Bits 'n Pieces
Lincoln Heights

Here are some mementos or other items
of interest relating to Lincoln Heights.

Winter in Eastlake Park Teapot. 1910
Winter in Eastlake Park Teapot. 1910

ca 1910
Take a look at the backgrounds!

Tango Coaster in the background.

"I knew there was a block long roller coaster!" j.a.
The Tango Coaster on Lincoln Park Avenue behind today's Lincoln Park DMV.

It covered from Mission Rd to Barbee St. on Lincoln Park Avenue and also before the Skating Rink.

Iowa Picnic 1911
(Taken from the LA Daily Examiner, 1911)
More than 80,000 Iowa people attended the big picnic at Eastlake Park near that city February 22.
Ninety-nine counties were represented. The speakers were distinguished citizens of our Iowa state. The officers of the year are as follows: Honorary president, ex-Governor H.E. BOIES; active president, P.S. RISHEL; vice president, E.S. ORMSBY; treasurer, T.H. NICHOLS, who is cashier of the Southern California Savings Bank; and secretary C.H. PARSONS.

As immigration to Los Angeles from the Midwest swelled,
new residents founded State Societies that held annual or semi-annual picnics.
The Iowa State Society was the largest in Los Angeles.
Immigrants from the Midwest tended to be poorer, less-educated,
and more conservative than native Angelenos, who looked on the picnics as comically rustic.

Many immigrants came to Los Angeles alone and with no relatives.
Then the opportunity comes to attend one of the famous state picnics or evening social reunions.
Sometimes by chance they met those who knew their family and friends, but it is some one from home.



1930s to 1950s?
These decals were popular and each skating rink had their own unique design.
During the Golden Age of Roller Skating (1937-1959), more than 3,000 roller rinks dotted the streets of just about every town in America.
Each and every rink offered its loyal patrons something unique to roller skating - its own special roller rink sticker!
Pasted on skate cases, as well as fanatically traded and collected by individuals and clubs alike,
the stickers were more popular than baseball cards to America's more than ten million roller skaters.
Skaters would stick these decals on their skate bags to show all the rinks they been to.

Photo by: Lawrence Stroub 1/15/09
I found it in a shoe box collection of photos belonging to an uncle. There was no date or other identification on it.

The skating rink was demolished in Oct. 2001.
A 49 unit low income apartment now sits on this lot.

Photo submitted by Mary Kay, and writes...
"I know my grandfather managed the skating rink in the late 20s.
My grandmother is in a sweatshirt with the words Lincoln Park Roller Rink.
She must have worn it in the Ocean Park Skating Marathon which she won along with my grandfather."


An event happened at the Selig Zoo in 1925.
Maybe a company picnic?
One of the committee members ribbon?
The last event under the Selig Zoo name?

Lincoln Park Tourist Camp
Next door to the Ascot Racetrack
Tourist Camps or Auto Courts (called Motels now) were the norm in the 20s to 60s.
Since Lincoln Heights was a major tourist spot, where would they stay at?
Camps or Courts was the answer.
The national outgrowth of the auto camp and tourist home was
the cabin camp (sometimes called cottages)
that offered minimal comfort at affordable prices.
Many of these cottages are still in operation.
Eventually, auto camps and cabin camps gave way to motor courts
in which all of the rooms were under a single roof.
Motor courts offered additional amenities, such as adjoining restaurants,
souvenir shops, and swimming pools.

Business Card (from my collection)
Lincoln Park Tourist Camp
4101 Alhambra Avenue (or Valley Blvd.)
Los Angeles, California
25 Acres * 200 Cottages * 75¢ to $5.00
Best Cottages and camping in L.A.

(Corner of Soto St. and Valley Blvd.)

2222 Parkside Avenue
(3851 Mission Road)
Not to be confused with the Lincoln Park Tourist Camp.
Postcard image from my collection.
Lockwood Auto Court Postcard

Lockwood Auto Court in the 20s
The Selig Zoo Lions Court in the background.
Near Mission Rd. and Parkside Ave.
Lockwood Court in real life.

Mr. Charles Conley stood at Lockwood Auto Court in the 20s.

