Crescenta Valley History: Hidden In Plain Sight

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By Mike Lawler (2017)

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The Crescenta Valley is a typical suburb of the metropolis of Los Angeles, containing residential neighborhoods nestled in chaparral-covered hills. But hidden in these typical neighborhoods are remnants of an atypical past, a past made up of Hollywood legends, Prohibition-era bootleggers, and pioneers in women’s rights. This book tells the stories behind six places in the community that residents pass by every day, with no idea of the amazing events that took place there—six innocuous locations with impressive histories. A little shack behind an apartment that was once the home of John Steinbeck; the overgrown ruins of a former speakeasy; an abandoned sanitarium that once housed aging Hollywood stars and now houses their ghosts; a mystical religious sanctuary run entirely by women; a former resort and Olympic training site buried deep under a suburban shopping mall; and a park created by professional baseball players and movie stars. All these sites are right here in your neighborhood! You’ll never look at the Crescenta Valley the same way again.

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