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Old Posted May 30, 2012, 7:56 AM
Rethinker Rethinker is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Los Angeles
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George R. Shatto



Chaplin at Shatto Place from his 1914 Keystone one-reeler "Between Showers." Spiffy new curbs and sidewalks! This shot prodded me to unearth George R. Shatto, Michigander turned L.A. entrepreneur who, among other ventures, bought Catalina in 1887 but went bust in 1892, selling the island to the Banning brothers at a hefty loss. Here's George's truly swanky manse at 616 Witmer, site of today's Good Samaritan Hospital. That's George and the family out front.


USC Digital Library

The name "Avalon" was his sister-in-law's idea. George had named it the Town of Shatto after picking the plot, launching a ferry service for tourists, and building the original Hotel Metropole which burned down in 1915.



The Hotel Metropole. 80 rooms, 3 stories, all wood.

USC Digital Library


Circa 1897, USC Digital Library

Shatto was the sole fatality in a nasty Southern Pacific train crash in 1883 as he was coming home from panning for gold in the Mojave. Shatto Place, 4½ miles west of Shatto Street (which led to George's manse), apparently didn't emerge until Westlake moved west in 1905. At least that's what I've gleaned from Los Angeles Herald ads.


Library of Congress, Los Angeles Herald

Still, an amazing guy, a Los Angeles police commissioner who tackled the touchy issue of gambling in Chinatown, but cut down in his 33rd year. Ah, the stories behind the names of LA's 6,499.5 miles of streets. Today, water gushes down the west curb of Shatto Place at 5th Street every half-hour or so. It's auto-pumped out of the basement of 501 Shatto Place, a block from the Chinese embassy -- remnants of native springs still bubbling their way to the surface. That's what the security guard tells me.

My first post. I'm in awe of you guys!
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