Frontier Days in Crescenta Valley: Portraits of Life in the Foothills

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By Jo Anne Sadler (2014)

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Modern Crescenta Valley practically defines the notion of quiet suburbia with its lovely homes and tree-lined streets. Yet the communities that lie north of Los Angeles between the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains once formed a vast, isolated, treeless, windstorm-swept dell. The settlers who stayed in this valley found day-to-day subsistence challenging. They farmed, hunted, tried bee ranching, gathered greasewood, cultivated vineyards and dodged rattlesnakes. As settlement in the area continued to develop, such refinements as literature and photography flourished. Author Jo Anne Sadler brings the Valley’s frontier days to life, recounting such quirks as a visit from a “rainmaker” and the reasons behind the construction of the gaudy local landmark, the Gould Castle.

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