At the edge of the Verdugo Adobe's porch hangs a sign, "Catalina
Adobe." And therein lies a tale.
For many years, Glendale's newest historic site, the Verdugo Adobe
at 2211 Bonita Drive, bore the name of Catalina Verdugo, the daughter
of land grant owner Jose Maria Verdugo.
When Jose Maria Verdugo signed his will in 1828, he divided his
estate between two of his children, his son, Julio, and one of his
daughters, Catalina. Although he had two other daughters, they had
both married and were presumably well provided for. Catalina,
however, was blind from smallpox and had never married. She made her
home with her father until his death in 1831 at 80.
Julio and Catalina were to divide the fruit trees, and Catalina
was to be given the vineyard. With the death of his father, Julio,
42, assumed his father's role of landed don. Catalina, meanwhile,
made her home with a series of relatives. Cash was tight in those
days and a loan taken out by Julio eventually forced the siblings
into bankruptcy proceedings. In 1871, the court divided the ranch
into parcels to satisfy the many claims against the Verdugos.
Around 1860, Julio's son, Teodoro, built an adobe on what was left
of the land grant and invited Catalina to live with his family.
Because of Catalina's status as Jose Maria's daughter, and because
she had originally inherited the northern half of the land grant,
people assumed that she owned the adobe and for many years it was
known as the Catalina Adobe. Signs indicating this were placed at the
Dora Verdugo, daughter of Teodoro, contended that it was her
father's house, not her great aunt's.
"It was not built by Jose Maria Verdugo, who was my
great-grandfather. It was built by my father, Teodoro Verdugo, some
time around 1860," she wrote in a letter to the News-Press. She also
said that Catalina lived there for a long time.
In 1952, the Old Settlers Assn. of Glendale formally supported
Dora Verdugo's position and adopted a resolution that the adobe on
Bonita Drive be known as the Teodoro Verdugo Adobe Casa, rather than
the Catalina Adobe Casa.
These days, it is known simply as the Verdugo Adobe.
* KATHERINE YAMADA'S column runs Saturdays. To contact her, leave
a message at 637-3241. For more information on Glendale's history,
contact the reference desk at the Central Library at 548-2027. Due to
budget cuts, the Special Collections Room at Central is now open only