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Old Posted Jan 17, 2016, 8:13 AM
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Flyingwedge Flyingwedge is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
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Still more Ellis Villa College/Belmont Hotel and Ellis College/Belmont Hall

Some prior posts:

These two buildings were located on what is now the south side of Beverly Blvd., between Loma Drive and
Witmer Street (north of Beverly, Loma turns into Belmont Ave.). EVC/BH was near Loma, and EC/BH was to
the east, closer to Witmer. Here is the wider area on a modern map:


And here it is in 1888, when Beverly and Loma were Diamond Street and Belmont Avenue, respectively.
Lakeshore Avenue north of Diamond Street, now Glendale Blvd., leads to today's Echo Park Lake. What
we see here as Figueroa Street became Boylston Street:

1888 Sanborn Map @ LAPL

The online copy of the 1888 Sanborn Map that shows the two buildings is divided into two. [HossC did a much
nicer job of stitching the maps together than I did, so I've substituted his effort here for my original image.
Thanks HossC!] Ellis Villa College, later the Belmont Hotel, was first, then the second institution/building
was just Ellis College, later called Belmont Hall:


This is the corner of Belmont and Diamond, near the Belmont Hotel. Please note the lone home to the west of
the Belmont Hotel, the small one-story-with-front-porch office building on the NW corner of Belmont and
Diamond, and the store on the NE corner of Belmont and Diamond that has its front porch out in the street:

1888 Sanborn @ LAPL

The next two photos provide an overlapping panorama looking north from the EVC/BH building. The first photo is
captioned for us and might actually look a bit NW. In the foreground is Diamond St. west of Belmont Ave.
Please note the porch on the right rear of the dark home above "1886" as well as the post behind the home:

0001379125 @ CA State Library

The left end of this photo overlaps with the right end of the photo above. At far left, you can see the tip of
the porch from the house in the previous photo, plus the post behind the house. A couple of houses in the
background and what looks like a long white fence are also in both photos. From the last Sanborn Map,
the little office on the NW corner of Diamond and Belmont, and the store on the NE corner, appear to be in
the foreground here. I believe we can see Echo Park Lake in the middle distance, just to the left of center:

00054855 @ LAPL

UPDATE: HossC gets another tip of the NLA cap for stitching together the two above photos into a panorama. Wow!:

Again, this was the Ellis Villa College building. It opened in September 1884, reopened as the Belmont Hotel in
June 1886, and burned down in December 1887. We're looking west. The home on the west side of Belmont Ave.,
west of the Belmont Hotel, which we saw on the last Sanborn Map above, can be seen here at right, peeking out
from behind the Belmont Hotel:

00007003 @ LAPL

This photo of "Belmont Park" looks west at the site of the former EVC/BH. You can match up the sidewalk
patterns and the short stairway that was between the two wings of the structure. We can see all of the
house on the west side of Belmont Ave/Loma Drive that we saw part of in the photo above. In the rear,
the building with the cupola is the Union Avenue School. This photo was probably taken from the Ellis College/
Belmont Hall building, which opened in September 1886. LAPL dates the photo 1888, but the Union Avenue
School was built in 1890:

00009977 @ LAPL

Here's the Union Avenue School on the 1894 Sanborn:


"But FW," you must be thinking, "you told us that the Ellis College building burned down on July 2, 1888.
If so, how could the photo above showing the site of the Belmont Hotel have been taken in 1890 or later
from the Ellis College/Belmont Hall building?"

The July 3, 1888 LA Herald article on the fire used phrases like "Destroyed by Fire" and "a mass of ruins,"
and the Times, too, said Ellis College had "burned to the ground" (after three previous fires?):

July 3, 1888 LA Times @ LAPL

In any event, Ellis College was rebuilt and reopened in September 1888:

Sep 1 1888 LA Herald @ LOC

Sep 8 1888 LA Herald @ LOC

1888 LA City Directory @

But apparently the money ran out the next year:

Nov 12 1889 LA Times @ LAPL

Dec 2 1889 LA Times @ LAPL

For a few years in the early 1890s, the building was home to a school known as Belmont Hall, run by Professor
Horace A. Brown and his wife:

Aug 4 1891 LA Times @ LAPL

Here is a photo of the building as Belmont Hall (there is a sign on the roof). The photo is undated but is said to
depict a "young ladies' seminary":

00026170 @ LAPL

Below is a photo of the Ellis College building published in 1889. Between the 2nd and 3rd floors is a sign that says "The Ellis College."
Although the landscaping has matured in the larger photo, the buildings look identical. Therefore, the photo below likely shows the
post-fire Ellis College building. There may not be a close-up photo of the pre-fire Ellis College:

Los Angeles, Illustrated (1889) @ HathiTrust --;seq=13

The two photos above seem to match the 1888 Sanborn, so the larger photo must have been taken before 1894
(the west side is different):

1888 Sanborn @ LAPL

1894 Sanborn @ LAPL

By 1895 the Browns had apparently departed Belmont Hall, which then became home to
Ms. Josephine M. Holmes and her followers. Ms. Holmes is somewhat googleable:

Anyway, Ms. Holmes caught the attention of the LA Times. If the Times can be believed,
Ms. Holmes felt that all science and education were the work of devils:

Feb 17, 1895 LA Times @ LAPL

When the LA County District Attorney refused to arrest Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis for libel as
a result of the Feb 17, 1895 story, Ms. Holmes tried to have the District Attorney removed from office:

Ms. Holmes sued Otis for libel and lost. She left the country in 1897 but returned to Belmont Hall in 1902.
An October 1902 Times article said Belmont Hall was run as a boarding house and had 35 residents, most
of whom were "unacquainted with the rites and other practices of the disciples of Miss Holmes and have
nothing to do with them; other boarders are her converts." The article said Ms. Holmes had returned to LA
as the "Perpetual Advisory-General President of the Indo-American Woman's Restoration League."

Belmont Hall's last address looks to have been 1511 Silver, which is now 2nd Street. This is the 1904
LA City Directory:

The 1905 LA City Directory:

1906 Sanborn:


OK, I think this really was the end of Ellis College/Belmont Hall:

Nov 28, 1909 LA Herald @ LOC

Last edited by Flyingwedge; Jan 22, 2019 at 3:27 AM. Reason: stupid photobucket and its "~original" extension
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