Charles remembering that he stood at Lincoln Park Tourist Camp as a child asked for images of the camp in which I sent and he replied, "That wasn't the place I stood at, the cabins were going up a hill towards a cliff".
After many weeks of back and forth emails we discovered that he stayed with his family at Lockwood and not at the Lincoln Park Tourist Camp as he thought. My thanks to Mr. Charles Conley for his childhood photos below and together we discovered the Lockwood Auto Courts on Parkside Ave.

This is a what he remembers about Lockwood.
Charles Conley photo.
Charles Conley age 6 on the balcony at Lockwood Court.
My cabin was towards the cliff on Mission Rd.
In front of me is the "carport".
The direction in which I am looking is toward the Ostrich Farm.

Our cabin would have been located right about where the housing ends short of the green ground cover, just below the two trees.
(Near top center in color photo below).

Taken from the back of Lincoln Park at the dead end of Selig Place.

It was father, mother, two girls and two boys. All of us stayed at Lockwood several months. My father overhauled the car there and got his hand caught in the timing chain. We had a Big 6 Studebaker touring car.

This is the Big 6 Studebaker Touring Car we came to California in 1927.
My two sisters are the back seat wearing cloche hats.
A big pyramid tent and cooking utensils pack the running board.
That's my tricycle on the right front fender.

I remember that I had to climb a fairly good grade to get to our play area, which was on top of the "cliff," above Mission Road. A length of rope hung down over the far end of the "cliff" for the intrepid. There were footholes down the cliff, too, if one wanted to try clinging to the cliff on the way down. We kids watched while the bigger kids tried it, not us. The cliff itself, and the entire cleared area to the left of it, behind the housing, is exactly as I remember it. There may have been slight changes, of course. But I am absolutely amazed that after 74 years so much is the same.  It is as if the housing development was built on what once was the Lockwood Auto Court

I was certainly impressed with that "cliff" and is exactly as I remember it. Wow? That was a journey in time. The "top of the hill" that I crossed on my way to school (or in that vicinity).

But that Cliff just hasn't changed. Even the way it curves around at the far end toward Mission. That's where the length of rope was for daring mountain climbers. Not me. In my imagination I can see the Lockwood Court sitting up where those houses are, and the Selig Zoo Lion Court across the street.

The cliff was the cincher.

I came down the hill in back of the auto court; there was a sidewalk and across the street, to my left front, was the school, which we presume was Gates. There might have been a path that I followed down the hill, but I don't remember any path other than the one I made going back and forth. Such a path would have benefited only those in the auto court. I don't think many tourists beside me went to school there. It was my mother's doing, she worried about my schooling since we had not yet settled down. What a scene I made when they left me there! The moment is indelibly printed on my mind: crying my head off, begging them not to leave me there with all those strangers.

It surely looks like the cliff that I played on as a child. The open area behind it, in particular, is exactly as I remember it. I probably saw the new City Hall in-the-making from there also. I'm sure I did, although at this late date it might have been only a dream.

Yes, it is not as pretty as the postcard, but more like I remember it. Too crowded for pretty floral planters, etc. The cabins were jammed in, right on top of one another. In 1931 or 1932, whenever the Big Earthquake was, we stayed in another cabin--one of those in the right row, midway up the hill. The front of the cabin was all screened in. We had a small gas stove, icebox and sink. No toilet; that was in the wash house. I was a few years older then and the memory is more distinct. Some of the cabins appear to have been enlarged. That effort narrowed the available roadway from that shown in the postcard.

Our 1927 cabin was cocked at an angle affording vision down (or up) Mission in the direction of the Ostrich Farm and Luna Park. That is why I saw a lot of the Ostriches and the Luna Park arches from an angle.

There was a community swimming pool North of the Ostrich Farm. That would not interfere with my view of the Ostrich Farm from Lockwood. I vaguely remember the pool or the reflection on the water.

I don't remember the Ascot Speedway. It must have been there. At night, when it was quieter, I could hear the Lions in the Luna Park Lion Farm just like Africa.

Charles Conley photo.  Lastly on another trip to LA in the late "thirties," down Route 66 (memories of which I also cherish) we stopped at one of the few Watering Holes then in the New Mexico desert and I saw these Chaps hanging on the wall. The proprietor let me wear them for a photo.

Charles A. Conley
Born 2-2-21, Aurora, IL.

