the engine, while "roughnecks" handle pipe, make connections, pull and
place slips. A drilling crew works 24 hours a day, in three shifts, called
Tours, pronounced "Towers."
When the driller believes that oil sands have been reached, the drill
bit and pipe are withdrawn, and an oil string, of "perforated," is
inserted. Gas pressure forces oil through the small perforations and
up the pipe. As mud and water are bailed out and dumped into the
slump hole, the gas gradually lifts the oil toward the surface until it
boils out of the casing mouth to be piped to tank farm or refinery.
On occasion, however, the gas pressure is such that when the drill is
withdrawn, a column of oil spouts into the air to "paint the crown
block." These gushers are often difficult to control, but are not to be
compared with "outlaw" gas wells. When a drill breaks through the
thick "cap rock" over an oil pool, the force of the escaping gas some-
times crumples a derrick as if it were built of matchsticks; it may de-
velop into a burning "gasser" if rocks and pieces of cement strike the
casing and throw off a spark. Such "outlaws," which have not de-
stroyed the casing head and control valves, are tamed by the use of long
rods attached to the controls. Behind a protective shield, workmen
manipulate these bars until the pressure is reduced sufficiently to permit
a crane to drop a heavy metal "cap" over the casing. Where valves
cannot be worked by remote control but the casing head is still intact,
a crane is brought into position and a forty-foot flue is set over it.
This elevates the flame to a height where workmen can approach the
well and install a control manifold and shut off the flow. In cases
where the casing head is destroyed, the modern practice is to drill a
vertical hole to a certain depth in the vicinity of the "wild" well and
then "whipstock" at an angle until the "outlaw" is tapped. Liquid
mud, under heavy pressure, is then pumped into the well until it stops
the flow of gas or oil.
LONG BEACH AND SIGNAL HILL 245
The cost of drilling a well varies with geologic conditions, depth,
and mechanical difficulties. The average well strikes oil at 4,100 feet
and costs approximately $45,000. In fields such as Signal Hill, where
properties are numerous and small, many of the wells are uneconomical
from any broad point of view. An oil pool is a geologic and economic
unit, but is not developed as such. Legally, every producer owns all
the oil under his property, but oil is no respecter of property lines and
flows toward the nearest well. In self-protection, therefore, producers
drill "offset" wells around the edge of their properties to prevent them
from being drained by neighboring wells, thus doubling and tripling the
number of wells that would be required by any sensible and rational
system of exploitation.
Signal Hill, resembling an aroused porcupine, bristles with der-
ricks, in the shadow of which are tanks, engine houses, machine shops,
and a few grimy cottages occupied by oil workers. At night the bright
lights on the derricks turn the hill, often referred to as "The Pin-
cushion," into a curious, gaunt, illuminated forest.
POINTS OF INTEREST
The CIVIC CENTER includes the City Hall, the Municipal
Utilities Building, and the Veterans Memorial Building, which front
south toward Lincoln Park on Broadway, between Pacific and Cedar
Avenues; the Public Library is in the park itself, facing Ocean Boule-
1. The CITY HALL, NW. corner of Broadway and Pacific Ave.,
facing Lincoln Park, is a modern eight-story building of buff-colored
concrete, designed by Horace W. Austin and completed in 1934.
2. The VETERANS MEMORIAL BUILDING, on Broadway
west of the Municipal Utilities Building, is a four-story, concrete struc-
ture of modern design with a decorative frieze above the entrance.
The building, completed in 1938, was designed by George Kahrs; the
frieze, by Merrell Gage.
LINCOLN PARK, bounded by Broadway, Ocean Blvd., Pacific,
and Cedar Aves., is shaded by 5O-year-old pepper and eucalyptus trees.
