Two Sides of the Street

In anticipation of this weekend’s free walking tour The Flâneur & The City: Victorian Los Angeles, and the October 20 free screening of the Union Rescue Mission’s film Of Scrap & Steel, in this post we explore the Union Rescue Mission’s Victory Service Club at...

Testimonial #1: Bill Stiles

Introduction to Bill Stiles Los Angeles in 1913 was fast becoming a modern metropolis. The streets were a crazy quilt of traffic comprised of pedestrians, horses, bicycles, and automobiles. It had grown from a small pueblo of fewer than 100 residents into a city of...

The Union Rescue Mission Archive Project on inSROland

It begins simply enough: as part of the ongoing project to document the forgotten history of Downtown Los Angeles, our present aim is to blog about a series of previously-unknown documents from archives of the Union Rescue Mission (URM). We will begin by sharing some...
Grave Embarrassment in the Alexandria Hotel

Grave Embarrassment in the Alexandria Hotel

Tongues were wagging on every floor of the Alexandria Hotel this morning, following the delicious faux pas of conservative businessman Walter Dinmore, a resident of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Roused by his “Jap” valet to take an important long distance...
Babies For Sale

Babies For Sale

A girl of 16, Sadie Engelmann, left her family to try her hand at fame and fortune on the stage.  In San Diego, her beauty, if not her craft, won her many admirers, among them a dashing stenographer with the US Navy by the name of John Harvey. When Sadie found herself...
A successful, failed bank job

A successful, failed bank job

The desperate man walked into the Bank of America branch and crossed the lobby to the second teller window–to Mrs. Joy Holker, 28, the one with the kind eyes. He handed her a brown envelope and a note which read “This is a holdup. Fill up the envelope....
Ghosts of the Menlo Hotel

Ghosts of the Menlo Hotel

The old Menlo Hotel, corner of Winston and Main, was the way station for many a visiting Angeleno, and the last exit for a few. The Menlo offered moderate weekly and monthly rates to appeal to the varied respectable folk who flocked to the growing city. Most of them...
The Case of the Medical Electrician aka Abortionist

The Case of the Medical Electrician aka Abortionist

“ “The girl was thirsty and wanted ice water constantly.  She wouldn’t eat much, and vomited black stuff.  She was in a great deal of pain on her left side and her abdomen.”  So ended the short life of Lillie Hattery, age 22, on February 5th, 1897, in the clinic...

Millie Christine McCoy

Millie Christine McCoy, the two-headed woman, “the eighth wonder of the world,” held receptions in Los Angeles during the month of December, 1894. Admission was 15 cents. Children’s tickets cost a dime. Siamese twins born into slavery, Millie...

Widow Robbed by Spiritualists

A young couple by the name of McCarthy came to Los Angeles in 1890, and quickly made money in the real estate game. As luck would have it, one year later, Mr. McCarthy fell ill and died.  His widow, a healthy, handsome woman, was left a well appointed house on...