save the dateSunday, November 15, 2015
The glorious former Bullocks Wilshire building
Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Invitation, Pricing, and Ticket Purchase Link to follow.

For sponsorship or event details, please send us an email.

Walking Tour of Chinatown

(A Los Angeles City Historical Society membership event)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

We will meet at the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 411 Bernard Street, Los Angeles, north of the Empress Pavilion. Our tour moderator will be Eugene Moy, past president of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and current board member of the Chinese American Museum.

Please note: A $12 donation is requested and our tour group is limited to 20 people.*

*Be sure to e-mail Sandi Hemmerlein:

Click here for Chinatown Walking Tour ticket information

“Chinatown and Beyond: How Chinese-Americans helped build Los Angeles and California

Sunday, June 7, 2015, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

An illustrated presentation will be made by Eugene Moy, past president of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and board member of the Chinese American Museum

Marie Northrop Lectures are held in the Mark Taper Auditorium, on the first floor of Central Library downtown, at 640 W. 5th Street. Los Angeles.

For handicap-accessibility accommodation, please call the Central Library at 213-228-7430 at least 72 hours prior to the event.

The library garage is located on the east side of Flower Street, just south of 5th Street.  Please note that Flower Street is one-way, south.
Parking is available after 1:00 pm for $1 and a library card.


 Tartaglia advertising mirror


The Los Angeles City Historical Society recently held a lecture about the Italian immigrants to Los Angeles as part of the Marie Northrop Lecture series.  Always on the lookout for Los Angeles historical memorabilia, I happened to find an advertising mirror that advertises the Tartaglia and Bros. Tailors with their motto, “Six Brothers, Six Reasons.”    Many businesses used promotional giveaways of this type in the early part of the 20th century.  This one is special.   Photographs of each of the six Tartaglia brothers, Charles, Joseph, Michael, John, Angelo and Otto grace the front of the mirror.  All the Tartaglia brothers were born in Italy and immigrated to the United States settling in Los Angeles.  Charles arrived first in 1902. Joseph and Michael came to America in 1905 and 1906, respectively. Charles joined the Journeymen Tailors Union of America in 1907 and the same year opened his tailoring business “Charles Tartaglia & Bros. Tailors.”  Brothers John and Angelo immigrated in 1909 and Otto in 1912 to join the business.  The brothers were all about 14 or 15 when they immigrated with the exception of John who came when he was 24.  Charles married his wife Rosina who emigrated from Italy in 1913 and was 10 years his junior.  They both became naturalized citizens in 1917.   By 1920, three of the brothers had married and they all lived next to each other on S. St. Andrews Place.   Each of the married brothers had one bachelor brother living with them.


The Tartaglia tailors prided themselves on their union affiliation calling themselves the union tailors for men and women.  Their advertisement from the 1914 California State Federation of Labor Yearbook  stressed their being the only “reliable” union tailors.  Otto, the youngest of the six  had immigrated in 1912 so the “six brothers” motto had to been developed between 1912 and 1914.     On October 12, 1929,  the Los Angeles Times reported that Charles Tartaglia and Bros. Tailors had taken up a new home at 713 Flower Street, adding to the importance of Flower Street as an important street in the downtown Los Angeles shopping district.  The tailoring business occupied the entire two story building right next to Barker Brothers. Although there is no information to verify the date of the advertising mirror, a rough guess as to the ages of the brothers from their pictures in the 1914 advertisement and the mirror would likely date the mirror to the mid 1920’s.  By 1930 Charles was living with his wife and son Mario in his own home on Clayton Avenue, then valued at $14,000.  By 1940, Charles’ wife, Rosina, has joined him in the tailoring business; Charles was renting at that time with his business listed in the city directory at 3149 Wilshire.  Later we find the business at 9885 Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills where they catered to well-heeled clients like movie stars.  One can also find other Tartaglia tailoring establishments in other parts of Los Angeles as the family grew.


Today, collectors of vintage clothing look for the Tartaglia label.



Gene Autry purchased suits from the Tartaglia brothers in the 1960’s.  Rock Hudson also used Tartaglia brothers.  This receipt below from the Rock Hudson estate collection shows Tartaglia Bros. Tailors with two locations in 1964, one in Los Angeles and one in Beverly Hills.



Yelp reports the most recent location at 9905 Santa Monica Boulevard is closed.