Roque and horseshoe courts contribute to the popularity of this down-
town retreat; the Long Beach Tourist Horseshoe Club uses the 10
courts daily. This pioneer playground, originally set off as Pacific
Park in the early plats of Willmore City, was donated to the city by
the Long Beach Land and Water Company in 1888. Its name was
changed to Lincoln Park in 1915, at the unveiling of the Lincoln
3. Lincoln Park assumes the character of an Old World square on
mornings when the MUNICIPAL MARKET (Tues., Thurs., and
Sat., 7-12), conducted by the city as a public convenience, takes over
half the width of both Broadway and Pacific Avenue, on two sides of
Lincoln Park. Canvas stalls on the sidewalks display local, state,
national, and foreign produce fruits, nuts, jellies, vegetables, home-
1. City Hall 5. Lincoln Monument
2. Veterans Memorial Building 6. Million-Dollar Bathhouse
3. Municipal Market 7. Municipal Navy Landing
4. Public Library 8. Small Boat Anchorage
9. Procter & Gamble Co. Plant 12. Adobe Los Alamitos
10. Municipal Auditorium 13. Old Long Beach Cemetery
11. Wayside Art Colony 14. Adobe Los Cerritos
248 LOS ANGELES
made butter, and cottage cheese. Green-tinted duck eggs, chickens and
ducks, roasted a rich brown and ready to serve, are sold by the Chinese.
Italian fishwives offer filets of yellowtail, sea bass, and barracuda,
dressed with olive oil and cured in the sun before smoking. From 15
to 20 different nationalities are represented. Supervised by the City
Market Master, who prohibits ballyhoo and barkers, the market and
its products are subject to rigid inspection; in general, prices are low,
and quality high. The market was established in 1913 and is sponsored
by the Woman's City Club.
4. The PUBLIC LIBRARY, in the center of Lincoln Park, built in
1908 with the aid of an Andrew Carnegie grant, was remodeled in
1936-37 by D. E. Herrald on modern lines to harmonize with other
Civic Center buildings.
5. To the south of the library is the 1 5-foot LINCOLN MONU-
MENT, a life-size granite figure of the martyred president by Peter
Bisson, erected in 1915 by means of private contributions and public
The PIKE, an amusement zone extending almost a mile along the
beach west of the intersection of American Ave. and Ocean Blvd., has
appropriately been called the "Walk of a Million Lights," and is a
major local "industry."
6. Midway along the Pike is the Silver Spray Pier, and the MIL-
LION-DOLLAR BATHHOUSE (rates 30$ to 40$), with an indoor
salt-water plunge. Shooting galleries, penny arcades, a roller coaster,
side shows, a merry-go-round, miniature automobiles, power scooters,
and similar amusements attract children and adults alike. Curio shops
offer Mexican hammered silver, pottery, and needlework; Chinese,
Japanese, and East Indian brass work; Spanish embroideries and Italian
laces; native Indian basketry, shell, and beadwork. Among annual
events are the Baby Parade, the Bathing Beauty Contest, the Pet Pa-
rade, and the Doll Fiesta. New Year's Eve, Hallowe'en, and Fourth
of July are celebrated here by vast crowds of costumed merrymakers.
7. The MUNICIPAL NAVY LANDING, at the foot of Pico Ave.
in the Outer Harbor is the clearing station for enlisted men's shore
boats, officers' gigs and numerous water taxis, plying between shore
and the vessels of the United States BATTLE FLEET (open to public
Sun. and holidays 2-4; transportation on Navy shore boats free), seen
lying at anchor some two to three miles offshore, in the Outer Harbor,
much of the year. When the fleet is in 45,000 officers and men swarm
ashore at the San Pedro (see The Harbor) and Long Beach Navy
Over the waters when the fleet is in, flash burnished launches carry-
ing officers and open shore boats, crowded with sailors and marines.
The dock is thronged with the families and friends of officers and men,
as they arrive on liberty or leave for their ships. On the wharf of the
landing are Roosevelt Post Office, water-taxi ticket offices, Red Cross
and Navy Patrol stations, and quarters of the Navy storekeeper.
