Browse Items (744 total)

Elmer Wachtel painting, "Winter in Topanga," c. 1925

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Elmer Wachtel (1864-1929), "Winter in Topanga," oil on canvas, 30x40 in.

Elmer Wachtel painting, "Misty Sunlight, Topanga," c. 1925

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Elmer Wachtel (1864-1929), "Misty Sunlight, Topanga," oil on canvas, 24x32 in.

The diving boards at Camp Wildwood

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Justin Kirby and Matthew Andrews leap from the diving boards into the swimming pool at Camp Wildwood.

Aerial photograph with close-ups, circa 1965

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Aerial photograph with close-ups of Fernwood, Pine Tree Circle, Trippet Ranch, and Hillside Drive.

Topanga Beach panorama, 1928

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Topanga Beach panorama, 1928. In the photo are Potter's Store, Topanga Service Station, billboards for Union Gasoline and Lightning Gasoline, a bathhouse, the De Long Cafe, and Cooper's Camp motel and tent city.

Map of Topanga/Malibu homesteads, circa 1900

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This map, created by National Park Service Cultural Anthropologist Phil Holmes, shows the historic boundaries (circa 1900) of the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, the Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, and Topanga/Malibu…

Map of Topanga Subdivisions and Points of Interest, 1930s

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A map of 1930s Topanga Subdivisions and Points of Interest, drawn by John H. Mac Neil, Licensed Land Surveyor: Fernwood, Topanga Oaks, Veteran Springs, Lida Park, Sylvia Park, Bonnell Park, Post Office Tract, Topanga Canyon Blvd., Old Topanga Canyon…

Map of Topanga homesteads in 1908

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A map of homesteads in 1908 along Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Old Topanga Canyon Road, drawn by John H. Mac Neil, Licensed Land Surveyor: Hiram Montgomery, Tony Von Arnswaldt, Frederick Mazet, John Heron, Frederick Post, Templer Allen, Francisco…

Topanga Peace Alliance

The Topanga Peace Alliance held Friday vigils against the Iraq War, like this one at Topanga Canyon Blvd and Pacific Coast Highway, in front of Oasis Imports and the Malibu Feed Bin.

Topanga Canyon Docents

Topanga Canyon Docents at Trippet Ranch Nature Center in Topanga State Park. KNEELING: Don Murchie, Lynne Haigh, Deborah Low, D. J. Nellis, Geri Kelly. STANDING: Gene Cheltenham, Patty Ward, Beverly Weil, Patty Hill, John Kuiper.

Senator Fran Pavley swears in the Chamber of Commerce

California State Senator Fran Pavley swears in the Board of the Topanga Chamber of Commerce: Robin Feeley, Claire Hadley-Davis (behind), Ron Lebow, Kristen Carlson, Rebecca Catterall, David Green, Jenise Blanc Chance, Curtis Hein, and Larry Cohn.

Cinematographer Max Penner

Cinematographer Max Penner followed after his father John's profession. He is shown here on a film location in Cape Town, South Africa.

Belly dancers perform at Earth Day in Topanga State Park

Belly dancers from the Melanie Kareem Middle Eastern Dance School perform at Earth Day in Topanga State Park. The local dance school enrolled 450 local women and girls.

Little Feat

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Little Feat, a rock and roll band: Musicians Shaun Murphy, Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton, Bill Payne, Ken Gradney, Richie Hayward, and Fred Tackett (seated).

Blues Ryders band: Johnny B., Rick Ryder, and David Sear

The Blues Ryders band was made up of musicians including guitarist Johnny B., bassist Rick Ryder, guitarist David Sear, and singer Debbie Ryder (not pictured). Their song "Topanga Time" popularized the phrase "Livin' on Topanga time."

Architect Bob Bates with the tools of his trade

Architect Bob Bates moved to Topanga in 1956 and opened an office here in 1963. He was a founder of the Topanga Association for a Scenic Community (TASC). There is "no front or back" to his houses. They "bring the outside in and vice versa," making…

Barbara Anahita King painting, "Eagle Rock," 2004

"Eagle Rock, Topanga State Park," a painting by Barbara Anahita King.

