran along Pasadena Avenue (Figueroa Street), the Santa Fe Railroad seen on the left where the Gold Line runs today, and the W that ran along Marmion Way here. In 1910 he could have taken any number of these railroads to his job as City Librarian in downtown Los Angeles, but instead prefered the comfort of working from his home, El Alisal. So much so, that the Library had to fire him partly because he refused to make that 4 mile trek into town.

Photo of the same stretch of railroad in 1931 when Marmion Way was widen to accommodate automobile traffic. According to the Los Angeles Public Library photo collection notes, fossilized Mammoth bones were found here. –Charlie would have loved that.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2010 11:41 pm

    And the hillside is still eroding away to this day. I sometimes wonder why the stretch of Marmion Way between the Southwest Museum and Stanley Avenue is such a wide-open stretch of highway. It would be a great place to narrow the lanes and run a full bike lane. Or better yet close it off to cars and only allow buses, bikes, and pedestrians through.

  2. January 25, 2013 4:35 am

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