Los Angeles Harbor is the base of major units of the fleet, including
LONG BEACH AND SIGNAL HILL 249
the flagships of the commander-in-chief, and the commanders of the
Battle, Base, and Scouting Forces. Regularly stationed here are 14
battleships and two airplane carriers of the Battle Force; 16 heavy
cruisers of the Scouting Force; the hospital ship U.S.S. Relief; and
repair ships, mine sweepers, oilers, and supply vessels of the Base Force.
The battleships displace tonnages of 27,000 to 32,500 each, and carry
main batteries of 14- to 1 6-inch guns, supplemented by six-inch sec-
ondary and five-inch anti-aircraft batteries. Each carries 60 officers and
1, 200 men.' The aircraft carriers U.S.S. Lexington and U.S.S. Sara-
toffc each carry 80 planes of varying types.
The fleet was first based here in 1919, when a portion of the At-
lantic Fleet was detached for service in this area in response to insistent
demands for more adequate defense on the Pacific coast.
8. The SMALL BOAT ANCHORAGE, head of Slip No. 3, just off
Pico Ave., is the home port of numerous yachts and cruisers discarded
by wealthy owners, and motorboats of every type. On the shores of
the slip are small shipyards.
9. The PROCTER AND GAMBLE COMPANY PLANT (open
workdays 9:30-10:30 and 2-3; guides provided), 1601 W. 7th St., occu-
pies a group of six-story concrete structures, on a I5~acre site fenced
from the street. Visitors can observe the complete process of manufac-
turing soap from vegetable oils, chiefly cocoanut, cottonseed, and lin-
10. The MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, occupying an eight-acre
filled-in area at the foot of American Ave., is a $3,000,000 reinforced
concrete structure, with Indiana limestone facing, rising to a height
of nine stories. The building, light brown in color, is designed in the
Italian Renaissance style with a monumental arched loggia on the
front facade and a circular, arcaded bay at the rear. Italian marble has
been used in the interior lobbies, and the foyer floors are of terrazzo.
A main convention hall, two smaller convention halls, a concert hall,
six committee rooms, and an exhibit hall bring the total seating ca-
pacity to 8,600. Surrounding gardens contain palm trees, semitropical
horticultural specimens, paneled lawns, and spacious flower beds. The
building and grounds project into a wide lagoon which in turn is en-
closed by an encircling pier. The auditorium, designed by MacDowell
and Austin and completed in 1932, is the center for varied activities:
Municipal Band concerts, the weekly Sunday morning meetings of the
world's largest men's Bible class, the annual Navy Ball, symphony
orchestra concerts, and the annual Art Festival; the weekly Com-
munity Service Programs include community singing, a stage program,
and old-time square dancing.
A tile mosaic, Recreation in Long Beach, designed by Nord, King,
and Wright, and executed by 40 artists and craftsmen of the Los An-
geles Federal Art Project, rises from the fifth story, and is said to be
the largest tile mosaic in the world. At night the auditorium is illu-
minated by powerful floodlights.
Less than a mile west of the Rainbow Pier and the ocean-front
25O LOS ANGELES
amusement zone is the HARBOR DISTRICT. Ocean Boulevard,
Broadway, and Seventh Street lead directly to the port from the city's
downtown business center, and Pico Avenue penetrates the area from
The inner harbor consists of Cerritos Channel, opening into the
East Basin of the Los Angeles Harbor, and two branches, Slips Nos.
2 and 3, extending 3,000 feet eastward. The main channel and the
two slips provide nine miles of water frontage. Municipal piers in the
inner harbor have 3,600 feet of dockage; those in the outer harbor
provide an additional 3,500 feet. Black steamship funnels, swinging
cranes, slender factory smokestacks, steel struts carrying power cables,
and modern steel oil derricks reveal the mutiplicity of activities in the
Long Beach Harbor.
The whole Long Beach Harbor area has been created from half
submerged tidelands and low flats at the mouth of the Los Angeles
River. Sloughs north of the present Terminal Island formerly carried
the main currents to the ocean. In times of flood the river waters
washed over the entire flat as far as San Pedro. The deepest of the
sloughs have been opened and deepened to form the inner harbors of
Los Angeles (see The Harbor) and Long Beach.
