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Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Exhibit 38

Original 1891 Photograph of Redondo Beach and Wharf "Showing Salt Lake"

This exhibit presents an original photograph by H. F. Rile he titled "37. Redonda Beach and Wharf". One of the remarkable features of this particular photograph is it has written descriptions and other information on it, front and back, by several people, including by Lillian I. Davis, a resident of Redondo Beach in 1891. Rile probably took the photograph from a position on top of the Hotel Redondo (1890 - 1926) - looking north along the entire waterfront. On the back of the photo is handwritten "Showing Salt Lake".

Here is the front of the photograph:

Source: Redondo Beach Main Public Library


Now (2016) - This image was taken July 22 about noon from a position close to, but a number of yards west and lower than where Rile took his photo, though looking the same direction.


The next image is of the right margin detail of the front of the H. R. Rile photograph with mark up by this author indicating the location of the salt lake. The original handwritting in pencil on the right margin (from the top down) is probably "The Lumberyard" (?, quite faded), "My Office", "My Hotel" and this writing is almost certainly by Lillian I. Davis, a stenographer for the lumber company itself located just a few yards east of the lake. On this photo, Miss Davis also drew a pencil line starting from "The Lumberyard" with an arrow pointing to the lumberyard. She also wrote "Pavilion" with line and arrow pointing to it. Note: the white area in between, which at first glance, would seem to be the salt lake, is a bit too far east and south to be the lake.


Here is the back of the H. F. Rile photograph. On top, there is handwritten in pencil (quite faded) "May 1891", etc.

The handwriting in pencil "Showing Salt Lake", is below the stamp "REDONDO BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY". Among the other writing and such on the back of the photograph - someone has handwritten "Lillian I. Davis Resident of Redondo Beach of 1891."


The next image is a portion of the August 6, 1892 Los Angeles Herald, page 6 article about Redondo Beach, with markup highlighting the paragraph about Lillian I Davis. The paragraph is transcribed below.

_____ [ Transcription ] _____

Miss Lillian I. Davis, for a long time stenographer of the Willamette Lumber company at Redondo, but now with the same company in Los Angeles, is spending a few days at her old home by the surf.

_____ [ / Transcription ] _____

Lillian I. Davis (1865 - 1939)