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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Vignes Family Papers
    Dates: 1843-1901
    Collection Number: GC 1248
    Creator/Collector:
    Extent: (Boxes: 1 legal, 1 ov folder)
    Repository: Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
    Abstract: Collection consists of a diary, letters, legal documents, photographs, recipes and wine-making notes. Pierre Vignes was Jean-Louis's brother and the author of the diary in this collection. Creators of this collection were Pierre Vignes and Pierre's son, Vital Ferdinand Vignes.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    Research is by appointment only

    Publication Rights

    Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder

    Preferred Citation

    Vignes Family Papers. Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

    Acquisition Information

    The Papers include several different accessions which have been combined as they all relate to the same family (but were donated to the Museum by different family members at different times). However, within the collection, the papers have been separated by their respective accession numbers in order to respect the principle of provenance.

    Biography/Administrative History

    The Vignes Family was part of a small but influential French community in 19th century Los Angeles. The family patriarch was Jean-Louis Vignes who left Cadillac, France in 1826, arriving in El Dorado, California in 1831. (Vignes remained in Los Angeles until his death in 1863.) He bought a tract of land adjacent to the Los Angeles River (near the present location of Alameda Street and south of Aliso Street) and laid out El Aliso Vineyard, named for the huge sycamore which shaded it—a misnomer; “aliso” actually means alder. (Vignes's neighbors then called him Don Luis del Aliso.) Vignes, whose name means “vines” in French, became the most important winemaker in the West, producing as many as forty thousand gallons a year, and is today considered a pioneer of California viticulture. (He also planted what was probably the first orange grove in the city of Los Angeles.) Two present-day Los Angeles thoroughfares. Vignes and Aliso streets, are named for this pioneering family. Pierre Vignes was Jean-Louis's brother and the author of the diary in this collection. He married Catherine Lataste in 1816; the couple then had four girls and a boy, though one of the girls died at two years old. Though trained as a cooper, Pierre shifted to trade and moved from Cadillac to Beguey where he had bought a house with a small vineyard and a garden.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Collection consists of a diary, letters, legal documents, photographs, recipes and wine-making notes. Pierre Vignes was Jean-Louis's brother and the author of the diary in this collection. Creators of this collection were Pierre Vignes and Pierre's son, Vital Ferdinand Vignes. The letters and other written materials in the collection are all in French, though some of the letters have been transcribed and translated by Claudine Chambers; the diary has been transcribed and translated by Annick Foucrier.

    Indexing Terms

    Viticulture--California--History.
    French--California--Los Angeles.

    Additional collection guides