Lorraine and I are fine as shown by the photo. Noah, our grandson is standing between us.
Looking forward to a walk with you someday, up Gates street to where I used to cross over to school


Lincoln Park Motel
2101 Parkside Ave.

Was this built in the 30s and named after the Luna Park Zoo?
The Luna Park Auto Court is still in business and is directly across the street of the defunct Selig Zoo entrance.

My Grandparents, Harry and Silvia Miller owned the Luna Park Auto Court in the 60s. I was pretty young but I do remember staying with them from time to time. Most of the rooms were done up in an Asian Theme and when my grandparents passed away the only mementos that I kept were a couple of pieces that my grandmother had taken with her when they moved to Palm Springs.
Here are pictures of the pieces that I have, a clock and a table lamp.
Joel Miller (Grandson of Harry and Silvia Miller)


This photo is all I could find with the Luna Park Auto Court.
You can clearly see the distinctive entry arch in the background and a typical bungalow.
I captured this picture from an old family movie reel, sorry about the quality.

The picture is circa 1964 or so. From left to right:

 My Mother, Sandy Miller - My Father, Larry Miller (deceased) (son of the owner's Harry and Sylvia Miller) - Al Holtzman (deceased), married to Sylvia's sister Hannah - Sylvia Miller (deceased) - Me (Joel Miller, about age 8) in front of my Grandmother, Sylvia - Harry Miller (kneeling with my brother, Steven on his shoulder, Steve would have been about three) - Sam Korb (deceased, standing in white shirt, married to Sylvia's sister, Freda) - My sister, Diane in blue dress, about age 6 - My brother, David about 10 or 11 years of age.

If you know the history of the Luna Park Auto Court please let me know.


Los Angeles Brewing was originally founded in August 1897 by P. Max Kuehnrich and Edward Mathie. They produced a lager beer, a malt extract called Mission Malt Tonic, and a near beer called "Temperance" which had less than 2% alcohol. In 1907 it was purchased by George Zobelein. In 1882 he sold his share of the Philadelphia Brewery to Joseph Maier, who later became a partner in the brewery.  In 1907 the partnership broke up, Maier's part became the Maier Brewery and Zobelein took over controlling stock in the Los Angeles Brewery.  Since his brewery was on the east side of the Los Angeles River, Zobelein called his new beer Eastside.

When Prohibition started in California in 1920, Zobelein continued business making apple cider, pineapple juice, a root beer and Eastside, which was now a near beer.  They had trouble keeping the cider from fermenting too much, making it too "hard" to legally sell so they dropped that part of the business as well as the pineapple juice, which simply wasn't selling.  They also gave up selling the root beer in bottles and distributed it solely in barrels. The big sell for the brewery, besides Eastside near beer, was denatured alcohol.  The brewery brewed Eastside as a regular beer, then removed the alcohol. The alcohol was then sold to industrial companies, such as those that made paint as well as for companies making vanilla extract.  It was also sold to doctors and dentists.  Doctors were allowed to buy 5 gallons a year with special permits.  Dentists were allowed 2 gallons a year.  Hospitals and drug stores could also buy it, the amount depending on their needs.  Los Angeles Brewing made a good business of selling alcohol to the medical market under the brand name "Tru-Grain."

Los Angeles Brewery, 1930s.

The brewery did well in the 1930s and 1940s.  It was a regional beer judging from where their cans have been dumped, mostly southern California and Arizona.  Zobelein died in 1936 and his son took over the brewery.  They introduced cans in 1937 choosing flat tops. They sold Eastside Beer, Eastside Ale, and in 1939 introduced a premium beer called Luxury Extra Dry Pilsner.  Eastside Beer remained their big seller however. They also canned Brown Derby Beer for Safeway stores in the 1930s.

Los Angeles Brewery, 1950s.

