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Crawford (Jean Samwell) Papers
0175  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Jean Samwell Crawford spent time between Los Angeles and her family's cabin called "The Hide-Away" at Malibu Lakeside during the 1930s and 1940s. This collection includes a photograph album, guest books for "The Hide-Away," photographs, and newspaper clippings.
Background
Malibu Lakeside is a small residential community located in the Santa Monica Mountains, adjacent to Malibu Creek State Park. Los Angeles real estate developer H.L. Averil sold the first lots in 1924, two years after the foundation of nearby private community Malibou Lake Mountain Club. Many early residents were middle class Angelenos, using their cabins as a weekend escape from the city. Every homeowner held a stake in the Lakeside Mutual Water Company, which in turn helped fund the community center, which boasted a large clubhouse, swimming pool, softball and tennis courts, and a playground. Jean Samwell's family cabin, "The Hide-Away," was constructed between 1931-1932. Jean's mother, Marie Elizabeth Benkert, married Stephen Glaser in 1920 who was in the Navy, and the couple had Jean in February 1921. Shortly after, Marie and Jean travelled to the Philippines in order to be with Stephen who was stationed there. Stephen left the Navy in 1922 and the couple had another child, Ruth Nydine Glaser the following year, 1923. Marie and Stephen divorced thereafter and Marie remarried Leo Samwell in October 1930. The Samwells lived in Culver City, Leo first worked worked at Gaffers and Sattler appliance manufactures until layoffs during The Great Depression. He then worked for the Works Progress Administration and then MGM Studios as a security guard in the 1930s. Jean attended Shenandoah Elementary School and then Alexander Hamilton High School. On weekends, the Samwell family would drive to "The Hide-Away" and spend their weekends hiking, swimming, and entertaining visiting friends and family. During World War II, Jean worked for the Lockheed Corporation in Burbank where she did electrical work on B-17 bombers. At the time, Jean lived in Hollywood where she paid a mere $27 per month in rent. Towards the end of the war, Jean met her husband, William Elmo Crawford. William was from Georgia and served in the Navy during World War II and for a short time following the war. Jean and William were married during one of his leaves on October 14, 1946. The newlyweds then had their honeymoon at "The Hide-Away" at Malibu Lakeside which was Jean's final trip to the cabin. Leo Samwell passed away in December 1947, and the family sold the cabin shortly thereafter. Jean supported herself as a seamstress, often for Hollywood stars, while she waited for William to finish his service in the Navy. Eventually, the couple settled in Sacramento, California, where William worked at McClellan Air Force Base.
Extent
2.8 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Box, 3 Oversize Boxes)
Restrictions
Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Availability
Advance notice required for access.