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Old Posted Jun 9, 2010, 5:28 PM
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gsjansen gsjansen is offline
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i have become absolutely fascinated with the wolfskill groves, and it's transformation from idyllic orange groves, to the center of los angeles's industrial area.

here is some of what i have found so far;

William Wolfskill, a native of Kentucky, came to California in 1831 and settled in Los Angeles in 1836, where he soon met and married Magdalena Lugo, daughter of Jose Ygnacio Lugo. In March 1838, Wolfskill purchased a 100-acre lot bounded by 3rd to 9th streets and San Pedro to Alameda streets, which he named Wolfskill Ranch, and built a large adobe (known as "Wolfskill Adobe") located at 239 Alameda, between 3rd and 4th streets. In 1839 Wolfskill became a major grape producer when he planted the first vineyard of table grapes in California. Two years later, in 1841, he planted his first 2-acre plot of citrus behind his adobe, between 4th and 6th streets east of Alameda. In a short period of time, Wolfskill's farm had increased to 28-acres of planted citrus with over 2,500 orange trees. By 1862 he owed 3/4 of all the orange trees in California and was the biggest orange grower in the United States - for which he is considered the father of early California citrus industry. In 1865, Wolfskill purchased Rancho Santa Anita, where he planted eucalyptus seeds that he had imported from Australia. The eucalyptus trees, which still stand today, were the first of their kind in California. William Wolfskill died in 1866 at the age of 68, but the property remained in the family, with his son Louis Wolfskill taking over the operation of the ranch. Eventually, all but seven acres of the Wolfskill Ranch would either been sold or subdivided. Years later, the still-standing Wolfskill Adobe would be razed to make way for the old Southern Pacific Railroad's Arcade Station, which was located at Fifth and Alameda. This, too, would be demolished in 1914 and replaced with a larger and more modern railroad passenger depot - the Central Station. In 1916, the Ice & Cold Storage Plant was built on a portion of the land, and was located on 3rd and Central avenues. By 1958, the Ice & Cold Storage Plant had become Young's Market Company, located at 500 S. Central Avenue.

the wolfskill adobe located at Alameda between 3rd and 4th streets.


obviously the palm tree that got planted in front of the arcade station, didn't need to travel very far. Note the realty office on the right

USC Digital Archives

picking oranges in the wolfskill grove


William Wolfskill with banana trees in the grove

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