In 1492, within the Native American settlement of Yang-Na, near the LA River, where the Kizh had buried their ancestors for thousands of years, an acorn sprouted that grew into a mighty sycamore. The Spanish called the tree, "El Aliso," as in, "the alder," and it was a landmark of the Pueblo. Following in the footsteps of the padres, a shipwrecked Dutchman, a Kentucky pioneer, and a French immigrant, all cultivated grape vines with the terroir; at, "El Aliso," was established the first commercial winery in California. The Indian village, the orchards and the vineyards have given way to a German brewery, a mule market, a boxing arena, an Edison Electric steam power plant, an indoor rock-climbing gym… each manifest dream carrying water back to the verdant, ancient roots of Los Angeles.
The Trees of California, by Getty Images, and the Library of Congress
-Images courtesy of Getty Images. (top) Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Lithograph, “A correct view of the mammoth tree in California, the largest in the world,” by D. A. Plecker, published in Staunton, Va., c. 1873
Roger Sherman, also of Connecticut, was known to have given one of the shortest speeches in history at a bridge dedication ceremony when he said, "I think it will hold up all right," while testing the strength of the bridge with one foot.
View all posts by Arthur Mullen