The first development work followed the establishment of the Craig
shipbuilding plant south of the river mouth, now Slip No. 3 of the
inner harobr, in 1907. Work was begun on an ocean entrance to the
channel and a high tide, in June 1909, finished the work, opening the
slough to the sea. Within three months Long Beach voted a bond issue
of $245,000 for the purchase of 2,200 feet of water frontage on the
channel and the construction of a municipal wharf, and in 1918 Con-
gress provided for the dredging of Cerritos Channel. Construction of
the Long Beach jetty, completed in 1928, made possible the develop-
ment of the outer harbor.
RAINBOW PIER (open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic), with
entrances at both Pine and Linden Aves. on the shore front, describes
a 3,8oo-foot crescent around the Auditorium's lagoon. The pier, com-
pleted in 1931 at a cost of $1,400,000, rests on a rock breakwater and
is a vantage point from which to observe water carnivals on the 32-acre
lagoon, which also offers ideal still-water bathing. The Long Beach
Recreation Commission maintains a supervised recreational program
here, including canoeing and various aquatic classes for children,
ii. The WAYSIDE ART COLONY, 74 Atlantic Ave., occupies a
group of eight brown frame buildings art shops, studios, and private
art schools in a rustic setting. Activities of the artists, who call them-
selves "crafters," include wood and metal work, painting, weaving,
needlework, music, and dancing.
BIXBY PARK, two city blocks bounded by Ocean Blvd., Broad-
way, Cherry and Junipero Aves., has wide rolling lawns thickly shaded
by live oak, pine, cypress, acacia, sycamore, and palm trees. In the
lo-acre park are held many of the state picnics for which Long Beach
is renowned. The Iowa picnic on the second Saturday in February is
LONG BEACH AND SIGNAL HILL 251
attended by 75,000 to 100,000 former residents of the Hawkeye State.
In the park's eastern section are playground apparatus, bandstand,
tables and shelters, and a house where food and coffee are heated by
attendants (free). The park was created in the i88o's when the town-
site was laid out, partially under the direction of John W. Bixby, for
whom the plot was named, and was deeded to the city in 1903.
ALAMITOS BAY, eastern termination of Ocean Blvd., a popular
spot for aquatic sports, covers the old tidal channels through which the
San Gabriel River found an outlet to the sea. The bay provides seven
miles of landlocked waterways, offering splendid harborage for small
craft and still-water bathing. Most of the south and west shores are
publicly owned, and contain a number of supervised playgrounds. The
37-acre STATE PARK, one of the bay playgrounds, under lease from
the State of California by the Long Beach Recreation Commission,
extends to the tip of the peninsula and has 6,000 feet of beach, on both
the ocean and bay side of the spit; the bay side is protected from high
tides by a 2OO-foot rubble wall four feet high.
The labyrinth of canals of NAPLES, a section of the Alamitos
district lying west of the Vista del Golfo arm of the bay, and reached
by way of Second Street, are fed by the tidal currents of the bay.
Along the canals are hundreds of attractive houses, set among green
lawns and tropical vegetation. Arched bridges, like those of Venice,
span the waterways and provide access to the islands.
The OLYMPIC MARINE STADIUM, Colorado St. and Nieto
Ave., was constructed for the rowing races in the 1932 Olympiad. The
course is 2,000 meters, or 1.31 miles; a boathouse has showers and phy-
sican's quarters; grandstand and bleachers seat 20,000 spectators. High
school physical education classes in rowing are conducted at the sta-
dium, and a model yacht championship regatta is held annually, with
some 100 small vessels as entries.
The 8i-acre COLORADO LAGOON, south of Recreation Park,
affords exceptional facilities for water sports. In the model boatshop,
in the clubhouse, many types of miniature craft are constructed under
the direction of expert instructors, and an annual exposition is held each
April to exhibit the work of amateur shipbuilders.
