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History Summaries
Palms, Los Angeles History

3401 Mentone Ave.,
Palms, CA

Los Angeles, CA 90034
(This page is not intended for small screens.)
by
Vaughn Aubuchon

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 (off page)

1. 3401 Mentone Ave. 54

  9. Bob Hope & Friends 1953

2. Mary Beth, Don, Tippi 49

10. Back Alley 1954

3. Don and Tippy 49

11. Lou Costello 1954

4. Don, Mary Beth, Tippy 49

12. Bud Abbott 1954

5. Don with Covered Wagon 50

13. Across the Street 2016

6. Don, Mary Beth, Mom 51

14. Sanborn Block Map - 1910

7. Don, Mary Beth and Tippi 51

15. Palms WPA Map - 1939

8. Don and Vaughn 53

16. Palms, CA History

 

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3401 Mentone Ave., Palms, CA
1. Lou Costello coming out the front door (1954) 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.
Camera facing West toward Keystone Ave.

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Don, Mary Beth McCuaig and Tippy
4. Don McCuaig, big sister Mary Beth and Tippy (1949-?) -
(house across the street at 3404 had not yet been built)
Looking East toward Mentone Ave.


Looking across Woodbine at the Hayes property, one would see
where the Berean Foursquare Church used to be in the 1920s.
It has been 75 years, you know.
Old Palms Drug Store can be seen seen across Motor Ave.
in the background, at
3402 Motor Ave.
This building is a virtual icon for the Little Rascals/ Our Gang movies
of the 1920s and 1930s, which can be visited at my page here -
Our Gang Filming Locations

Later on, in the 1940s and 1950s,
it was my Grampa Dillingham's Masonic Lodge.
It was just two stories, but each had 12 foot ceilings.
The smaller building just to the right of it, is also seen in several movies.
The building at 3404 that would block this view (shown below),
was built soon after this photo was taken.

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Don McCuaig with Covered Wagon
5. Don McCuaig with Covered Wagon in alley behind house (1950-?)
Next door neighbor Mr. Peters helped Don to make his wagon into a covered wagon.
Mr. Peters was retired, and had a parrot and a fish tank.

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Mrs. McCuaig, Don and Mary Beth
6. Don, Mrs. McCuaig and Mary Beth (1951-?)
Mentone Avenue is in the background. Looking east from the side yard.

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Don, Mary Beth and Tippi McCuaig
7. Don, Mary Beth and Tippi McCuaig (1951-?)
Don had a huge front yard, because the property consisted of 2 adjacent lots.
I remember the crabapple trees by the fence of the 2nd lot.

 

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Don McCuaig and Vaughn Aubuchon
8. Don McCuaig and Vaughn Aubuchon - (circa 1953-?) - We were 9.
Looking West. The alley is just over the jagged back fence.
The building across the alley is still standing at
10522 Woodbine Ave.
Don is standing on the gate. Compare with the photo #10 below with Lou Costello.
Don moved away to Novato, CA in 1953, before the movie was made in 1954.
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Bob Hope and Friends
9. Bob Hope (cat) and Friends (1953-?)
In the living room. As I recall, Don's house differed from houses in the neighborhood,
as it had 10 or 12 foot ceilings. I remember running around and playing inside.
Most of the houses around there had 8 foot ceilings.


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Lou Costello in alley behind 3401 Mentone
10. Back Alley of 3401 Mentone Ave. (1954).
The same fence gate as in the photo above.
Note the 2x4 nailed on the fence peaks, so that Lou did not
rip himself apart, when he climbed over in the movie.

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.



 

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Lou Costello next to 3401 Mentone Ave.
11. Lou Costello in 1954 "Dance with Me, Henry" (1956 release).
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, or "Poverty Row".

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Bud Abbott in yard at 3401 Mentone Ave.
12. Bud Abbott in the side yard of 3401 Mentone Ave. (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 (looked like Dick Powell).
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.
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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
13. Across the Street in 2018
3404 Mentone Ave. in 2016. (built 1951? - missing in 1949, there in 1952)
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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14. 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,

My house was at 3345 Mentone (yellow),
     then actress Dorothy Neumann,
     then Mrs. Hayes,
     then 2 lots where the church was, then
Don's house was at 3401 Mentone (by "3rd"),
     just across Woodbine St.
     then Mr. Peters house.
1st Ave. became Overland Ave.
2nd Ave. became Keystone Ave.
3rd Ave. became Mentone Ave.
4th Ave. became Motor Ave.

Del Mar Ave became Woodbine St.
Cyprus Ave. became Palms Blvd.




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     15. 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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16. 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 - previous URL was http://www.palmscycle.com/).
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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DISCLAIMER
I am responsible for the content on this page.

MANY, MANY thanks to Don McCuaig for providing all the historical photos on this page. Some guesswork was employed for the dates.

Without his input, this page would not have been created. It was GREAT hearing from him after 63 years. Both of us spent K through 3rd grade at Palms Elementary on Motor Ave., and we saw lots of movies together at the Palms Theater on Motor Ave. We used to slide down the iceplants on cardboard near the old Palms Train Station, and hang out around the old Palms Lumber Co.

One day I almost burned down his garage playing with matches. I caught he|| for that. There was to be NO Palms Theater on the following Saturday.

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This Don's Palms, CA early 1950's house
webpage was last updated on 2019-05-01.