Part of the area anyway.  . . .

 

The area South of Pico, adjacent to Overland Avenue, was owned by Ferdinand R. Bain, head of Southern Counties Gas Co., who came to California from New York in 1911.

 

Bain built a colonial mansion at the top of what was then called "Overland Hill" and named his 90 acre estate "Rancho La Lomita" (Little Hill Ranch).  The property was used as a dairy farm (Jersey cows).  There was a creek running just south of the Exposition railroad tracks.  The Rancho's northern boundary was Pico Blvd.

 

At that time, this area was considered part of Palms.  Makes sense -- that was the reason why the library across the street from the mansion is called Palms - Rancho Park Library -- groundbreaking first took place in October, 1963.  Our local councilwoman, Roz Wyman (who brought the LA Dodgers to LA) stood ground at the ground-breaking, along with members of Westwood Civic Gardens and the Palms Chamber of Commerce.

 

The Bain mansion still exists -- it is the two story brick building just north of the Notre Dame elementary school that is the centerpiece of the Notre Dame Academy after it was purchased by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1945.  It looks today almost exactly the same way it did when it was first built (with the exception of a small brick addition with an alcove on the east side fronting Overland).

 

South of Pico was considered to be part of the Palms area until 1961, when the 10 freeway opened, splitting the Palms area into two parts.  Below is a photo of the elementary school, just after it was built, with the mansion in the background.

 

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"They Still Walk Among Us" by Barbara H. Clark at Institute of Musical Arts

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