This is the first book to address the early history of the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles which predates even the city’s own founding in 1781. The hardbound all-color book features more than 150 historic drawings, maps and photographs. Published in 2009, the book is available for $27 – price includes sales tax.
“The book is a treasure for anyone who has an interest in early Los Angeles history,” said Marian Dodge, president of the LFIA, which celebrates its 95th anniversary this year.
Los Feliz was home to a major Native American settlement before Jose Vicente Feliz brought his family to the Los Angeles basin in 1776 on the initial expedition to bring secular Spanish colonists to California. Feliz was given the major responsibility for establishing the new pueblo of Los Angeles during the town’s first 20 years by California’s first Spanish governors. He was rewarded for his efforts as the Comisionado of Los Angeles with “El Rancho de Nuestra Señora de Refugio de Los Feliz” (“Ranch of Our Lady of Refuge of the Feliz Family”) granted to him by Spanish King Carlos III around 1800.
The story of the Rancho which eventually became the Los Feliz neighborhood and Griffith Park is filled with fascinating personalities like the colorful early Los Angeles politician Antonio Coronel, the larger-than-life entrepreneur and philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith, local Los Angeles official and real estate developer William Mead who founded the Los Feliz Improvement Association in 1916, and movie moguls Cecil B. DeMille, D. W. Griffith, and Walt Disney. The book begins with the area’s prehistory and ends in 1940.