In RECREATION PARK, yth St. and Ximeno Ave., is held an
annual Twelfth Night celebration at which the city's discarded Christ-
mas trees are consumed in a huge bonfire. The park, with a fine ex-
panse of lawns and distinctive eucalyptus woodland, contains children's
playgrounds, baseball diamonds, bowling greens, clubhouse, barbecue
pits, coffee house, and a flycasting pool, a sport rarely provided for.
12. The central and oldest part of the ADOBE LOS ALAMITOS,
NW. corner I5th St. and Hathaway Ave., is believed to have been
built in 1784 by Manuel Nieto, then 70 years old, as a home for his
1 6-year-old bride. Set in a semitropical garden on a hilltop, the adobe
retains the atmosphere of the Spanish inspiration. The two-story unit
and the two wings are finished with offwhite plaster. The left wing is
252 LOS ANGELES
part of the original adobe, with walls about three feet thick. Clay from
the adjacent wet lands was employed in making the large adobe bricks.
At the time of construction Nieto had acquired 300,000 acres of
land, later known as the Rancho Los Alamitos (ranch of the little
poplars), which extended from the Los Angeles River to the Santa Ana
River, and as far inland as he could push it without conflict with the
prior claims of the Pueblo of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mission.
In 1840 Abel Stearns (see Downtown Los Angeles), a Massachusetts
Yankee, purchased the rancho and transformed the old mud hut into a
summer home for his bride, Arcadia Bandini, and in 1878 John W.
Bixby, who had leased part of the ranch, further restored and enlarged
the house. The estate now covers 3,700 acres. Near the house is an
ancient Indian kitchen midden, or shell mound.
The LONG BEACH MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, Temple Aye.
and Spring St., comprising 588 acres, has two paved runways illumin-
ated at night by floodlights. The revolving beacon is visible from 20
to 80 miles. Buildings include hangars and the administration offices,
and both the Army and Navy maintain hangars. The airport, estab-
lished in 1924, was among the first civic aviation fields in California.
SIGNAL HILL, one of the world's richest oil fields, rises at the
northern limits of Long Beach, and is unmistakably identified by the
hundreds of oil derricks that encircle and crown it. By 1938, 598,-
673,732 barrels of oil and 803,342 million cubic feet of natural gas
had been taken from the 1,350 proven acres of the field, a source of
wealth to thousands.
13. The four-acre OLD LONG BEACH CEMETERY, NW. cor-
ner of Willow St. and Orange Ave., has many headstones, yellow with
oil and age, inscribed with the names of many of the pioneer families
of Willmore City. Close to the east boundary is an oblong gray granite
slab in memory of W. E. Willmore, "founder of Willmore City, later
incorporated as Long Beach. Died Jan. 15, 1901. Age 57." Along
the north edge of the graveyard, a stone's throw from the rhythmic
pumps, is the "million dollar potters' field." The cemetery constitutes
an "island" in the oil field, in which derricks are noticeably absent.
14. Don Juan Temple's ADOBE LOS CERRITOS, 4600 Virginia
Rd., built in 1844, was one of the first houses of the so-called Mon-
terey type (see Architecture) constructed in southern California, and
remains the best-preserved example of its type in the Los Angeles
region. The white plastered adobe occupies a five-acre estate, the house
and garden walls encircling a large patio. The main unit, facing the
street, is 100 feet long. Along one end and the full length of the front
runs a two-story porch, with the balcony supported by squared timbers
and protected by the overhang of the tiled roof. In Temple's day brea
took the place of the variegated mission tiles that now cover the old
mansion. Two wings, 142 feet long, form the patio at the rear of
the house. An extensive Spanish garden in the manner of the pastor
superior's residence at San Gabriel (see Tour 3) surrounds the adobe.
