Mystery History

 

Mystery History Question (July 2017)

 
A group of men stand in front of the Lenz & Widney Tract Office at the Mulholland Townsite.  

 

Historical Notes

Walter M. Lenz and Robert J. Widney were sales agents for the project to develop the town of Mulholland and Mulholland Hills in the San Fernando Valley. The project was developed by the Mulholland Development Company.

 

What year was Mulholland Town established?

 

A)  1907   

B)  1912   

C)  1917

D)  1922

E)  1927


What is the area (Township of Mulholland) called today?

 

A)  Pacoima   

B)  San Fernando   

C)  Sunland

D)  Sylmar

E)  Tujunga

 

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

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Mystery History Question (April 2017)

 
View showing a life size bas-relief panel that honors the men and women who helped bring water and power to the southland.  It is part of a larger monument honoring the pioneers that made it possible for the City of Los Angeles to flourish and become what it is today.

The inscription reads:  "Water and Power have made our arid land flourish. May we keep faith with the pioneers who brought us these gifts."

 

 

What year was the monument dedicated?

 

A)  1928    

B)  1938    

C)  1948

D)  1958

E)  1968


Where is the monument located?

 

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Click HERE for Answers

 

 

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Mystery History Question (January 2017)

 
View showing Power Plant No. 1 located in San Francisquito Canyon with transmission tower in lower-right and water penstocks seen in the distance.  

 

Background

The completion of Power Plant No. 1 was the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light's (later DWP) first step in becoming an independent electricity provider.

 

What year was the power plant completed?

 

A)  1913    

B)  1917    

C)  1921

D)  1925

E)  1929

 

Click HERE for Answer

 

 

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Mystery History Question (October 2016)

 
Photo of early Los Angeles Civic Center. This view is looking west toward Bunker Hill showing an unpaved road with horse-drawn wagons parked along the curb.   

 

 

What is the name of this well-known Los Angeles Civic Center intersection?

 

_______________________________

 

What year was this photo taken?

 

A)  1874    

B)  1884    

C)  1894

D)  1904

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

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Mystery History Question (July 2016)

 
View is looking northwest on Winston Street toward where it intersects with Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. A construction crew is installing conduit for electrical power cables.  This is one of the oldest known electrical underground distribution systems installed in the City. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

When was this photo taken?

 

A)  1890s

B)  1900s

C)  1910s

D)  1920s

 

Name the utility doing the work:

 

A)  LA Gas and Electric Corp.    

B)  LA Bureau of Power and Light    

C)  LA Edison Electric Co.

D)  Pacific Light and Power

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

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Mystery History Question (April 2016)

 
This 1946 photo shows a streetcar heading east on Piedmont Avenue as it makes a turn onto N. Figueroa Street. Power poles line both sides of the street.  LA’s first Municipal installed power pole stands on the corner at center-left.  

 

Background

March 30th  marks the anniversary of the beginning of the electrical distribution system of the Bureau of Power and Light (later LADWP) when the City installed its first power pole on the corner of Pasadena Avenue (now N. Figueroa St.) and Piedmont Street.  The pole still exists today as can be seen in the following photo.

 

 

 
(2016)*^ - View looking at the southwest corner of Piedmont Street and N. Figueroa Avenue in Highland Park, showing LA’s First Municipal installed power pole as it appears today.  

 

What year was LA's First Municipal Power Pole installed?

 

A)  1900

B)  1908

C)  1916

D)  1924

 

Click HERE for Answer

 

 

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Mystery History Questions (Jan 2016)

 
This large four-story Victorian-style school stood on a hill overlooking downtown Los Angeles from 1882 until 1922. The exact location was at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 5th Street, where the Los Angeles Central Library stands today.  

 

What was the name of the school?

A) Los Angeles Academy

B) Los Angeles Trade Tech

C) State Normal School

D) St. Vincent's College

 

Over the years the above school evolved into one of the most recognized learning institutions in the nation:

A) Cal Lutheran

B) USC

C) UCLA

D) Loyola of Marymount

 

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

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Mystery History

The following photos show two early water reservoirs used by the City of Los Angeles in the late 1800s:

 
   
 
(1880s) - View looking northwest showing a large body of water with boat house and sailboat. The Hollywood Hills can be seen in the distance. This man-made lake was used as a water reservoir until the turn of the century when it was converted into a public park.  

 

 

 

 
(1895) - View looking northeast showing a large body of water with the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. Originally used as a reservoir for the City of Los Angeles, it was later converted into a park.  

 

 

No longer used as reservoirs, the above two bodies of water are now well known city parks. What are their names?

Park No. 1: _____________________

Park No. 2: _____________________

 

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

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Mystery History

 
View showing the steel framing of Los Angeles City Hall during its construction.  

 

Background

A new City Hall was needed to replace the old 1888-built City Hall building located on Broadway between 2nd and 3rd Streets. After authorizing a bond issue, the city commissioned John Parkinson, Albert C. Martin*, and John C. Austin as architects for the new Los Angeles City Hall.  Parkinson was responsible for the concept and architectural design of the building; Martin, the structural design; and Austin, the working drawings and general administration of the project.

* Also known for design of the John Ferraro Office Building among others.

 

 

Question #1

What year was City Hall built?

a) 1920
b) 1924
c) 1928
d) 1932

 

 

Question #2

Since it was incorporated in 1850, how many City Hall buildings has Los Angeles had?

a) Two
b) Three
c) Four
d) Five

 

 

 

 
View of Los Angeles City Hall decorated with banners for its opening ceremony. A crowd of people are gathered at the curb, bleachers are full of spectators, and a parade is in progress on Spring Street.  