Prepared by LACHS Board Member Geraldine Knatz

The City Archives is a regular contributor to Alive!, the newspaper for Los Angeles city employees. Some of the “History Comes Alive!” feature are adapted for radio and broadcast over KPCC in Pasadena as part of the “Offramp” program airing Saturdays at 12 noon and Sundays at 6pm. They are also archived on the KPCC website.

The current “Archivist Files” deals with the city’s coping with the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Using reports and other documents from the city’s municipal collections, we try to open a small window into the past. These records are part of the public record and are accessible by contacting the archives during normal office hours. Details are available on the city’s website at or calling the office at 213-473-8440.

But, here is a bit of history that we hope IS contagious.

Pico Union photo

On Saturday, March 21, a dozen members  of the Los Angeles City  Historical Society  visited a multi-faith cultural arts center known as the Pico Union Project.  The project director, Craig Taubman, told them how five years ago he became aware that the building, constructed in 1909 as a conservative Jewish temple, was for sale.  Purchasing it from a congregation of Welch Presbyterians, Taubman has led an effort to resume Jewish worship there while welcoming 5 other religious organizations the use of the renovated historic structure. Located at 1153 Valencia Street, not far from the intersection of Pico and Union, it is welcoming a local largely immigrant Hispanic community for social service programs.


IMG_1265Check out this new book about the Gilmore Oil Company by Charles G. Seims and Alan Darr.  A. F. Gilmore purchased 265 acres of land that included the corner of 3rd and Fairfax in Los Angeles.  Gilmore switched from dairy farming to the oil business and then in the 1930’s allowed farmers to park their trucks and sell there produce.   And that is how our wonderful Los Angeles icon Farmer’s Market was established.  This book focused on the history of the Gilmore Oil Company.  You can purchase it at the Farmer’s Market and also see a replica of one of the famous Gilmore gas stations on the Farmer’s Market property.  The gas station was  replicated there by Hank Hilty, the current CEO of the A.F. Gilmore Company and grandson of Earl Gilmore.



Jewish cemetery marker

Phil Blazer, author of Wrestling with the Angels:a History of Jewish Los Angeles, kicked off the Los Angeles City Historical Society 2015 lecture series today,  delighted a crowd who gathered at Los Angeles Main Library to watch three short historic  films.  Phil Blazer is president of Blazer Communications and publisher of The National Jewish News.  The first film chronicled the early Jewish immigrants to Los Angeles, eight bachelors that came from Germany and Poland. Many of these early immigrants to California worked at jobs that many do not associate with the Jewish community, such as cattle business.    The second film, narrated by Rabbi Magnin was about Jewish organizations.  The first charitable organization in Los Angeles was the Hebrew Benevolent Society founded in 1854.  The Society established a cemetery in 1855 on land acquired from the City of Los Angeles.  Today, a monument marks the site of the cemetery in Chavez Ravine, at the corner of Lookout Drive and Lilac Terrace area.  The third film was about the Jewish Aeronautical Society and included footage from the 1930’s.

Mt Yamashiro sign


The 2014 Los Angeles City Historical Society held its annual gala awards dinner high above Los Angeles at the historic Yamashiro Restaurant.    Councilman Tom LaBonge, a long-time friend and supporter of LACHS and also one of this year’s  gala award winners bestowed on the Yamashiro family a City sign declaring the hilltop site, Mount Yamashiro to commemorate their  centennial year.  This special sign indicated the elevation at 605 feet above sea level, although standing looking out over the lights of Los Angeles on that beautiful night, it seems a lot higher.     Councilman LaBonge was honored for his years of commitment and support to the society as well as his efforts to preserve the history of Los Angeles.  Other awardees included  D.  J. Waldie who received the  Thomas Owen History Memorial Award  and the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee who received the the David G. Cameron Preservation Memorial Award.  Tom La Bonge was fetted for his unwavering support for the society but this was an opportunity to “do unto others” and Tom was presented with a loaf of  “Monastery Pumpkin bread” which he normally gives to others each holiday season.   Made by the cloistered nuns from the Monastery of the Angels, the pumpkin bread has become a Los Angeles tradition and Tom LaBonge is well known for promoting its virtues.  In keeping with the LaBonge tradition, he prompted gave the bread away.   gala 2014 (2)










The Los Angeles City Historical Society invites you to its…
HOLIDAY GALA – Yamashiro Hollywood

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Reception 6:00 p.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m.

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