Echoes and Remnants

Unknown boarder.

Mrs. Burbidge’s Boarding House at Ingraham Street and Union Avenue near downtown Los Angeles is where Gunhild and Bill Soderberg lived after Gustav Soderberg left the country, late 1920’s. It is apparent from the photos this was a most pleasant neighborhood with fine old homes. This is where Keith Teter met Gunhild.

Ingraham Street no longer exists at Union Avenue. A school yard completely covers the grounds of the former street block.

Of the few remaining blocks of Ingraham Street, this was the only old house I found. All the rest are ramshackle apartment buildings or commercial type of structures. Not far from Union Avenue, Bill and Gunhild must have passed this house numerous times.

After Gunhild and Keith were married, they and Bill moved to a house on Shatto Street. As with Ingraham Street, little remains on Shatto that resembles a residence. In his extreme old age Bill went back to this neighborhood. He lamented not finding familiar sites. Little evidence of the world he knew as a child in Los Angeles. This landmark, however, remains. The Commodore. Gunhild worked here as a housekeeper when they lived on Shatto. They were still at Shatto when Greta was born.

Only 3 or 4 blocks from the former site of Mrs. Burbidge’s Boarding House stands this outstanding Queen Ann home of 1894 called the Mooers House. It is located on Bonnie Brae Street. Mr. Mooers made his wealth from the discovery of placer gold, a mountain of it, which became the claim known as Yellow Aster. It was one of the largest gold producers in southern California and one of the noted mines in the State. Mr. Mooers enjoyment of his wealth was unfortunately short lived and tempered by ill health. He died in 1900.

I’m intrigued with the peak enclosure there above the second floor. That paisley swirl opening. Almost a beach wave motif.

All that ornamentation.

Next door is another gorgeous home. Both homes stand in sharp contrast to their surroundings of ugly dirty commercial structures and slum dwellings filled with lay-abouts or druggies. Save for two or three exceptional structures this fine old neighborhood was completely discarded.

Keith and Gunhild’s house on Cheviot Drive in Cheviot Hills is still up and well. With additional structure added in back.

August 2007

World War II. Keith, Milo Foster, Greta, Bill and Jeanne. The shutter design to the right is also on the kitchen window (behind Keith). Later photos show the addition of a flagstone retaining wall, but the shutters removed from the kitchen window.

The added flagstone features. House numbers moved to the right of the spot in previous photo. Zack and his catch of the day.

Sam, a four leg friend and Noah’s Ark (on the table) about where the additional structure or add on seems located today.

Zack (right), Sam and tortoise. That sun room in back may now be joined with the added room.

Related Links:

Marstrand, Pt. 2. A life in Los Angeles.

I am Dan Soderberg, award winning documentary film maker and phototgrapher specializing in architecture, historic preservation and nature.
  • Zack

    The Cheviot Drive house was a fun place to play. I slept in the “den,” an enclosed porch lined with books, including Wizard of Oz. There was a big barbeque pit in the spacious yard. There was a sizeable detached garage packed with tools and storage boxes.

    I didn’t catch the fish. I bought it off someone for 50 cents. I wanted to impress the grandparents, so I claimed the catch. I was never any good at fishing, but I loved hanging out at the Santa Monica pier and ogling the bathing beauties at “Muscle Beach.” Muscle Beach was originally located at the Santa Monica pier. It moved to Venice later. Grandpa Kieth dropped me off at the pier in the morning and returned in the afternoon to pick me up. No, Keith was not irresponsible. Those were the freewheelin’ days when kids were allowed to roam about as they pleased. I’m thankful for growing up then. Today’s parents are terrified their kids will be snatched from their own homes. I roamed as far as the muicipal plunge and the Picwood Theatre on Westwood Blvd. At the plunge, I had the disenchanting experience of encountering a turd floating in the water. It sort of soured me on public pools. The plunge had a place where you could look at the swimmers through plexiglass. I believe it was called Overland Park.

  • Zack

    I meant to say Pico & Westwood (Picwood Theatre, where I wandered in one day and saw a picture name North by Northwest).

  • Dan Mooers

    Frederick N. Mooers, owner of the “Mooers House”. discovered one of the largest gold deposits in southern California. It made Mooers and his two other partners very wealth, very quickly. Unfortunately, Mooers did not live to enjoy it, for he died just a two or three years after the Astor mine became began operations. All sources I have read, including contemporary news articles, indicatre that he discovered the huge deposit and started the mine.

  • Zack

    I’m disturbed that I don’t remember the name of that dog. You couldn’t ask for a nicer dog.

  • Zack

    The Easter pictures are excellent. I’ll bet it was quite an honor for Dan to pose with the sisters in their beautiful dresses.

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