Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving at Hotel Fern -- with the Blandings in Los Angeles

Thanksgiving turkey dinner was always a tradition in my family.  I came across this photo and am thinking that it might have been a Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas dinner.  The location was Hotel Fern in Los Angeles.  My grandfather, Leonard Pearce (who married Grace), and my father, Vincent Hague (who married their daughter) were both boarders in this hotel, and ate around this table as the years passed by.

Hotel Fern, Los Angeles about 1910-1915(?).    Edith Blanding (my great-grandmother) seated on the right, along with three daughters, Pearl (3rd from right), Grace (4th from right) and Fern (standing)  The men are the boarders. Perhaps for Thanksgiving dinner.  .  On the wall are charcoal crayon drawings of Frank & Edith when they were married in Goodhue county, Minnesota in 1884.  Perhaps my great-grandfather, Frank W. Blanding took this photo?
My great-grandparents, Frank and Edith Blanding owned, built and ran a boarding house at 1766 E. 21st Street near downtown.  The Hotel was named after their eldest child, Fern, who was 20 years old when the hotel was built in 1910.   I always wanted to learn more about that Hotel and the life and times of the Blanding, Akins, Squier family living there off and on, for about 28 years.

Hotel Fern 1766 East 21st Street, Los Angeles - abt 1913

I had a cousin, Joyce Movius, draw a diagram of how she remembered the Hotel layout when she was a girl staying there in 1928.  It shows the large parlor with dining table and piano, the large kitchen and three bedrooms on the first floor.  The bedrooms were those of my great-grandmother, Edith (Frank died in 1926), my grandmother Grace with her second husband, Bobby, and my mother, Nadine Pearce.
I've traced the records in Los Angeles, as best I can, for the history of the Hotel. In the basement of the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office in Norwalk, California, the county land deeds, etc., may be found (if you're lucky).
                                The deed as recorded in the record book - not very easy to read from the microfilmed copy
I have transcribed the deed - see below:
BLANDING, F. W.       23 Mar 1910
Corporation Grant Deed.    Book # 4148, Page 272 Document #77, 2 pages – copied 25 Mar 1910
Los Angeles Investment Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of California and having its principal place of business at Los Angeles , State of California, the party of the first part, in consideration of Ten ($10) Dollars, does hereby grant to F. W. Blanding, of the City and County of Los Angeles, State of California, and party of the second part, all that real property situated in the City of and County of Los Angeles, State of California described as follows:
Lot Sixty three (63) Elder Place, as per map recorded in Book 7 Page 27 of maps in the office of the County Recorder of said County.
     To have and to Hold in the said grantee (?) his heirs or assigns. Subject to the conditions and reservations contained in the deed from Charles Abbot Eldert in Los Angeles Investment and Trust Company a corporation recorded in Book 2334 Page 232 of Deeds. Records of Los Angeles County to which record reference is hereby made for particulars. (note: for “reservations” --see “Bargain and Sale Deed dated 12 July 1905 between Elder and Los Angeles Investment & Trust Company – includes restriction about not selling to “any person of African descent” dated 12 July 1905-dw).
  Also subject to the taxes for fiscal year 1910-1911.
  In Witness Whereof the said party of the first part has hereunto caused its corporation name and seal to be affixed by its President and Secretary, there unto duly authorized this 23rd day of March 1910.
Los Angeles Investment Company
By Chas. W. Elder. President
W. D. Dieble, Secretary

Current site (2008) of the Hotel Fern which once was at 1766 E 21st St. Los Angeles, California 

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