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Victorian Los Angeles

Entrance to the Hale House at Heritage Square

Martine and I had visited the Heritage Square Museum in Highland Park some ten years ago and found it only moderately interesting. We went again today and found that, in the intervening time, the museum had been added to and vastly improved. To enter the buildings, one has to be on one of the hourly guided tours. That is not a bad deal, as the tours can easily take two hours.

Los Angeles is actually a much older city than most people realize, having been founded in 1781 as a Spanish pueblo. The city’s biggest growth spurt occurred after the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached L.A. in March 1881; and the price of transportation from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast dropped precipitately.

Interestingly, several of the old houses that have been moved to Heritage Square have featured various paranormal events including ghost sightings and “table tipping.” At one point, a latched door opened by itself just as the guide was about to unlatch it.

The John Ford House Owned by a Prominent Woodcarver

Most of the buildings can be entered on the tour, except for the largest building, a Methodist church, which is used mostly for storage.

The museum is close to the Avenue 43 exit on the Pasadena Freeway (California Highway 110).


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