At the edge of the Verdugo Adobe's...

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

adobe.

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

by appointment.

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