Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mystery of the Ruins Solved!

I made a trip to the Glendale Central Library today to research the mysterious ruins in the Verdugos that I explored this weekend. I described the site to George in Special Collections and he quickly dug out a binder he thought might be useful. The binder was a treasure trove of photographs and documents relating to the city of Glendale's ill-fated Camp Clarence Edwards, built in 1933 and abandoned in 1938 due to frequent flooding.

Library: 1, Internet: 0.

Apologies for the image quality, I snapped these shots on my iPhone through protective plastic so there are some reflections.

From the Glendale News-Press, March 8th, 1938:


Conceived during the depression years, maintained in a constant struggle with violent nature, Camp Clarence Edwards today faced abandonment by the city parks department. At a meeting of the city parks and recreation commission yesterday afternoon, J.T. Allen, parks superintendent, reported that the flood erosion damage at the camp had been extensive, that ordinary maintenance costs were excessive and that the area constituted an ever-present hazard.

Urges Investigation

While withholding definite recommendation in regard to the camp, Allen urged the commission to make a personal investigation of the property. No action was taken by the commission but members individually agreed to inspect the camp.

Started with the two-fold purpose of providing work for the unemployed and furnishing young people's organizations with a camping place, the camp was finally completed after expenditure of several thousands of dollars. Some of the money for the enterprise was furnished by the American Legion and the remainder by the city.

Named For Fire Victim

At impressive dedication ceremonies, the camp was named in memory of Clarence Edwards, Glendale resident who lost his life battling a fire sweeping the hills back of Glendale.
Despite the work of the CCC in soil erosion and flood control, each heavy storm has spread destruction, the flood of last Wednesday finally completing the havoc, according to Allen.
The problem, Allen told the commission, is an engineering one of providing adequate protection for residences at the mouth of the canyon.


Sunroom Desk said...

Very interesting! Thanks for "digging" into this, and pass along thanks to the library for its commitment to special collections and local history.

urban pirate said...

wow that's cool..who would ever have known

Schpok said...

This is totally awesome. I've snooped around there before and wondered what it was.

I'm guessing you've seen the ruins of Brand Lodge near his cemetery, and the library has some neat pictures of that.

Have you seen the stairs that ascend into a woody flat area opposite the debris basin on the Beaudry trail? There were definitely some structures there in the 50s...

Brian Snedeker said...

I love ruins like this and their stories. And the excellent comparison between your photos and historic ones -- nice. I've just discovered this blog, and I'm bookmarking it! Good work sir!