Photograph album of Los Angeles, Whittier, and surrounding area, 1900-1903

Processed by Jane Carpenter with assistance from Simon Elliott; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photograph album of Los Angeles, Whittier, and surrounding area
Date (inclusive): 1900-1903
Collection number: 94/272
Creator: Groot, L.A. de, photographer.
Physical Description: 1 album (329 photographic prints) : b&w, cyanotype ; 18 x 25 cm (album)

Photographs are mounted on rectos and versos of each of the 50 leaves of thick gray paper, interleaved with guard leaves of glassine; photos, arranged 3 or 4 to a page, are stamped with a number, and identified and dated with ms. caption below in white ink.

Bound in thin dark gray cloth boards; name of owner/photographer stamped in gold on upper cover: "L.A. de Groot."

Spec. Coll. copy: in modern beige cloth clamshell box.
Abstract: Photograph album containing 329 small snapshots of people, places, and events in Los Angeles, Whittier, and surrounding towns, dated Mar. 30, 1900 through Mar. 1, 1903.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Photograph album of Los Angeles, Whittier, and surrounding area (Collection 94/272). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 

Scope and Content

The photographs and album were probably created by L.A. de Groot, whose name appears on the front cover; he had a room in Rialto--a photo of it is included--and probably worked on the Leffingwell Ranch. Perhaps he was new to California, which would explain his visits to so many Southern California cities, and the "tourist" orientation of his photographs. The album opens with views of the hills and Kern River near Bakersfield, including views of oil drilling in the area; rigs and cabins of Columbia Oil and Asphaltum Company and Standard Oil Company are identified. Photos of buildings in the town of Bakersfield include several schools, public library, courthouse, Kern County hospital, Kern County Land Company building, and the Santa Fe Railway station. The area of Bakersfield formerly known as Kern City is also documented, with photographs of Hotel Cesmat, Western House, and the Kern City school. There are similar photos of buildings, parks, and streets of Los Angeles as well, including the State Normal School, M.E. Church, Santa Fe La Grande station, Hotel Menlo, Hotel Westminster, and Los Angeles County courthouse. There are also early views of Broadway, Palm Drive, and 3rd Street, dated 1900-1901, and shots of the oil wells located in the city at that time. The parks of Los Angeles are well documented in the album, and include views of the memorials, bridges and lakes, band stands, and fountains of Central Park, Prospect Park, Echo Park, Hollenbeck Park, Eastside Park (also called Eastlake Park, and today, Lincoln Park), Westlake Park (now MacArthur Park), and Elysian Park (Los Angeles' oldest public park). The photographer has also recorded a visit up the railroad to the top of Mt. Lowe in Altadena, with scenes of the trails, Castle Rock, Maple Springs, and Inspiration Point. Traveling along the coast, he has documented the beaches of Long Beach, a sugar beet refinery in Los Alamitos, the Hotel Arcadia in Santa Monica, homes and harbors on Catalina Island, and in Redondo Beach, a fishing camp, oil wells, the Redondo Hotel, and the home of Anton Leubkeman, dated Oct. 28, 1900. There are also many photographs of local scenes and buildings in San Bernardino, Redlands, Rialto (where the photographer lives), and Riverside. The second half of the album focuses on Leffingwell Ranch in Whittier, California, a large lemon ranch owned by Charles W. Leffingwell, Jr.. According to Matt Garcia, author of A world of its own: race, labor, and citrus in the making of Greater Los Angeles (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, c2001), the ranch was really a self-contained universe, where white, Japanese, and Mexican workers worked, and lived, segregated by race, class, and marital status. The album documents very well this sprawling compound, which included the groves, packinghouse, offices, gardens, pumphouse, barns, bunkhouse or "clubhouse" (designed by the Pasadena architects Green & Green) for white, unmarried employees, library, and numerous cottages, with names like Fairchild, Underwood, Williams, and Ball, for white, married managers and their families. Photographs of the personal homes of the Leffingwell family, in Whittier and Fullerton, are also included. Several interior shots of the clubhouse show that it was well-furnished with many amenities; in addition to the library, there was a piano, card tables, rocking chairs, and pictures. There are many photos of the ranch managers and their families, ranch hands, lemon pickers, including a group of Japanese pickers in the groves, packers, washers, orchard sprayers (Stearns Brothers), pruners (Ed. Williams), disk harrow operators (Carey, Lolke), drivers, and operators of the ranch's own well-boring rig, steam engine and air compressors. Identified are Mr. Booge, Fred Keller, William Denman, several members of the Mabrey family--Oly, Urb, and Pearly--Samuel Turner, Walter England, and Edward Beck. There are photos of Mrs. Gray, wife of Leffingwell's ranch manager, and her daughters, Rachel Gray and Jessy Gray, dated 1902. There were many luxurious flower and vegetable gardens on the ranch, and the many close-up photos of plants and flowers, such as aloe, cactus, acacias, eucalyptus, banana tree blossoms, tree tomato from Jamaica, jacaranda, sweetpeas, pelargoniums, bottlebrush, ranunculus, anemones, freesias, and roses, suggest that the photographer was someone with a great interest in botany, perhaps one of the graduates of the agricultural colleges who lived on the ranch, conducting scientific experiments for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The photographer also documented the Fiesta de las Flores parade in Los Angeles of May 9, 1901; and the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena of Jan. 1, 1902. Views of Pasadena include the Hotel Green, Hotel Raymond, Marengo Ave., and the ostrich farm.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Leubkeman, Anton, 1862-1923 --Homes and haunts --California --Redondo Beach --Photographs.
Leffingwell, Charles W. (Charles Warring), b. 1871 --Homes and haunts --California --Whittier --Photographs.
Leffingwell family --Photographs.
Hollenbeck Park (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
Lincoln Park (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
Elysian Park (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.) --Photographs.
Mount Lowe Railway --Photographs.
Leffingwell Ranch (Whittier, Calif.) --Photographs.
Tournament of Roses (13th : 1902) --Photographs.
Railroad stations --California --Photographs.
Oil wells --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
Oil well drilling rigs --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
Palms --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
Parks --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
Plants --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
Spraying equipment --California --Whittier --Photographs.
Beet sugar industry --California --Los Alamitos --Photographs.
Parades --California --Los Angeles --Photographs.
Bicycles --Photographs.
Architecture, Domestic --California --Whittier --Photographs.
Plants --California, Southern --Photographs.
Citrus fruit industry --California --Whittier --Photographs.
Fruit growers --California --Whittier --Photographs.
Agricultural laborers --California --Whittier --Photographs.
Japanese --California --Photographs.
Japanese Americans --California --Photographs.
Ostrich farms --California --Pasadena --Photographs.
MacArthur Park (Los Angeles, Calif.) --Photographs.
Los Angeles (Calif.) --Photographs.
Bakersfield (Calif.) --Photographs.
Whittier (Calif.) --Photographs.
Rialto (Calif.) --Photographs.
Pasadena (Calif.) --Photographs.
Fullerton (Calif.) --Photographs.
San Bernardino (Calif.) --Photographs.
Santa Monica (Calif.) --Photographs.
Redondo Beach (Calif.) --Photographs.
Long Beach (Calif.) --Photographs.
Kern River (Calif.) --Photographs.
Santa Catalina Island (Calif.) --Photographs.
Lowe, Mount (Los Angeles County, Calif.) --Photographs.

Genres and Forms of Material

Photographic prints.
Photograph albums.

Related Material

For additional information on Leffingwell Ranch operations, see Beasts of the field: a narrative history of California farm workers, 1769-1913 / Richard Steven Street. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 2004.
Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.