This view, shot from a spot near
Freeways, is from the Valley Times Collection in the digital archive of the
Los Angeles Public Library, www.lapl.org
. Here is the caption:
People who prefer a rural way of life fled thickly-populated areas to develop canyons for home sites, only to discover their efforts to seek isolation were in vain. This view taken on February 16, 1957, from the ridge flanking Lopez Canyon shows the large ranch of Fritz Burns, Panorama City developer, with a new subdivision in the far background sweeping in from the San Gabriel Mountains. The charred area on the mountain top is above Olive View Sanitarium in Sylmar. Agricultural acreage in the San Fernando Valley and nearby Santa Clara Valley dropped from 61,300 in 1945 to 35,000 in 1957.
ABOUT THE SCENE ABOVE
The Fritz Burns Ranch in the foreground has a colorful past
includes a reindeer herd, German POWs and silent films.
THE REINDEER: Starting in the 1950s, the Burns Ranch was home to a reindeer herd that spent the Christmas season at Southern California shopping centers, including Panorama City. Dayle Hunter's family managed the ranch in the 1960s and '70s and lived there. Roy Dimon and Larry Peterson were occasional employees at the ranch.
GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR: The ranch is known to have
The San Fernando prisoners are said to have been used as citrus workers.
been a camp for a few of the 400,000 Axis prisoners held in the United States during World War II. If this seems surprising, it appears that many places, (Beverly Hills, the Birmingham High School site, Cucamonga along with San Fernando) are listed as prisoner camps by some sources. Much of Sylmar was formerly known as San Fernando.
WHY THE SPARTANS?
We were named after the Michigan State Spartans at the suggestion of Gloria Hazuka whose sister attended MSU. Gloria, Class of 1963, was a member of the student leadership council when Sylmar High opened in 1961.
The Rey Hotel was reportedly built in 1906 and fell in the 1971 earthquake.
the photo for more and larger images.
OLD SAN FERNANDO
Below, service started on the Pacific Electric Railway tracks in 1913. The tracks took passengers from San Fernando to Los Angeles via Van Nuys and Hollywood. The spectators may have been there to see auto races
which also began on Brand Blvd. in 1913.
These photos are taken from the 1946 yearbook of
San Fernando High School.
CLICK on the images to enlarge.