La Crescenta & Montrose

Jan 26, 2011

I Thought This Was Glendale!

The Facts
What It Is:
Sister suburbs at the bast of the San Gabriel Mountains, north of Glendale and west of La Cañada, about twelve miles north of downtown L.A; unincorporated, they are overseen by the L.A County goverment
Population: 18,532
Ethnic Diversity: White folks make up a considerable majority, but, move over, it’s now about 19% Asian and 10% Hispanic
Median Household Income: $60,089

Key Players
In the early 1880s, an Indiana doctor named Benjamin Briggs discovered the area while seeking a place with an ideal climate for a health resort. Although he didn’t live to see his community thrive, it did become a popular locale for clinics and health sanitariums; in the teens and ’20s, the Crescenta Valley also became home to orchards, ranches and vacation homes for well-off families way down in Los Angeles.

The Name
Briggs named La Crescenta for the crescent-shaped mountain peaks he saw out his kitchen window.

Telling Moment
When onetime owner Don Jose Maria Verdugo went bankrupt and lost the land, these San Gabriel foothills were populated mostly by bandits, some of whom were Tongva Indians that the rancho had displaced; the bandits became known as “verdugos.”

Then & Now
The flash flood on New Year’s Day 1934 brought devastation, but by the ’40s tract homes arrived, and these towns became the quiet, comfortable bedroom communities they are today, with good schools and friendly mom-n-pop businesses.

Our Favorite…
The Montrose-Crescenta Library on Honolulu, with great programs for kids and teens
Farmer’s Market: Honolulu at Ocean Ave. in Montrose, Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Park: Two Strike Park on Rosemont with sports, picnic and play facilities
Arts Organization: The Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber sponsors monthly art walks
Parade: Glendale-Montrose Christmas Parade, 1st Saturday in December
Newspapers: Glendale News-Press and Crescenta Valley Sun,
Hospital: Glendale Adventist, with complete ER, 818.409.8000
Web Site:

Don’t Be a Lawbreaker!
I know that ruler is around here somewhere…
It is illegal for any female waitress or performer in a public place to expose “any portion of either breast below a straight line so drawn that both nipples, and all portions of both breast which have a different pigmentation than that of the main portion of the breasts, are below such straight line.”

What He Said
“When the developers began to sell land up here, many were leery about shady deals. There was a saying: ‘The first year you get cheated. The second year you watched others get cheated. And the third year you started cheating others.'”
Charles Bausback, Montrose, California: The First Eighty Years

Best Hangouts
Any of several places along pedestrian-happy Honolulu in Montrose, especially the Star Café, Zeke’s Smokehouse and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Born in La Crescenta
A number of fine, upstanding citizens you’ve never heard of



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena