Archive for July, 2013

The Revenge of Ella Barrow

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

The revenge of Ella Barrow

.

CahuengaPass1882

The Cahuenga Pass as it looked in 1882

.

By Allan R. Ellenberger

.

Andrew Hay was an early settler of the Cahuenga Valley, which is now known around the world as Hollywood.  Hay was born on January 2, 1846 in London, Canada but later moved to Saginaw, Michigan, where he successfully engaged in the lumber business. In 1873 he married Lizzie Thurbis Sutherland, the daughter of J. G. Sutherland, one of Utah’s best known jurists at the time. In 1882 the Hays moved to Southern California and settled in the Cahuenga Valley, where he bought 160 acres between Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards, west of Fairfax, and devoted it to growing vegetables which he raised with the help of Chinese immigrants. Later he sub divided the area and Havenhurst Avenue in West Hollywood is reportedly named for him.

.

Hay retained the area north of Hollywood Boulevard between Sycamore and Fuller Avenues, extending north in the floor of Outpost Canyon. He made his ranch at the northern end of Camino Palmero Street and erected a mission gateway at the entrance (a revised version of that gate still stands there). Within a few years, the Hays’ started a family with the births of Bessie (1874), Chapie (1876), Edna (1878), Jamie (1880) and Hal (1882). In 1883, with four small children (Jamie died in 1881) to raise, the Hays hired seventeen year-old Ella Barrow to assist Lizzie with her domestic duties.

.

Ella Barrow, the daughter of Ireby Barrow and his wife Martha, was described as having a dark complexion, buxom, not particularly preprocessing, but with a bright face and eye. Ella was the fifth born of what would eventually be fifteen Barrow children. The Barrow’s had moved from Illinois to California in 1880 and purchased land with boundaries of Beverly Boulevard on the south, Rosewood Avenue on the north, Vermont Avenue on the east and Normandie on the west.

.

barrowfarm

The Ireby Barrow farm circa 1894 (USC)

.

.

Ella was working for the Hay’s for just a little time when on Wednesday, March 7, 1883, she accompanied him into town to do some shopping. Once the errands were completed, Hay loitered about for some time, until almost dusk, and then they began for home. As they passed Senator Cornelius Cole’s home near Santa Monica and Lodi, Hay turned the carriage right and continued up Vine Street and told Ella he was taking a short cut home. They eventually made their way to the entrance to the Cahuenga Pass, stopping at a ravine or gully where he made the excuse that there was something wrong with one of the horse’s bridles. He stopped the team and got out to fix it. When he returned to the wagon, it was on Ella’s blind side, and walking to the front, he grabbed her and molested her. Ella resisted as he pulled her off the wagon and dragged her onto the ground and covered her face with a white cloth. Within seconds she was subdued and couldn’t resist his advances though she was cognizant of what was happening. There along the side of the road, he raped her. When he finished, he assisted her into the wagon and told her not to say anything about what happened. If she did, it would ruin her reputation.

.

Cahuenga_1882

Above is the Cahuenga Pass as it looked in 1883 which is near where Andrew Hay raped Ella Barrow

.

.

Ella stayed with the Hays family until the following Sunday morning, having been ill all the time from the effects of whatever drug he gave her. When she finally went home, she told her parents what Hay had done. The following day, Ella and her father went into town to consult a lawyer about charging Hay with rape. Arrangements were made, but the matter was delayed in order to obtain additional evidence. Barrow took Ella to a physician, who from hearing her symptoms, said that the drug was probably ether. The doctor gave her different anesthetics to smell, and she selected ether as the one more resembling the smell.

.

The case was laid before the District Attorney and they were going take some action when Ella became uneasy about the long delay, as it seemed to her, and decided to take the matter into her own hands. Unknown to her father, Ella talked with her older brother, Thomas, who had a pistol; a small, five-chambered, 32-calibre type. Having worked for Hay, Ella was familiar with his routine and knew that he would be at the post office the next morning to pick up his mail. In the morning, Thomas drove her into town and waited as Ella, dressed in a long cloak which concealed the loaded gun, walked up the steps and into the post office.

.

As Ella stood at the entrance, her eyes scanned the lobby looking for the man that raped her. Finally, at a shelf along the wall, she saw Andrew Hay reading a post card. Standing next to him was W.H. Dyer and several other men. Suddenly, the lobby rang out with the sound of gunfire. At first, Dyer thought he was being shot at, from the proximity of the shooter and the powder burning his face. He looked up and saw Ella walking to the door. Dyer screamed at her and Ella, turning around, saw that Hay was not harmed (the bullet did graze his scalp but nothing else), but was crouching on the floor with his back toward her. She coolly returned to her original position and aimed the gun squarely at his back and pulled the trigger a second time. Never having fired a gun before, the motion of pulling the trigger threw the muzzle of the pistol up, and instead of entering Hay’s back, the ball struck the wall some ten feet away, and glancing upward struck the ceiling and fell to the floor.

.

It was then that Hay realized that he was the object of the attack and jumped up to get out of the way, but Ella began chasing after him through the lobby. Dyer tried to stop her, and grasped her by her cloak, but she escaped, leaving it in his hands. Another man standing nearby joined in the pursuit and was able to grab her and the pistol, holding her for the police who took her into custody. As she was being taken away, the only remorse she expressed was at her failure to kill Andrew Hay. She declared to everyone that she would still carry out her plans.

.

Meanwhile, Hay went to the doctor who dressed the wound which was about an inch in length on the back of his head. The bullet entered his hat, a soft one, under the rim just at the very inner edge, tore through it upward, went through the lower edge of the band, then out at the top.

.

When he was asked, Hay said that he had no idea why he was attacked or who the young lady was that pulled the trigger, even though a Los Angeles Times reporter told him her name was Ella Barrow. However, he asked to be excused so he could consult a lawyer but promised the reporter he would meet with him later. At the subsequent interview in his lawyer’s office, he admitted that he knew the girl, that she had worked for him but denied her accusations were true, going so far as to say he was being framed. “He was perfectly cool over the matter,” the reporter wrote, “treating it very lightly, as if it was but of little consequence.”  Taking off his hat, he showed the reporter the wound. “That was a pretty close call, wasn’t it?”  

.

That afternoon, Ella appeared in court and agreed to bail in the sum of $500, which was paid by two family friends. Hay refused to file a complaint against Ella, which the press assumed that he was not willing that the case should come before the courts, and gave strength to Ella’s story.

.

Three days later, Ella was arraigned before Justice Morgan for the charge of “assault to murder.” The courtroom was packed so full of spectators that it was impossible to either enter or leave. Even the passage-way and hall outside was densely packed. Ella was accompanied by several family members and made a good impression on the court. Hay’s attorneys would not allow him to answer any leading questions on the ground that he would incriminate himself. After the proceedings, a warrant was issued for Hay’s arrest but he was able to slip out of the crowded courtroom before he could be taken into custody. The constable, armed with the warrant, caught up with him just before he reached his ranch and was brought back to the city. The judge hastily convened his Court, read the complaint to Hay, and fixed his bail at $3,000 which he was unable to pay because it was so late in the day.

.

On March 26, Ella was arraigned before Judge Sepulveda. She pled guilty and was fined $25, which according to the court, showed honesty of purpose on her part. The case against her was closed.

.

Andrew Hay was not as fortunate. The Hay rape case, as it became known, was reported across the country. What makes it really remarkable is that the case was tried four times, with each trial ending in a hung jury. Of the first jury, two were for acquittal; of the second jury, one voted for acquittal; the third jury voted for conviction, but the verdict was thrown out on affidavit of the clerk that the prisoner had not been arraigned to plead, though the records show that he had been. Of the last and fourth jury, in June 1885, two were for acquittal. After that the District Attorney decided not to try the case again and Hay was set free.

.

The following year, on October 16, 1886, Ella Barrow married Everett W. Thaxter in New York and they had four children, Earl, Walter, Ralph and Maggie.

.

In March 1887, tragedy came to Andrew Hay and his wife, when all four of their children died from small pox within a two week period. In 1890 the Hays had another son, Francis and five years later they had a daughter, Elizabeth. On September 13, 1903, Andrew Hay died at his residence at 1523 N. Cambria Street. At Hollywood Cemetery a monument was built (Griffith Lawn) with a robed woman standing under a pergola. The bodies of his five children, who died fifteen years earlier, were reburied in the new family plot at Hollywood. Oddly, Hay’s grave stone was marked only with “Father” and his birth and death dates and was installed upside down (during a recent restoration the marker was turned around).

.

hay-grave

.

HAY CHILDREN

.

In 1994, during the Northridge Earthquake, the pergola collapsed and was never restored. The hands of the statue were also broken off (SEE BELOW).

.

hay-graveA

((LAPL)

.

After twenty-six years of marriage, in 1912, Everett Thaxter filed for divorce from Ella in Reno, Nevada on charges of cruelty. Everett found he could not stand married life any longer, claiming that Ella made him attend church several times on Sunday and when he got home she varied the treatment by calling him un-Christian names. She also hurt his back by kicking him.

.

Several members of the Ireby Barrow family are also buried at Hollywood Forever. In fact their family plot is approximately 100 feet from the Hay monument in a direct line south and across the road in the Chandler Gardens (Section 12). SEE BELOW

.

barrow-grave

.

.

Ella Barrow Thaxter never remarried and died on August 17, 1955. Ella was not buried at Hollywood Forever with the family and it’s not known where she was placed.

____________________________________

.

Cory Monteith Obituary

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

OBITUARY

‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith, 31, found dead in Vancouver hotel

.

monteith

 (Gossip Guy)

 

By Amy Kaufman
Los Angeles Times
July 13, 2013

 

Cory Monteith, star of the hit Fox series “Glee,” was found dead Saturday in a Canadian hotel room, according to Vancouver police.

.

The sudden death of the 31-year old Canadian actor came several months after he had voluntarily checked himself into a treatment facility for substance addiction.

.

Vancouver Police Department Acting Chief Doug LePard said at a televised news conference late Saturday “all indications are that there was no foul play.” He also said that “the cause of death wasn’t immediately apparent.”

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Cory Monteith

_____________________________________________

.

The Ambassador: A Hotel Wonder*

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

DOCUMENTARIES

The Ambassador: A Hotel Wonder

.

.ambassador1

.

The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Times a few days after the opening of the Ambassador Hotel in 1921. Today the Ambassador is gone, destroyed by those who are without respect for Los Angeles’ glorious past. A new documentary, After 68, by Camilo Silva is in the works to chronicle the remarkable story of the Ambassador Hotel. The producers will use this film to “raise awareness about the importance of historic preservation worldwide.”

.

After 68 is a feature length documentary film that examines historic preservation through the lens of the 15-year struggle to save the famed Ambassador Hotel from demolition. This film will recount the monumental history of the Ambassador and investigate the importance of historic preservation within contemporary urban landscapes.

 .

To learn more about the making of After 68 and to have a chance to participate in its making, go to their website at http://www.after68.com/

 .

.
Los Angeles Times
January 20, 1921

.

With the completion of the ultra-modern Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles can boast the most commodious hostelry in the West; and it is to the enterprise and vision of a Los Angeles and New York syndicate that we owe this latest and most welcome addition to the city beautiful.

.

Placing $5,000,000 in a hotel project at a time when the finances of the country and the world were swaying a bit unsteadily, when the pessimists were noisy and the optimists were dumb, required both courage and foresight. Such projects have been promoted repeatedly by local speculators, but on paper. At one time, a ge3neration ago, they went so far as to build a foundation for a metropolitan hotel down on South Main Street; but they made it so big that their money was all spent by the time the basement was finished. It never rose even so high as a first story.

.

ambassador2

.

Only those who have passed through the portals of that palace of comfort and pleasure can form an adequate idea of what the last word in hotel construction really says. The location is unsurpassed; the lawns, grottoes and gardens form a charming bit of landscape that might have escaped from a canvas of Corot or Monet; the architecture of the building is of that classic Latin type that awakens visions of the best works of the Italian and French masters of the eleventh and twelfth centuries; the furnishings combine modern comfort with antique charm.

.

It was with faltering footsteps and longing glances backwards that the greater number of the 3,000 guests of the opening night retired after the music ceased and the lights were turned low, like fairies fleeing at the approach of dawn. Visiting the Ambassador while in Los Angeles is like being received at the palace of the Queen. It recalls the sigh of the Arab poet, “It is easier to enter the enchanted gardens of Hadjiz than to depart again.”

.

after68

.

Click here to learn more about the making of After 68 and a chance to participate in its making.

___________________________________

.

King Vidor tells of working on ‘The Big Parade’

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

FILM HISTORY

King Vidor tells of work in filming ‘The Big Parade’

.

bigparade.

