Guide to the Harry Fryman Collection, 1880-1947

Special Collections & Archives

Oviatt Library

California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA, 91330
Phone: (818) 677-2832
Fax: (818) 677-2589
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Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Harry Fryman Collection
Dates: 1880-1947
Identification: URB/HFC
Creator: Fryman, Harry, 1876-1946
Physical Description: 0.42 linear feet
Repository: Urban Archives
Abstract: The Harry Fryman Collection documents Fryman's work in the early 20th century hospitality industry through maps, receipts, and photographs related to Los Angeles hotels and cafes. Both his work as a Southern California land developer and the role of Fryman Ranch in silent film production are documented through photographs and advertisements.

Biographical Information:

Harry C. Fryman (1876-1946) was born in Ohio and moved to Los Angeles in 1893. He began his career in the local hotel business as a bellboy at the Mount Lowe Hotel, but eventually worked his way up to manager. After working at Mount Lowe Hotel, he managed Hollenbeck Café, Hotel Vincent (later Hotel Palms), Gordon Arms Hotel (later Brighton Beach Hotel at Terminal Island), Van Nuys Hotel on Broadway, and the Lankershim Hotel. He married Mae A. Fox in 1900. In 1905 he constructed Hotel Hayward at the former location of the original Ralph's grocery store, at 6th and Spring in downtown Los Angeles. Its early success led to the building of additions in the late 1910s and mid 1920s. His Wagener nephews worked with him, with Russell H. Wagener managing Hotel Hayward for a number of years.
In addition to his work in the hospitality industry, he was also engaged with Los Angeles land developments, including Commonweath Home Builders (Watts), Cudahy Walnut Land Company (Huntington Park), Washington Square Land Company, Sunnybrook Land Company (adjacent to Culver City), as well as developments in Lytle Creek, Calabasas, and Briarcliff Manor in Studio City near Laurel Canyon and Mulholland. He was civically engaged, and served as a member and in leadership roles for a number of organizations, including the Civil Service Commission and the Police Commission. He retired in 1943 after selling the Hayward Hotel.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Paper records
Photographic material

Administrative Information

Processing Information:

Mallory Furnier, 2018

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Scope and Contents

Harry C. Fryman rose to prominence through his work in the Los Angeles hospitality industry, first as a bellboy, then as hotel manager, and finally as owner of Hotel Hayward. The Harry Fryman Collection documents Hotel Hayward through press clippings, photographs, promotional ephemera, and a small number of financial documents. Correspondence, menus, and promotional ephemera document his time before Hotel Hayward at the Echo Mountain House at Mount Lowe, Palms Hotel, Hotel Vincent, and Brighton Beach Hotel at Terminal Island.
Parallel to his success at Hotel Hayward, Fryman managed and invested in a number of real estate ventures in the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Fryman Ranch, located in the area near Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive, was often rented as a location for silent films. Photographs that depict filming in the Fryman Ranch area include production stills for The Tower of Lies (1925), Annie Laurie (1927), The Enemy (1927), The Cossacks (1928), and an unidentified western. Actors include Bill Haines, Lillian Gish, Ralph Forbes, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, Nils Asther, and Lon Chaney.
In the late 1930s Fryman began developing land in the area of Fryman Ranch, subdividing the property into Briarcliff Manor and Briarcrest. Beverly Crest Realty Company managed the subdivision comprised of land formerly owned by the Lankershim Ranch, Land and Water Company, and originally part of the Spanish Rancho Mission de San Fernando. Newspaper advertisements billed Briarcliff Manor as the “Beverly Hills of the Valley,” and a number of prominent film production and local community members purchased lots and built homes in the real estate development. Photographs and newspaper advertisements document the development of Briarcliff real estate.
Collection materials were removed from a scrapbook assembled posthumously, and the loose original thematic and chronological order was echoed in this arrangement.

Collection Contents

Box 1, Folder 1

Fryman, Harry Photographs and Biographical Clippings, ca. 1880-1945

Box 1, Folder 2

Fryman, Harry, Family, and Friends Photographs, ca. 1900-1935

Box 1, Folder 3

Hotel Correspondence, Ephemera, and Photographs, 1897-1901

Box 1, Folder 4

Fryman, Harry Community Leadership Ephemera and Photographs, ca. 1932-1935

Box 1, Folder 5

Landscapes [Fryman Ranch] and Harry Fryman Photographs, ca. 1928-1938

Box 1, Folder 6

Hotel Hayward Clippings, Ephemera, and Photographs, ca. 1905-1932

Box 1, Folder 7

Fryman Ranch Deed, Photographs, Production Stills, and Rental Agreement, 1925-1939

Box 1, Folder 8

Briarcliff Manor and Briarcrest Development Clippings, Loan Document, Maps, and Photographs, ca. 1931-1942

Box 1, Folder 9

Fryman, Harry and John Wagener Obituaries, 1927, 1946-1947

Box 1, Folder 10

Briarcliff Manor Clippings and Photographs, ca. 1939-1941

Box 1, Folder 11

Briarcliff Manor Clippings and Photographs, ca. 1939-1941

Box 1, Folder 12

Briarcliff Manor Clippings and Photographs, ca. 1941-1943