Opened its doors in 1912. The trolley dropped guests off at the entrance.
A Snap-Shot History of Beverly Hills Part 2By Robbie Anderson – Special to the Courier
In 1900 Charles Canfield, heading some of the premier oil companies of the day, purchased the Hammer & Denker Ranch with the intention of drilling for oil. After drilling over 30 dry wells, the Rodeo Land & Water Company was formed by a group including Canfield, Burton Green, Max Whittier, Frank Buck and Henry Huntington who had begun to lay out track for a trolley car system which would later become the largest interconnected-system in the country with over a 1000 miles of track. In its infant stages one of the stops was Morocco Junction, which would soon become Beverly Hills.
Rodeo Land & Water Co. had begun to subdivide and although some street and parkland had been laid in, lot sales where slow to say the least. Only a handful of lots sold and a couple of company spec homes were under construction.
Percy Clark was the first realtor and had his office inside the trolley stop know as Beverly. He would greet prospective lot purchasers with a fancy horse-drawn carriage to take them on a tour. He also was credited for our having curved streets, which was unheard of at the time.
The corporation insisted that everything be done in the best possible manner regardless of expense. It had to be perfect. They figured the only way they could ever sell Beverly was to get a hotel built and get some people living out here.
Enter Margaret J. Anderson and her son Stanley who had built the Hollywood Hotel up from 16 rooms to 250 rooms during the period from 1905 to 1910 (current location of the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.)
Her motto was her guests were entitled to the best of everything regardless of cost and that fell right in line with the Rodeo Land & Water Company’s plan. Margaret and Stanley had perfected their marketing and presentation to an unparalleled excellence and saw the opportunity to do everything bigger and better at Beverly. This time they would own the property as well as the building, which wasn’t the case at the Hollywood Hotel.
Construction began in early 1911 and the hotel opened its doors on May 1, 1912. It was quite a procession as the majority of her clientele from Hollywood came with her. There were many unique features of the hotel including bungalows to house the guests who would return every year with their staff and children to escape the harsh northern and eastern climates. A good number of these guests chose to buys lots and build their home here.
The hotel was a self-contained city which had its own generating station, drug store, beauty salon and barber shop, Western Union and Wells Fargo offices, restaurants, tennis courts, bowling alley, movie theatre and stables, which housed 25-gaited Kentucky Horses for the Hotel guests use. In addition there was a school on the premises for the guests’s children and church services were held weekly.
The Los Angeles Country Club provided membership privileges while staying at the hotel and guests could literally play golf between the two.
Lots were starting to sell and Beverly Hills was on its way. (The idea of anchoring a housing project with a total and golf course is not something new.)
Robbie Anderson is the great grandson of Margret Anderson, the original owner/builder of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
(PART 3 NEXT WEEK)
© 2001 Beverly Hills Courier. All Rights Reserved.
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