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Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 5:50 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West Los Angeles
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Eric Campbell, Baron Long and the Vernon Country Club

Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post
Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post
The guy chasing Charlie Chaplin in the scene above is Eric Campbell. I remembered that Campbell had
died in an auto accident, but I never knew it was at Wilshire and Vermont
Wow, thanks FW. There's a lovely bio of Eric Campbell (1879-1917) here


I wasn't surprised that Campbell got roaring drunk at Baron Long's Vernon Country Club (Santa Fe and 49th) because everybody did:


LA Herald, 24 Jan 1917:

Vernon, “Exclusively Industrial” (well, obviously not quite).
A river runs through it:

google maps

We've been down that way before:
Originally Posted by Noircitydame View Post
LAT 1926
LA County was dry in the teens, except for Venice and Vernon. Baron Long had clubs both places, but his Vernon Country Club (opened May, 1912) was truly famous. Everybody went there. Long is credited with actually inventing the nightclub and also for bringing jazz to Southern California. He hired Valentino in 1917 to dance at the club, but then fired him because he couldn't sing. Long also hired a ukulele-player he found on Venice Boardwalk, Buddy de Sylva, who later wrote song lyrics: "Button-up Your Overcoat", "California Here I Come", "If You Knew Suzy", etc.

Baron Long had previously gone in with Jim Jefferies (also discussed on the thread) on the boxer's Athletic Club in Vernon. Another colleague was fight-promoter Jack Doyle who built the Central Saloon in Vernon (at Santa Fe and Joy) in 1910. It had a 100-foot bar and 37 bartenders.

All three seem to have gone in together to build the famous Vernon Arena, run by Doyle. Even Dempsey fought there:


Prohibition didn't really slow Baron Long down, but, in 1929, the Vernon Country Club burned to the ground. Baron Long didn't seem to mind that much. He bought the Biltmore Hotel in 1933 (he'd run a speakeasy there during Prohibition).

Baron Long:


A fascinating bio of Baron Long is here.

Baron Long sounds like a noirisher at heart (only it was San Diego's past he was passionate about). His friend Damon Runyon recalled,

"If Baron Long has any hobby other than breeding and racing horses, it is San Diego. He will walk the innocent wayfarer quite bowlegged about the streets of the city, showing him the visible marks of the city’s growth, and he likes to direct the walking along about 3 o’clock in the morning, so that traffic will not impede his progress.

He has a mania for old types of architecture. I suppose I gazed upon fifty ancient structures in the old part of the beautiful town one early morning while Baron Long expatiated on their unique attractions, and sleepy cops viewed us with some suspicion."


Last edited by tovangar2; Oct 6, 2015 at 9:38 PM. Reason: add map
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