 

Background

For years, the Charter of the City of Los Angeles did not permit any portion of any building other than a purely decorative tower to be more than 150 feet. At 28 stories and 454 feet high, City Hall was the only exception making it the tallest building in Los Angeles for years to come.

 

 

Question #3

Until what year did City Hall continue to be the tallest building in Los Angeles?

a) 1934
b) 1944
c) 1954
d) 1964

 

 

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

 

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Mystery History

 
Operator J. A. Griffitts is seen here opening the circuit breaker on the last DWP 50 cycle circuit.  Taken in the old control house at RS-C in Wilmington.  

 

Background

In the early days, the Southland was sort of an electrical enclave. Both Edison and DWP generated and distributed their power at 50hz where most parts of the country were at 60hz. Some electrical appliances worked at both frequencies, but for frequency-sensitive products manufacturers created special 50hz models just for the Southern California market. And when newcomers moved from outside the region, they paid to have their old devices converted, or simply bought new ones that would work on the 50hz grid.

 

 

Question #1
What year did DWP convert its frequency from 50hz to 60hz?

  1. a) 1926          b) 1936          c) 1946          d) 1956

 

 

Question #2
What event prompted DWP to convert its operating frequency to 60hz?

 

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Question #3
What year did SCE convert its frequency to 60hz?

 

  1. a) 1928          b) 1938          c) 1948          d) 1958

 

 

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

 

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Mystery History

 
This often seen photo of William Mulholland standing in an early model car, with American Flags and Banners in the background, was taken at the opening ceremony of a new facility.  


  1. What is the name and location of this facility?  __________

(Hint:  The year was 1925).

 

 

Click HERE for Answers

 

 

 

 

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Mystery History

 
Aerial photograph taken in 1945 from above Bunker Hill, where the DWP’s office building (JFOB) stands today, looking east toward the Los Angeles Civic Center.  The ornate building in front of City Hall is the Old Hall of Records. The Hollywood and Harbor Freeways would not be constructed until the early 1950s.  

 

 

 

 
Aerial view looking east toward the Civic Center showing a not quite completed DWP General Office Building (later JFOB), located on Bunker Hill.  

 

Question #1

  1. What year was the DWP General Office Building (GOB) constructed? _______

 

 

 
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Office Building (Referred to as the GOB or JFOB).*  

 

Question #2

  1. What year was the General Office Building (GOB) renamed the John Ferraro Office Building (JFOB)? _______

 

Question #3

  1. What year was the JFOB designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument? _______

 

 

Click HERE for answers and more information on the JFOB

 

 

 

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Mystery History

 
(1936) - View showing the first time all 12 valves in the canyon wall outlets at Hoover Dam worked simultaneously, discharging Colorado River water.
 

 

Background

Ezra Scattergood pushed for a bill authorizing the construction of the Boulder Canyon Project (Hoover Dam). Despite attempts to discredit the project, Scattergood helped convince Congress in 1928 to pass the legislation and allow construction of the dam and a hydroelectric power plant.

 

 

 
(1935) – Dedication of Hoover Dam by President F. D. Roosevelt.  

 

Question #1
The above photo shows President F. D. Roosevelt giving a speech at the Dedication of Hoover Dam on September 30, 1935.  Can you locate Ezra Scattergood on stage in the background?

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)* - View of the upper generator room at Hoover Dam, on the Nevada side, where there are eight generators. (The Arizona side has nine.)  

 

Question #2
What percentage of the L.A.’s power needs did Hoover Dam provide back in 1936?

 

  1. a) 30%          b) 50%          c) 70%          d) 90%

 

 

Question #3
What percentage of L.A.’s power needs does Hoover Dam provide today?

 

  1. a)  6%          b) 26%          c) 46%          d) 66%

 

 

 

Click HERE for answers and more information on Hoover Dam

 

 

 

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Mystery History

Since the beginning of recorded history, earth-filled reservoirs have been used to help cities get through periods of drought. Los Angeles has been utilizing these types of reservoirs since the late 1800s.  The following two photos show one of LA’s earliest water reservoirs, put into service in 1908.

 

 
(ca. 1924) - View looking north of the _____________Reservoir and surrounding area, with streets readied for new housing development.  

 

 

 
(1930) - View of the ______________Reservoir named for _______________.  The reservoir is an earth fill dam, asphalt concrete, with paved slopes.   In 1989, it was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 422.  

 

1) What is the name of this reservoir located just north of downtown Los Angeles?
(Clue:  The community it sits in was named after this reservoir.)

2) Who was the reservoir named after?
(Clue:  It’s not gold.)

 

 

Click HERE for answer and more information on Early L.A. Water Reservoirs

 

 

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Where's Waldo?

Can you locate William Mulholland in the following 1912 photo? Clue: He's wearing a hat....

 

 

 

Click HERE for answer and more information on photo.

 

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Mystery History

The photo below shows construction crews in cars and horse-drawn wagons in front of the City's first Water Department building. The building stood until 1939.

 

a) Where was the Water Department building located? __________

b) What year was the Water Department (later DWP) formed? __________

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Water Department's Original Office Building

 

 

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Mystery History

Below is a photo showing a parking lot full of older model cars and horse-drawn carriages. This event occurred in the early 1900s and was one of the most significant milestones in the history of Los Angeles.

 

a) Name the event: __________

b) What was the date of the event? __________

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct

 

 

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Mystery History

The photo below is not that of a time machine. It is the stator of a generator used in one of the first hydro power plants constructed by the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light (DWP).

 

a) What is the name of the power plant? __________

b) Where is it located? __________

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Electricity on the Aqueduct

 

 

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