Name changes of the brewery throughout the years.
Los Angeles Brewing Company (aka Eastside Beverage Co.)   1897-1920
Zesto Beverage Co.                                                                   1920-1926
Los Angeles Brewing Company, (aka Eastside Brewing, aka Mission Brewing Co)   1933-1953
Pabst Brewing Company                                                          1953-1979

Early brewery history from


After World War II, Los Angeles Brewing Co. changed their cans to a blue label.  They also added a conetop line to their flat top canning line and produced both cones and flats.  They also made a bock beer in a flat top.  However, the brewery could not break out from its regional status.  In 1948 it was purchased by Pabst Brewing in Milwaukee but continued operating as a separate company.  However,  Pabst, one of the 3 biggest brewers in the US, wanted to expand to the West Coast.  In 1953 they took over management of Los Angeles Brewing and added new brewing facilities next to the old buildings.  They continued making Eastside Beer but it took a back seat to Pabst's own Blue Ribbon brand.  Eastside, now called Eastside Old Tap, became a low-priced discount beer.
In 1976 a $400,000 fire destroyed the storage building.
 Pabst continued operating its Los Angeles plant until 1979.
Then the brewery was put on the market for $6.6 million

Opening Day medal giving to employees at the new building in 1953
Medals from my collection

More photos from my collection soon.

Intersection of Mission Road and Marengo looking north.  1920s
(This is where Marengo becomes Daly St.)
To your right is the County Hospital.
Today, on your left side of this photo is a gas station, Jack in the Box,
and the large building on your left in the background still exists today.

Ptomaine Tommy's
"The Original Ptomaine Tommy"
2420 N. Broadway
1946 Matchbook cover

Was a 24-hour L.A. chili parlor with the wonderful in-your-face name Ptomaine Tommy's.
He invented the chili size, a burger patty smothered in chili (chili burger), in the 1920s.
His real name was Tommy DeForest, and from 1913 to 1958, he was the major-domo of local burgerdom.
More than likely, DeForest, who claimed Mae West, Mary Pickford, and Dorothy Lamour as regulars, was the restaurateur who popularized the ladling of a masa-thickened, beanless chili on a burger.

Ptomaine Tommy, once proprietor of the largest and best known chili parlor in the city. Ptomaine Tommy served straight chili and a Southwestern variation, a hamburger smothered with chili. He had two ladles, a large and a small. When a customer ordered straight chili, he got out the large ladle. When he wanted the other, he usually said “Hamburger size.” So Ptomaine Tommy put up one sign that read HAMBURGER SIZE 15¢, and another that read CHILI SIZE 20¢. Other chili joints followed suit and before long chili was known throughout Los Angeles as “size”. They'd say, “Just gimme a bowl of size.”

Tommy's closed because of financial troubles, and Tommy died a week later.

To this day Los Angeles is rife with burger joints named Tom’s, Tommy's, Tummy's, Tammies, or Big Tommy's. Some may descend from Ptomaine Tommy's, while others claim a lineage that dates to a Greek immigrant named Tommy Koulax who, in a 1946 bid for differentiation, opened a burger stand that he dubbed Tommy's Original.

 East Lake Sulphur Bath

ca 1903
Adjoining Eastlake Park
Los Angeles California
Hot Sulphur Tub Baths, Warm Plunge Baths,
Turkish Baths and Steam Sweats.
Open all the Year Around. Under new management.
Medical director and lady masseur in attendance.
Best waters known for cure of rheumatism, colds, etc.,
and as a blood purifier.
Open 8 am to 10 pm daily. Sundays 9 am  to 6 pm.
Phone 312343

Where was the sulphur or steam from?
I didn't know Lincoln Heights was near a volcano???........

Bath house was located near the intersection
of Barbee and Keith Streets.
Bath house was vacant and condemned by the city according to this map dated 1921.

Holiday Inn
Corner of Marengo St. and North Mission Rd.
1640 Marengo St.
Remember seeing this at the Marengo St. on ramp to the 5 North?
ca. 1960

The Shamrock Cafe
3100 N. Main St.

Original East Los Angeles
(Eastside - East Side)
Hancock McClung Johnston Pasture (1880's)
Looks like Ascot Hill in the background?
Somewhere off of Mission Rd? Griffin Ave? Valley Blvd? N. Broadway? Soto St?
Or near Hancock and Johnston Streets in Lincoln Heights?

More on the history of Original East Los Angeles later......

Photo says: Johnston's pasture E. Angeles Mch 4th
Large tracts of land were platted into lots by Mr. Johnston from his holdings east of the Los Angeles River,
and on these sprang up what is now East Side. He built the second street railway in LA to give access to his properties.

Photo says: ELA Hills Stock Farms
Judge Salisbury by Nutwood 5yrs old
  Johnston was also extensively engaged in the raising of fine horses.
He also was into horse racing.


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