Sid Francis painting, "Reflections with Round Mirrors," 1971

Artists Sid and his wife Jean Francis moved to Topanga after the 1959 fire. Sid painted still lifes in the tradition of the Dutch Masters. He was one of the most involved Topanga artists in the community. He was president of the Topanga Art Council…

Sculptor Gordon Wagner

Artist Gordon Wagner used detritus from Topanga Creek to create his witty junk sculptures.

Topanga Dry Cleaners

The Topanga Dry Cleaners at 137 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. was run by Teddie Michand. It was originally a store called Topanga Mercantile, built in 1947 by Stella Stoker.

A boulder fell on Topanga Canyon Blvd.

A boulder fell on Topanga Canyon Blvd. after heavy rains on January 9, 2005. Pictures of this "rock star" appeared in the news around the world.

Guy Bodman and Donny Hirlinger on the Topanga Beach Bus

Surfers Guy Bodman and Donny Hirlinger ride the Topanga Beach Bus to catch some waves.

Writer Carolyn See

Writer Carolyn See wrote many critically acclaimed books. She moved to Topanga in 1963, and speaks of her early days in the Canyon through the voice of Edith Langley in the 1987 novel "Golden Days."

Kenneth and Louise York, and family

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Seated: Edna York and Louise York. Standing: Peter York, Kenneth York, Bjorn Zetterberg, John York, Andrew York, and James York.

Jan and Bert Moore with their children

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Jan and Bert Moore with their children Mike, James, Chuck, and David.

Karen Wood Moran, Nicole Elias, and Vera Wood

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Karen Wood Moran, her daughter Nicole Elias, and her mother Vera Wood represent three generations.

Herta Ware, Woody Guthrie, and Will Geer

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Herta Ware, Woody Guthrie, and Will Geer toured California's migrant camps together.

Herta Ware, baby Kate, and Will Geer

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Herta Ware, baby Kate, and Will Geer, when he was a successful character actor.

Woody Gutherie's Shack

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Will Geer and Herta Ware's first Topanga home later became "Woody Shack" when their famous musician friend took it over.

Actor Will Geer

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Actor Will Geer moved to Topanga to escape the Hollywood blacklist. He supported himself by growing and selling vegetables and plants.

Kenneth and Elizabeth Douphner's wedding

Three Topanga families celebrate Kenneth and Elizabeth Douphner's wedding. Front row: Junice Douphner, Helen Douphner Cheney, Kenneth "Ken" Douphner, Elizabeth "Betty" Douphner, and the minister. Back row: Daniel Baker, Callan Cheney, Jean Baker,…

Virgil Just, aircraft engineer

Virgil Just, aircraft engineer, spent three years building his home, at the pace that he could afford materials in. He said, "No lending institution would lend you a dime to build in Topanga."

Bandit Tiburcio Vasquez

Tiburcio Vasquez, one of California's most notorious banditos, was hung for his crimes in 1875.

Western Pond Turtle

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Topanga Stream Team member Ken Wheeland holds the elusive Western Pond Turtle.

View of San Fernando Valley from Topanga Summit

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View of San Fernando Valley from Topanga Summit, with The Topanga Story's Preface by Kenneth H. York, and Introduction by Buz Tarlow.

The Topanga Story, Contents

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The Topanga Story: Expanded Edition


Preface by Kenneth H. York
Introduction by Buz Tarlow
Foreword by Al Martinez
1. The Natural Canyon
2. The First Inhabitants
3. 1880-1900: The First Families
4. 1900-1920: Resorts & Ranches

Topanga Highway descends into the Valley

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The new Topanga Highway descends into the San Fernando Valley, as shown on the Acknowledgements page of The Topanga Story.

Pearl Sloan

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Pearl Sloan was a long-time board member and booster of the Topanga Historical Society.

Dr. Gerard "Gerry" Haigh

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Dr. Gerard "Gerry" Haigh, visionary President of the Topanga Historical Society, created a permanent home for its historical archives and offered his birding expertise to The Topanga Story.

Louise York, author and editor of The Topanga Story

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Louise York was the author and editor of The Topanga Story's first edition.

