Anybody want a century-old Echo Park Lake wagon wheel?

Apr 2, 2013

Photos from Greenwood & Associates

They found no bodies when Echo Park Lake was drained for an $85 million clean up. What did turn up were shopping carts, skateboards and parts of an approximately 100-year-old wooden wagon wheel and axle, which might have been part of a wagon used during the construction of the lake or for other neighborhood purposes.  Some residents have been asking what the city was going to do with the wagon wheel and assembly, which even attracted the attention of L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez. Would it become part of a historical display at the lake? Nope. It turns out the city wants to get rid of the relic.

But so far there have been no takers and the old wagon wheel might be carted off to a dump.

The muddy wood wheel and axle and corroded metal tires, now stored in a building at Echo Park Lake, have been offered to a numerous groups “that might be interested in its acquisition and display”  after the city officials  showed “no intention of keeping”  the pieces, according to an email sent out by archaeologist Michael Kay with Greenwood and Associates, a history and archeology consultant working on the lake project. Said the email:

We are inquiring whether your organization may have any use for the remains of the wagon axle assembly. At this point, the remains are corroded and show their age.  However, organizations such as yours may find them to be of value as an ornamental or educational feature that reflects the early history of Echo Park and surrounding Los Angeles communities, and with the encouragement of the City, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to preserve and display the assembly.

“It’s up for grabs,” Kay said in an interview today. ” No one has expressed interest.”

The city wants the wheel and axle of the property by the end of the week. Any takers would have to arrange for picking up and transporting the wheel, which won’t be easy. “It’s a huge assembly,” said Kay, who authored a report on the wheel. “It’s very heavy.”

There is nothing unique or valuable about  axle, wheels and tires in themselves but they would help tell the story about the lake and Echo Park.  ” In the context of the development of Echo Park Lake and the lake, I think it’s significant.”

If you are interested in the wheel and axle,  Kay asks that you leave your name and contact info in the comments section.

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