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History Summaries
Palms, Los Angeles History

3401 Mentone Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(This page is not intended
for small screens.)

by Don McCuaig

This page describes Don McCuaig's home in Palms, CA (Los Angeles) where he grew up as a young boy up to 1953.
In 1954, United Artists used his house to film scenes in "Dance with Me, Henry", released in 1956.

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Central Palms Neighborhood Layout

1. 3401 Mentone Ave.

8. Back Alley

2. Don McCuaig - 1949

9. Lou Costello

3. Don and Tippy

10. Bud Abbott

4. Don, Mary Beth, Tippy

11. Across the Street

5. Don, Mary Beth, Mom

12. Sanborn Block Map - 1910

6. Bob Hope & Friends

13. Palms WPA Map - 1939

7. Don and Vaughn

14. Palms, CA History


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3401 Mentone Ave., Palms, CA
1. Lou Costello coming out the front door in "Dance with Me, Henry"
from United Artists, distributed by MGM in 1956.
3401 Mentone Ave. is the address.
Looking West toward Keystone Ave. and Overland Ave.

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Don and Mary Beth McCuaig and Tippy at 3401 Mentone Ave.
2. Don McCuaig with big sister Mary Beth, and Tippy. circa 1949
Compare the front gate with the movie frame above.
Looking East across Mentone Ave.
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Don McCuaig and Tippy at 3401 Mentone Ave.
3. Don McCuaig with Tippy - circa 1949
The front door at 3401 Mentone Ave. circa 1949
Looking West toward Keystone Ave.
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Don, Mary Beth McCuaig and Tippy
4. Don McCuaig, big sister Mary Beth and Tippy - circa 1950
Looking East toward Mentone Ave.
My grampa's Masonic Lodge can be seen across Motor Ave.
in the background, at 3402 Motor Ave.

Or, maybe, we are looking across Woodbine at the Hayes property,
where the Berean Foursquare Church used to be in the 1930s.
It has been 65 years, you know.
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Mrs. McCuaig, Don and Mary Beth
5. Don, Mary Beth and Mrs. McCuaig
Mentone Avenue is in the background. Looking east from the side yard.

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Bob Hope and Friends
6. Bob Hope (cat) and Friends
In the living room.

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Don McCuaig and Vaughn Aubuchon

7. Don McCuaig and Vaughn Aubuchon - circa 1952 - We were 8.
Looking West. The alley is just over the jagged back fence.
The building across the alley is stills standing at
10522 Woodbine Ave.
Don is standing on the gate. Compare with the photo below.
Don moved away to Novato in 1953.
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Lou Costello in alley behind 3401 Mentone

8. Back Alley of 3401 Mentone Ave. in 1954.
The same fence gate as in the photo above.
Helen's German shepherd from across the alley bit me right here,
while throwing darts at the fence. The dog was protecting her.
Proof that we once occupied the exact same space as Lou Costello.

Note the 2x4 nailed on the fence peaks, so that Lou did not
rip himself apart, when he climbed over in the movie.


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Lou Costello next to 3401 Mentone Ave.

9. Lou Costello in "Dance with Me, Henry" from 1956.
The photo has been colorized, since the movie was shot in black and white.
3401 Mentone Ave. is just to the right behind Lou. Looking southwest.
Walk down that sidewalk 5 blocks, and you arrive at the front entrance
of MGM in Culver City (now Sony Pictures).

MGM was NEVER in "Hollywood", contrary to claims.
As the city of Culver City rightfully claims -
"Culver City, where all the Hollywood movies are made." MGM, anyway.
Burbank could make the same claim about Warner Bros.
And West LA could make the same claim about 20th Century Fox on Pico Blvd.
To actually get to Hollywood, you must go to Paramount.

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Bud Abbott in yard at 3401 Mentone Ave.

10. Bud Abbott in the side yard of 3401 Mentone Ave. in 1954.
The movie was released in 1956, but this photo is marked "DH(2-65) 54".
In the center are Gigi Perreau and Rusty Hamer, of
The Danny Thomas Show fame (1957-1964),
and "Make Room for Daddy" (1953-1956).

Ernie, holding the hot dogs, was played by Ron Hargrave.
I could not find this scene in the movie.
During the filming of
"Dance with Me, Henry" DVD available from Amazon.
Looking North toward Woodbine Ave.
.

.
About Kiddieland

The movie "Dance with Me, Henry" provides some excellent historical
footage of Kiddieland (1943-1974) in Beverly Hills, CA.

AKA :              Beverly Park, Bradley's Beverly Park (early), Beverly Grove (earlier)
Location:          N. LaCienega Blvd and Beverly Blvd., southwest corner (Macy's)
Current Name: Beverly Center (shopping mall)
Facebook page: Facebook Kiddieland page
Next door:        Beverly Ponyland
Book :              Beverly Park: L.A.'s Kiddieland ©2012
Another movie: "With Six, You Get Eggroll" - Doris Day - 12 minutes of Kiddieland

THIS KIddieland was the inspiration for Walt to create Disneyland.

Unfortunately, I don't think I ever went there.
But, I sure know all about it now.


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3404 Mentone Ave., Palms, CA

11. Across the Street 3404 Mentone Ave. in 2016.
The house across the street hasn't changed in 64 years.
This is exactly the way I remember it in 1952, minus the fence.





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12. 1910 Sanborn Map
The Palms - Mentone Block -


3345 Mentone Ave. - 1910 Sanborn Map


Here is a 1910 map showing 3345 Mentone Ave. in yellow, which was 3345 Third Ave. at the time.
The McQuaig house had already been built, just across Woodbine St. (Del Mar) from the Berean Church (Heat: Stove, Light: Kerosene).

Keystone Ave. (2nd Ave.) and Cyprus Ave. (Palms Blvd.) are also shown.

Many thanks to Peter Nurkse, H.R.E., Historical Researcher Extraordinaire,.




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13. 1939 WPA Map
The Palms - Neighborhood -

1939 Palms Map - Los Angeles 90034

Yellow= Single Family, Red= Commercial, White= Vacant, Orange= Multiple family (I see one on "Westwood")
The lot filled in with
BLACK is 3345 Mentone.
Scale: 1 inch = 300 feet

Don McQuaig (Novato, CA),





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14. Palms History

The Palms, CA main street is Motor Ave.

Motor Ave. is the direct route for connecting Fox Studios on Pico Blvd. with the MGM studios (now Sony) on Washington Blvd. in Culver City.



We loved the Saturday matinee at the Palms Theater at 3751 Motor Ave. at Venice Blvd.

And the
Palms Bicycle Shop across the street (still there).
And the
Palms Post Office on the corner, formerly a bank.

The old library on Woodbine Street is now a park.
1925 - Palms Library - Small Palm trees

1945 - Palms Library - Big Palm trees


We used to play on the Pacific Electric Railroad Tracks along Exposition Blvd., behind the Palms Lumber Company on National Blvd. at Motor Ave.
This was called the Pacific Electric
Santa Monica Air Line.

The Historic Palms Train station was nearby, at the intersection of Vinton Ave. and National Blvd..

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This Don's Palms, CA early 1950's house
webpage was last updated on 2016-04-20.