Tag Archives: Flashback Friday

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank’s Train Depot

Today under the Olive Avenue Bridge there is a gleaming modern train station.

It has ample parking, and Elevator to take people up to or down from the Bridge, plenty of parking and platforms for riders to embark or dis-embark the trains with ease. Buses wait to take people to their next stop and it is a model of modern mass transportation.

Train Station. Photo property of: Burbank Historical Society
114 N. Lomita Street, Burbank, CA 91506 818 841-6333
ghowardmuseum@sbcglobal.net www.burbankhistoricalsoc.com
All Rights Reserved Copyright 2011

However, not that long ago an unassuming little station not much different than the ones you see in old westerns stood on the same site.

The station was placed there to accommodate prospective land buyers coming out from Los Angeles to take a buggy ride around town with Burbank’s only realtor J.W. Fawkes, whose home was just across the tracks where Borrmann Steel is today.

He was to take these buyers on a tour of the town and available properties. Hence the placement of the Station.

During the depression Burbank even had a Hobo community across the tracks where the City Public Works Yard is today. Burbank was a well known Hobo stop as many citizens would employ these riders of the rails for day work.

Burbank Train Depot 1932.010 Photo property of: Burbank Historical Society
114 N. Lomita Street, Burbank, CA 91506 818 841-6333
ghowardmuseum@sbcglobal.net www.burbankhistoricalsoc.com
All Rights Reserved Copyright 2011

After some time and growth in Burbank the Station received a makeover with a stucco exterior and a Spanish tile roof. Then came the Golden State Freeway and the passenger trains ceased to stop here. Only freight trains with business cargo stopped in town and not always at the train station.

The station was featured in a Rita Hayworth movie “Down to Earth” and can be seen as the train passes Burbank several times in the same scene.

The station was then used by several companies for other purposes last being a chemical recycling drop off.

Then the building became vacant and some homeless had moved in and one day started a fire which damaged part of the building and the City decided it was time for a new station that could meet the needs of the modern commuter.

You can watch the Rita Hayworth clip.

 

The footage used for the Movie is taken along the rails from about the 134 frwy meets San Fernando Blvd. and continues to just past the Burbank train station. Click this link to see the station at the 4:06 min mark. 1946 was the year, a couple of Hobos are behind some lumber as the train passes see if you can spot them.

 

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lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank’s Cornell Theater

Before the modern multiplex movie theaters of today like AMC, Burbank had its single screen movie palaces.

One of the biggest and very popular among locals was the Cornell. Located on San Fernando Rd. between Bethany and Cornell Dr. it was one of the most stylish movie houses in Burbank.

It boasted an ultra-modern exterior with a posh lobby and a theater interior of gold painted wall art and red velvety upholstered seats with beautiful carpeting throughout. You felt like you were somebody just buying a ticket.

Many remember the Saturday matinees for .25 cents, popcorn, milk duds and a drink would break the bank at .30 cents for the three!

You also got 2 feature films! Such a deal!

As with most good things, the Cornell theater began to decline and multi-screen theater complexes were beginning to appear in other towns drawing people away from Burbank.

By the time I became a Cornell fan (I felt so grown up as an 11 year old to go to see a movie with my friends.) the interior was in decay and a joke of the time was that “you had to wear two pairs of pants. One pair to leave stuck to the seat and one pair to walk home in”.

Sad to say I don’t get that same feeling of Awe when I go into the AMC as I did at the Cornell even as old as it was.

Next time you go to Popeye’s or Pizza hut or across the street at Mc Donald’s, think of the 50 foot tall Cornell sign reaching skyward with its Neon lit letters and the glowing marquee with today’s film displayed.

Back when there was real magic in “going to the Movies”.

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Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank 1945 Becomes a Repatriation Community!

In the wake of the end of WWII, Burbank had played an important role in the war production arena to insure Victory with the thousands of airplanes Produced to fight Tyranny.

This is well known to most Burbank citizens.

