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Old Posted May 31, 2013, 5:11 AM
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Flyingwedge Flyingwedge is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
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Palm-photo-free Dr. William A. Hammel info

How is Dr. William A. Hammel, born in Germany, then a resident of Washington, D.C., later the builder of one of the first brick homes in Los Angeles on San Pedro Street in the mid-1850s -- which he surrounded with palm trees -- connected to the song "California, Here I Come"? Let me explain.

Dr. Hammel and his wife, in addition to begatting future Los Angeles County Sheriff William A. Hammel, also had an older daughter, Kate. In 1869 Kate married George Gard, who later became both City of Los Angeles Police Chief and Los Angeles County Sheriff (BTW, the 1931 Los Angeles Times map/model of 1881 Los Angeles has George Gard's home on San Pedro Street where the Hammel Palms were).

Among the children of George Gard and Kate Hammel was Georgetta Gard. Georgetta married actor Hal De Forrest, whose real name was Aloysius J. De Sylva. In 1895 Georgetta and Aloysius had a son whom they named George Gard De Sylva. He grew up to be known as Buddy DeSylva, songwriter ("California, Here I Come" "April Showers", among others), film producer (20 Century Fox, Paramount), and record executive (a founder of Capitol Records).

In 1934, James Elwood Webb designed a bookplate for DeSylva: --

The text under the small house at the top of the page says, "Brick House Built 1853 In Los Angeles By Dr. William A. Hammel." Is this the house behind (north of) the famous Hammel/Arcade Palm? I dunno. But Buddy knew who his great-grandpa was, anyhow.

Info from: and and and

Last edited by Flyingwedge; May 31, 2013 at 5:52 AM.
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