Native American pictographs in Santa Maria Canyon

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Native American pictographs appear on the wall of a cave in Santa Maria Canyon. The rock art was discovered by UCLA teacher Alex Apostolides and high school student Dan Larsen in 1965.

The Rust family at Topanga Beach

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The Rust family at Topanga Beach. Ella Rust sits in the center of sons Archie and Don Rust and their families. Granddaughter Thais Rust is at right.

"Boots Malone" film set at Topanga Post Office

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A scene from "Boots Malone" was filmed at the Topanga Post Office and General Store.

"Boots Malone" is a 1952 American film noir drama film directed by William Dieterle. It stars William Holden as a down-on-his-luck sports agent and Johnny Stewart…

Writer Al Martinez

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Al Martinez (1929-2015) was a novelist, essayist, and Los Angeles Times columnist.

Shell fossils found off Topanga Skyline Road

Shell fossils found by Cub Scout Eric Johnson off Topanga Skyline Road.


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The common lizard is uncommonly beautiful in this photo, which won a National Park Service award.

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry flowers

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Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry flowers (Ribes specidsum saxifragaceae)

Topanga Rough Riders in Monument Valley, Arizona

Topanga Rough Riders Club on horseback in Monument Valley, Arizona

Arlis Wilhelim, Mary Hall, and the "GOP Smilemobile"

Arlis Wilhelim and Mary Hall at the West Hills Republican Women's mobile headquarters, known as the "GOP Smilemobile."

Topanga Lions Club

Topanga Lions Club members: Archie Lennan, Sy Prewitt, Dick Olsen, Albert Hoyt, Harry Rose, Tim Vickers, Melvin Penny, and Dean Penny.

Topanga Strawberry Festival News Release, 1977

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14th Annual Topanga Strawberry Festival News Release, June 29, 1977.

The Topanga Community Improvement Association (TCIA) was formed in 1959 with Cyril C. Wood as provisional president. They helped create the Resource Conservation District of the…

Dovid Weiss, Nechama Dina, and their children

Rabbi Dovid Weiss, wife Nechama Dina, and their two children. Weiss brought a Chabad to Topanga in 2003.

Mohana and David Shapiro at Pyramid Center

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Hare Krishna devotees Mohana and David Shapiro at Pyramid Center.

Saint Jarlath's Catholic Church Altar Society tea

Saint Jarlath's Catholic Church Altar Society tea: Elinor Covington, Lillian McCarter, Winnie Watkins, Dora Bruyere, Mae Conners, two unknowns, Ann Allen, Nora Collins, two unknowns, Father Gallagher, and Mrs. Shaw (seated).

Topanga Christian Fellowship Church

Topanga Christian Fellowship Church board members: BACK: Patricia Moore-Joshi, Larry Dunn, Bruce Boyle. FRONT: Pastor R. G. Murray, Janice Murray, Ellie Carroll, Luisa Dunn, Karen Moran, Nancy and John Williams.

Topanga Community Church group

Topanga Community Church group. Pastor John Utterback (white shirt) and wife Florence are at center, Camp Wildwood owner Julia Stewart is at right.

Christian Science Society

The Christian Science Society, the first denomination to build a church in Topanga, meets at Adelaide Gibbon's home. FRONT: Mrs. Tremullen, May Kneen, Cecilia Johnston, four unknowns, Adelaide Gibbon, Cora Trippet, Mrs. Cilker. BACK: Mr. Cilker,…

Christian Science Church

Members park their car on Topanga Highway for Christian Science Church services.

Topanga Historical Society leaders

Topanga Historical Society Presidents Ken York, Gerry Haigh, and Buz Tarlow with "The Topanga Story" author Louise York.

Roberta Kirby and Ami Kirby at Earth Day

Roberta Kirby and Topanga Historical Society Librarian Ami Kirby at the Community House's Earth Day celebration.

Rose Wiley and Julia Stewart mark Trujillo boundary

Rose Trujillo Wiley and Topanga Historical Society Julia Stewart place a plaque on an oak tree marking the Trujillo homestead boundary.