What is very little known is Burbank’s post war efforts to help people return to a normal life.

Burbank was named as one of the repatriation cities for Japanese Americans and took this job very seriously. The City dedicated land and materials to house the people returning to the Los Angeles area from the camps where they were interred  during the war.

This was temporary housing while they got their lives back on track and found more permanent work and lodging.

Near the airport was a large area where the City placed a large number of Airstream type trailers and community buildings for food service and other assistance. Along Magnolia Blvd were some housing projects that were in the early stages of construction that were used for more temporary housing.

While we have no numbers of how many families and individuals came here to make a new start we do know that Burbank was instrumental in helping them with all their needs in blending back into society.

A time we all can look back and be proud that our people and City came together to help Humanity.

A portion of the Magnolia Housing Project at Burbank, California, where returned evacuees find temporary quarters while locating homes in the Los Angeles area. 11/1945

Family belongings arrive by truck from the relocation center at a temporary trailer home in the Burbank, California (Winona Housing Project, where returned evacuees are provided with temporary quarters while finding their permanent homes in and around Los Angeles, California). 11/1945

A section of the Winona Housing Project, Burbank, California, where trailer homes are provided for returned evacuees while they are securing permanent homes in and around Los Angeles. 11/1945

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Forget John Deere Get Your Earthmaster Tractor Right Here!

I am sure as you look around town you would not think of Burbank as a large farming community, but it was indeed once a place to get great produce from!

To have a good running farm you need a good tractor!

Enter the Earthmaster Farm Equipment company.

Yes Burbank once had a tractor of its own. While most of the parts and such were manufactured elsewhere, it was here that the company made its headquarters.

The company was short lived but produced a number of models and attachments for use with the tractors. Mostly sold on the west coast in California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona. The company was sold in the late 1940 to an eastern company.

These tractors have become collectable if you can find one you could own a piece of Burbank History!

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Buena Vista Park

Before it became known as Johnny Carson Park, the wonderful sprawling park between St Josephs Hospital and the old NBC Studios property was known as Buena Vista Park.

It was noted for its wandering trails and its small stream and a large casting pool.

The pool quickly became the favorite hangout for young boys who like to fish and make and sail model boats.

Many great events took place at the site and it quickly became a favorite camp site for local Boy Scout troops. I remember several overnight camping outings there as a Scout in the late 1960’s.

Alas the casting Pool is gone now and the park has been totally redone. But many will remember the Scout Camps, Sail Boat regattas, learning to fish and the great family picnics. I know also that the new park is creating many fond memories for people today that will last a lifetime.  

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Orange Grove and Glenoaks, Once the Transportation Hub of Burbank

What is now the back parking lot of the Burbank Police & Fire Headquarters was once the place to be if you were going to travel to Glendale, Sun Valley, downtown Los Angeles and all places in between.

The Corner of Orange Grove and Glenoaks was the Burbank Depot for the RED CAR, the trolley system owned by Pacific Electric Railway. The Red Cars took people anywhere they needed or wanted to go in the greater Los Angeles County.

Glenoaks was the main track through Glendale and Burbank starting in the early 1900’s.

Ever wonder why Glenoaks is divided by the center greenbelt areas? Those were where the original tracks for the red car traveled between stops. The red trolleys were once a common sight amid the traffic and you could get on at the main station on Glenoaks and ride for a few cents.

But the Red Cars powered by clean electricity were overtaken by cars and the new freeway systems being built in the 1950’s.

Now with the over crowded freeways electric trolley’s are making a comeback and can be seen running in the center of the 134 Freeway and other places from L.A. to Long Beach.

But once upon a time the Red Car provided Burbankers with a way to go anywhere they needed to shop, work or play in L. A.!

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank’s Toy Maker, Seaver Toys

In modern times people are accustomed to seeing toys made of plastic for the most part and many have fancy electronics in them with lights and sound.

Once upon a time not so long ago, toys required imagination and were a bit more sturdy.