 

King Vidor, who produced The Big Parade, wrote scenes for the film and would map them out to the click-click of a metronome, varying the tempo according to the action. Vidor was methodical. He was under the spell of motion pictures since he was a boy of 12. He believed that there was a chance for a new art through the medium of the camera so he took up directing because he wanted to be engaged in something new. He was a man of vision, not only so far as the possibilities of the screen were concerned, but one who is quick to see beyond that which he is actually engaged upon, whether it was a film or a scene.

.

About The Big Parade, he was rather proud that virtually all the scenes of this production, with the exception of a few that were made in Texas, were photographed on a tract of land that was about a block square. What seemed to be miles of woods and vast stretches of shell-shorn ground were filmed in this limited area.

.

One day in 1926, Vidor sat comfortably in a chair in a room in the Ambassador Hotel and shared some thoughts about the making of The Big Parade:

.

“I have just finished La Bohème,” Vidor said with a smile, “the period of which is 1880, and I am next going to make Bardelys the Magnificent, by Raphael Sabatini, which is even an earlier period. I have not much fear of criticism of what is put forth in these productions. But there are 2,000,000 critics of The Big Parade. I did all that was humanly possible to insure accuracy in this picture. United States officers helped me constantly, and I studied miles and miles of Government film, taken by the Signal Corps of the United States army during the fighting. These pictures were made on all sectors of the lines, so it was quite possible for any individual who concentrated his attention on the results as thrown upon a screen being able to leave the projection room after days and days of study with sufficient knowledge of what the fighting front looked like, so as to be able to put it on canvas or on the screen, possibly more accurately than a man who had been on the fighting front. Nevertheless, as I said, to safeguard against errors and to insert special ideas we fortunately had with us United States army officers, but even these men could not know everything that happened at the front, and an interesting point is one on which I lost a wager. I said that I thought that I had seen in the Signal Corps films American troops marching in columns of twos. The officers insisted I was wrong, so I paid my bet. But some time afterward I discovered no less than five reels of Signal Corps film in which our men marched in columns of two. To get my little revenge I made everybody look through these five reels when they were ready for dinner.

.

vidor-bigprade

.

“You will notice that in The Big Parade there are very few interiors. Some of our most successful scenes were inspired at the moment before the camera. You have told of the chewing gun incident and the last cigarette given to a dying German, but did you know that Slim’s chewing and spitting only flashed across our minds after we had started on the production? Karl Dane, who portrays Slim, used to report for work sucking a bit of licorice, and it suddenly occurred to us to devote two or three scenes to having him an inveterate tobacco chewer. You will remember that he expectorates when he is on a skyscraper girder just before joining up. Then he spits out the candle when the troops are leaving the farmhouse, and finally there is the contest in the shell hole to see who shall go over the top to silence the ‘toy’ gun.”

.

Vidor said that he began the film by taking the scenes of the shell hole, and, to have the principals look as if they were muddy and dirty, there was a special hole half filled with mud in which the actors soaked themselves before they went before the camera. Vidor believed in a human hero, one who ducks when shells are whining by, one whose physiognomy shows the contact with mud and grime.

.

An enlightening feature of The Big Parade concerns the farmhouse. It had to be depicted in the latter scenes torn and rent with shells, great holes in the roof and the walls. It naturally might be supposed that Vidor would have taken the farmhouse set and shot it full of holes, so that the original setting would be realistically damaged. This was too risky, for the all-perceiving eye of the camera is a nuisance at times, and a nice new studio wall might have been seen through one of the shell holes. To obviate such a thing, Vidor employed a special backdrop artist, a man who painted the damaged farmhouse in a day. His work looks far more like a shell-torn farmhouse than if the setting had been ripped with explosives.

..

In the scene in which Renée Adorée is searching for John Gilbert, Vidor pointed out that he had three distinct tempos, besides different tempos in parts of the scene. The incident starts off with sad crying, then there is the bugle call, after which everything is hushed. Then comes the 1-2-3-4—1-2-3-4, and gradually the pace quickens. Adorée is made to seem to be running as in a dream through the difference of tempo in the heroine’s pace and that of the soldiers. Hence Vidor believed that the basis of a successful scene is tempo, and that it is the underlying secret of the screen.

_______________________________________

.