LONG BEACH AND SIGNAL HILL 253
Many of the shrubs and trees planted by Temple still flourish in the
Temple, a pioneer Los Angeles merchant, imported lumber from
New England sawmills to build the house; later, it was for many years
the home of Jotham Bixby, of the pioneer Long Beach family, who
stocked the ranch with sheep. In 1930 Llewellyn Bixby rehabilitated
the house and improved the gardens; authentic restorations preserved
the original detail and atmosphere, which recalls the days of bullfights
in the adjoining corrals, unquartered beeves hanging ready for the bar-
becue pits, fandangos in the courtyard, and all the gay color of the
fiestas that followed the horse races of the vaqueros.
Railroad Stations: Santa Fe R.R., 222 S. Raymond Ave.; Union Pacific R.R.,
205 W. Colorado St.; Southern Pacific R.R. ticket office, 148 E. Colorado St.;
Pacific Electric Ry., 61 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Bus Stations: Union Bus Station, 48 S. Marengo Ave. for Greyhound Lines,
Union Pacific Trailways, Pasadena-Ocean Park Stage Line to Glendale, Holly-
wood, the beaches, Motor Transit Line, Mt. Wilson Stage Line. Burlington
Trailways, Santa Fe Trailways, 533 E. Colorado St.
Busses and Streetcars: Pacific Electric Ry., fares 6$ and 10^ ; weekly and
monthly passes, good on all lines, at reduced rates. Oak Knoll and Short Line
cars from Pacific Electric Ry. Station, N. Fair Oaks Ave. and Union St. to 6th
and Main St. station in Los Angeles.
Taxis: Yellow Cab and Black and White, 144 W. Colorado St.; White Cab,
235 E. Del Mar St.; Green Cab, 86 N. Fair Oaks Ave.; Red Top, 144 W.
Colorado St.; fares 10^, i mile, $$ for each additional y 2 mile or fraction.
Traffic Regulations: California State statutes are basic. Watch for traffic
signs. All parking in streets prohibited between i and 6 a.m. Speed zones
posted. Left turns permitted in all zones except when prohibited by traffic
officer. Right turns permitted against signal, after full stop. U-turns in
business zones prohibited from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Streets and Numbers: Colorado St. dividing line for street pumbering, N. and
S.; Fair Oaks Ave. for E. and W. ; avenues run N. and S., streets E. and W.
Boulevards and drives are designated.
Information Bureaus: Chamber of Commerce, N. Garfield Ave. and Union
St.; Information Booth, City Hall; Union Bus Station, 48 S. Marengo Ave.;
Pacific Electric Station, 61 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Accommodations: More than 100 hotels and apartments with usual range of
prices. Well-appointed auto and trailer camps in eastern section of the city.
Churches: 112 churches, representing the leading denominations.
Theatres, Motion-Picture Houses, Amphitheatres: Community Playhouse, 39
S. El Molino Ave., local productions ; Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St.,
lectures, opera, orchestral music; n motion-picture houses; Gold Shell, N.
Raymond Ave. and E. Holly St., civic concerts Sun. afternoons throughout
year (transferred indoors in inclement weather), local productions, drama,
light opera, pageants.
Radio Station: KPPC, 583 E. Colorado St.
Newspapers: Post, every morn.; Star-News, eve. except Sun.
Recreational Areas: Brookside Park, Rosemont Ave., between Scott PI. and
Seco St., 521 acres, with Rose Bowl, municipal golf courses, 3 baseball dia-
monds, plunges, tennis courts, picnic grounds, children's playground; night
Tournament Park, 22 acres, SW. cor. E. California St. and S. Wilson Ave.;
picnicking, baseball, and football.
Carmelita Park, Colorado St. and Orange Grove Ave. (open 10-3), 13 acre?
of rare plants and shrubs.
Besse Park, z 1 /* acres, 3203 E. Colorado St., supervised playground; tennis
court, swings, baseball diamond, wading pool.
Central Park, 9^ acres, S. Fair Oaks and Del Mar Aves., swings and roque
courts lighted at night.
La Pintoresca Park, 3 acres, N. Fair Oaks and Washington Aves., picnic