Seaver Toys of Burbank was a company that supplied the country with the sturdy toys that young imaginations needed to go beyond, fly high, and reach places only a child’s thoughts could take them.

Located in what is now the back part of BWP on the corner of Lake and Olive Ave was the Seaver Toy Company, who’s employees produced many types of toys all out of wood! Airplanes, Cars, Buses, Trucks and a line of ride on toys were hand crafted and put together by skilled wood workers.

The nearby Burbank Lumber yard supplied all the wood for the company.

To attest to the quality of these toys you can still find many examples of their products today. I have seen them at swap meets, antique stores and especially Ebay. I as a collector own a fine example of a red airplane with black accents that suspiciously looks like a Lockheed aircraft.

To be sure you are getting the real deal Seaver had the foresight to stamp into the wood “SEAVER TOY CO. BURBANK CALIF.” This way you know it’s the real deal when you shop for one.

If you like things Burbank and enjoy antiques you would do well to have one of these local made items from a bygone era grace your home.

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FRIDAY FLASHBACK: History Of Burbank’s City Seals – Part 2

Last week we looked at the first two Seals that represented Burbank. Now the final two…

Our next City Seal took a new direction in shape and added color to the mix. The airplane received a larger part and a central place in the seal and also incorporated the look of industry. Lockheed became a huge power in the local economy and hence the planes prominent position and size. Added was a movie reel to indicate the beginning of the Media Capital of the World!

 

Lastly we have the current city seal which was a departure from the traditional seals that proceeded it. The shape was changed and the Air Polluting  smoke stacks of industry were removed. The Airplane remained and the Movie reel was updated to a section of film with a movie lighting fixture in the film frame. Also added was the Iconic City Hall and an over all banner with the title City Of Burbank. The sunrise and mountain motif from the second seal return in a stylized fashion.

Our City Seals offer an interesting look at the city’s history and Progress.

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Mary Frances Reynolds (Debbie)

Today we would like to Remember and Honor Mary Frances Reynolds.

Known to fans as Debbie Reynolds who recently passed away. Many know her name but do not realize she got her start as the 1948 Miss Burbank and was discovered and started in the motion picture industry soon after. She entered the contest not to win but to get the free Blouse and scarf offered to all who entered. little did she know at the time it would change her life entirely.

In her own words she had this to say…

ONE MAY DAY in 1948, my friend Norma Harris and I were walking down Magnolia Boulevard when we saw a little handbill advertising the Miss Burbank contest that was being sponsored by Lock- heed Aircraft. Every girl who entered, it said, no matter what, received a blouse and a scarf. All you had to do was enter and they gave you a scarf and a blouse?! The only requirement was that the girls had to be sixteen or over. I made it by a month! We hurried right over to the Recreation Hall to sign up.

It seemed like half the girls in my class were there registering – the pretty half, that is. After all, it was a beauty contest. But that didn’t matter to me. I didn’t tell anybody, but I never dreamed of going through with it. I was not exactly a member of the glamour department; I didn’t even wear lipstick. What did matter was getting the white silk’ sports blouse and a green scarf. Plus we were all going to be taken someplace for a free lunch! A party! My mother thought we were crazy when we told her.”

To read more about her Miss Burbank pageant story click here 
She was a humble girl and had many hidden talents she went on to star in movies, have her own Vegas show, records and TV shows etc. Even though she moved on from Burbank she remained loyal to her home town. We should remember her as Our hometown girl also. may she rest in peace.

More Debbie photos click here

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank Military Academy

In the Late 1920’s to the late 1930’s the was an academy on the edge of town near the corner of Winona and Parish Pl. 

It was a Military type academy for the teaching and training of young boys. 

The school offered young men the opportunity for education mixed with military discipline and courses not taught in regular school.

The Burbank Military Academy was short lived in Burbank but evidence of its existence can be seen today as the school / barracks can be seen there today with the letters emblazoned across the front of the apartment building that was the main school Building.

For more info go to http://wesclark.com/burbank/bma.html

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.