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Old Posted Jul 16, 2020, 9:51 AM
Mackerm Mackerm is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: San Gabriel Valley
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post
First off, to get oriented, here's the 1873 map of Los Angeles, which I've brazenly stolen from MR's earlier post (


I first came across the photo below -- which I'll subsequently refer to as the mystery photo -- at the USC Digital Library site, where it is undated and unlocated
(, then I found it at the Autry National Center site, where they have ID'd the photo as Sonoratown, 1860.
The angular white buildings(s) in the foreground of the northeast-looking mystery photo are on the corners of Eternity (not named on map), Church* (or Bread),
and Calle Principal. If I'm not mistaken, the large two-story building on the right side of the photo is the Bath Street Public School, built c. 1854. The street
that comes in from the left side of the photo and seemingly disappears behind that building is Alameda Street, and I'm pretty sure that the white line running
eastward from the back of the two-story building is Macy Street: --
*The side with eight doors and one window.

Compare the mystery photo with this one, which LAPL says is c. 1875 (and taken from the Pico House, which is impossible). USC has the same photo without
identifying where it was taken from but also says it was taken c. 1875 (although the USC print has 1869 written on it):

USC --

In the above photo, we see on the left the northwest corner of Church and Calle Principal. The building two structures south of the two-story building now also
has a second story. The three-story building in the background, on the southeast corner of Alameda and Macy, is the Sisters of Charity Orphanage, built in 1857
( or 1858 (LAPL). That orphanage was replaced by the big one in Boyle Heights in 1891, which we've seen here before.

I know the two photos were taken from slightly different angles. But if the mystery photo was taken after the Sisters of Charity Orphanage was built, shouldn't we
be able to see just a sliver of the orphanage on the right edge of the mystery photo?

The payoff here is that if the mystery photo was taken before 1858, it would apparently be the oldest known photograph of Los Angeles:
Did you get any feedback on whether this is indeed the oldest known photo of Los Angeles? (This is a 2013 post from page 776.)

I happened to be reading about the Sisters of Charity school. The 1873 Ruxton survey shows it as a rectangle:

But this panoramic map dated 1871 shows it as "L" shaped: (also note the circular drawing in the lower right.)

This 1877 panoramic map also shows it as "L" shaped:
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