Most of the people who settled in Glendale in the early 1900s came
from the Midwest or the East Coast. Far from home and family, they
banded together with others who were building this entirely new
community, socializing through churches, schools and organizations.
Around 1907, several residents formed a group called the Glendale
Old Settlers Assn. They first met in July 1907 in Echo Park.
Glendale's only newspaper at the time, a weekly called the News,
contained a full description of the event. Seventy-five people
attended, including founding families such as the Richardsons,
Pattersons, Goodes, Bullises, Ayres, Parchers, Hobbs, Logans and
Also in the crowd was J.W. Cook, a celebrated "Indian fighter,"
and his wife, who lived in a home on San Fernando Road in Glendale
that had been built in 1878. At the time it was built, it was the
only residence between Los Angeles and the Sepulveda area.
The next year, the Old Settlers again met at Echo Park. This time,
a local poetess, Ellen B. Newcomb, wrote an account of the gathering
in rhyme and it was published in the News.
At the third annual picnic, in September 1909, N.C. Burch read
excerpts from correspondence written by people living in Glendale in
The Old Settlers moved to Verdugo Park the next year, but for some
reason that location wasn't suitable, because 1911 found them back at
Echo Park. That year, J.C. Sherer was elected president and he and
his wife invited the entire membership to their Somerset Farm back in
Glendale the next year. They set a date as the third Saturday in
The group wasn't exclusive; everyone in Glendale Valley, as it was
called those days, was invited, including visitors from out of town.
The only admonition was this one, "Everybody who behaves himself will
be welcomed regardless of age or sex."
The Sherers' Somerset Farm was the regular meeting place for the
Old Settlers for many years. Later, they moved to the grounds of the
Casa Adobe De San Rafael on Dorothy Drive.
Nowadays, the "Old Settlers" are gone, but the "Old-Timers" have
taken their place at one of the city's longest running social events.
This annual affair, now in its 97th year, will observe its 100th
anniversary in 2007, just one year after Glendale celebrates 100
years as a city.
On behalf of the Glendale Old-Timers Association, Doris McKently
invites new and old friends to the Labor Day picnic from 11 a.m. to 3
p.m. Monday at Casa Adobe, 1330 Dorothy Drive.
* KATHERINE YAMADA'S column runs every other Saturday. To contact
her, call features editor Joyce Rudolph at 637-3241. For more
information on Glendale's history, visit the Glendale Historical
Society's website at www.glendalehistorical.org; call the reference
desk at the Central Library at 548-2027; or visit the Special
Collections Room at Central (open by appointment only).