Tobacco and candy at the post office

The candy and tobacco store that opened in the city’s main post office in the late 1940s was part of a nationwide movement to provide work for persons living with a disability.

In 1947, Postmaster Max L. Green, with assistance from the state and federal governments and the Lions clubs of the area, installed and outfitted a candy and tobacco stand in the post office’s lobby. It was operated by Eldon Littell.

Green turned the keys of the fully-stocked stand over to Littell, a member of the Foothill Service Club for the Blind, in an informal ceremony that included Mayor Albert C. Lane and Ray Barker, chair of the Foothill Council for the Blind. The council represented the six Lions clubs then supporting the club for the blind.

The tobacco and candy stand, which represented an investment of nearly $2,000, was one of several similar stands being installed in other cities throughout the state to provide the handicapped a way of making a living, according to the Glendale News-Press of January 3, 1947.

Littell, born with defective vision, was selected for the position by the club for the blind.

The East Broadway post office opened in 1934 under the supervision of Postmaster Edwin F. Heisser, who had been appointed to the office in 1927 during President Calvin Coolidge’s administration. The imposing building, nearly a block long, was constructed of terra cotta with marble trim on the exterior. The lobby, 230 feet long, was lined with marble and finished with bronzed window grills. Hundreds of windows — along with more than 300 electric lights — were installed to provide light for the employees, according to a pamphlet distributed at the dedication by the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Joseph F. Baudino was mayor of Glendale when the new post office was dedicated on March 3, 1934. First class postage was then six cents and mail arrived from Los Angeles several times a day.

Max Green had been in charge of the post office since 1935. He was a local man who was raised on a ranch in La Cañada and rode a horse-drawn cart down seven miles of dirt roads to attend high school in Glendale. When he was 16, he quit school to work on his father’s ranch. He later married, worked in Long Beach during World War I and in 1918 moved back to Glendale to open an automobile agency, according to the News-Press of September 11, 1968.

In 1932, Green supported John S. McGroarty’s election to Congress and later McGroarty recommended him for the postmaster job.

Green was appointed temporary postmaster on February 26, 1935, learning of his designation from an article in the Los Angeles Times dated that morning. He took office in August, after signing an oath of office and mailing the document off to Washington D.C., and received his commission from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was given the oath of office by Mrs. A. J. Schoen, who had been his private secretary for 12 years.

The East Broadway post office was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Readers Write:

In connection with Verdugo Views, September 7, 2011, Stuart Byles, of the Stonebarn Vineyard Conservancy, wrote, “Deukmejian Wilderness Park still has a vineyard that is producing grapes, with wine being made from them. When the City of Glendale remodeled the Park in 2004, they planted a commemorative vineyard of nearly 80 vines in front of the great stone barn to celebrate the wine-making history of the LeMesnager family and the Crescenta Valley.’’

The Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley was asked to maintain the vineyard and, in response, formed the Conservancy. The vineyard is in its fifth vintage year.


If you have questions, comments or memories to share, please write to Katherine Yamada/Verdugo Views in care of the News-Press, 221 N. Brand Blvd., 2nd Floor, Glendale, CA 91203. Please include your name, address and phone number.

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