Tag Archives: historical

WAHA 22nd Annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery

WAHA’s Annual Living History Tour through Rosedale Cemetery is coming up in September.  Tickets are on sale now at the link below.  This event is loads of fun – and great for ages 12 & up!   Don’t miss out – and get your tickets now for this event before they sell out.

West Adams Heritage Association

West Adams Heritage Association presents
the 22nd Annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery

Entertaining Lives

History Comes to Life on Saturday, September 29

Marilyn Monroe’s Grandmother, Buster Keaton’s Cameraman Join Vaudeville and Jazz Age Performers
on this Unique Outdoor “Stage”

Flappers, singers, dancers, magicians, and even a celebrity chef –– a host of colorful entertainers rest at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, one of the city’s oldest, most historically significant cemeteries.

At this year’s Living History Tour, visitors will “meet” some of Los Angeles’s most interesting early performers and entertainment industry personages as costumed actors, at graveside, portray the lives of a Civil War-era escape artist, a headlining dancer who lost her life in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, a mezzo soprano who fought for civil rights, and a Chinese-American dancer/actor/MC, among other quirky and wonderful characters. 

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery was founded in 1884, and is now home to many generations of Los Angeles’s citizens, representing every race, faith, and creed.  Each year, West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) tells some of their life stories while touring the historic grounds and elaborately-carved monuments of L.A.’s first lawn cemetery.

Tours will depart every 25 minutes, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (Advance reservations REQUIRED; each tour group’s participants are pre-assigned.)

This year’s tour commemorates not only Los Angeles’s longtime role as the center of this country’s entertainment industry, but also the roles several of these personages played in the larger history of civil rights.  In addition, the tour memorializes the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865).

This year’s portrayals include:

  • Della Hogan Monroe, Marilyn Monroe’s colorful grandmother; a religious devotee, Mrs. Monroe had baby Norma Jean baptized at the Hawthorne Foursquare Church in 1926;
  • Victor Dol, L.A.’s first chef trained in Paris, who opened an elegant French restaurant in 1876 that soon earned the nickname “Delmonico’s of the West”;
  • Rita Carewe, a Jazz Age starlet and “Baby WAMPAS” (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) winner who appeared in films with Delores del Rio, Edward Everett Horton, and Mary Pickford;
  • Sadie Cole, a Fisk Jubilee singer and a civil rights activist who helped desegregate L.A.’s cafes and beaches;
  • Byron Houck, baseball pitcher for the 1913 World Series Philadelphia A’s, who later became Buster Keaton’s cameraman on “The General.” Houck was the Vernon Tigers’ ace pitcher when the team was owned by Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle;
  • Mildred Washington, a vaudeville dancer and choreographer who headlined at Sebastian’s Cotton Club in Los Angeles;
  • Harry Cooke, Magician and Civil War Union Army “scout” who was America’s first Escape Artist;
  • Honorable Wu (Harry Gee Haw), actor, singer, dancer, and vaudeville impresario known as “The Broadway Mandarin.”


Advance Reservations and Ticket Purchases Only — No Walk-ins!

Tours depart approximately every 25 minutes, beginning at 9 a.m., with the last tour at noon. The public is invited. Tickets are by advance reservation only; each tour has a limited number of spaces. The Living History Tour is a three-hour docent-led walk through the cemetery, over uneven terrain; visitors are advised to wear appropriate clothing and walking shoes.


Click the link at the top of the page to purchase tickets.

Select the Early Morning time slot (departing between 9 a.m. & 10 a.m.).

Select the Late Morning time slot (departing between 10 a.m. & 11 a.m.).

Or select the Mid-Day time slot (departing between 11 a.m. & Noon).

Please select which general time slot you prefer. Several guided tours will depart within each slot. The tours each last 2-3 hours. Your specific tour time will vary based on several factors, but we will endeavor to assign you your choice of early morning, late morning, or mid-day departure.  If you would like to reserve a tour with particular guests or docent, please e-mail us after your purchase so we can watch for your friends’ purchases and place you together on a tour. We will confirm your specific time via e-mail after September 15. Thank you for your patience.

Tickets are by reservation only.  $25 in advance, paid by September 24.  $35 after that or on day of tour, if space is available.  (Children under 10 attend free.)

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery is located at 1831 West Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007.

The tour will raise funds for the West Adams Heritage Association, to help support its efforts to preserve and promote the community’s architectural and cultural heritage.

For more information, please email tours@westadamsheritage.org.

WAHA 4th of July Celebration!!

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Summer is officially here, so gather up the entire family for lots of outdoor fun with all of your WAHA neighbors and friends!! Our annual BBQ & Potluck Picnic will be celebrated on

Wednesday, July 4th 

Chris Barnes and Maisha Closson have generously offered to open their beautiful home for us, and we wish to extend a gracious thank you to them for doing so.

Be sure to invite your neighbors with join us, even if they are not currently WAHA members.  We would be very pleased to have them attend.  There will be a jumper for the youngsters, and entertainment for all to enjoy, along with the hotdogs and potluck offerings that each of us will bring to share.

2427 South 4th Avenue

(on the corner at 25th Street)

11:30 a.m.  to  3:00 p.m.

Golden State Mutual Open House – October 22nd


See the Historic Murals

Open House | October 22, 2011 | Noon – 3pm
Golden State Mutual | 1999 West Adams Blvd.

Tourgoers will be visiting the iconic Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building, designed by architect Paul Williams in 1947 for 

the first African American-owned insurance company established west of the Mississippi. The Late Moderne building with its notable integrated murals by artists Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff was recently designated HCM 1000, Los Angeles’ newest Historic Cultural Monument. The murals are endangered, threatened with removal. 

This might be the public’s last chance to view them. The open house is spearheaded by WAHA’s long-running efforts of preservation advocacy.

This opportunity to view the historic murals that grace the lobby is hosted by WAHA in collaboration with the California African American Museum, Los Angeles Conservancy, and Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles. 

Tourgoers will also receive a copy of WAHA’s most recent publication, West Adams’ Landmarks of African American History.

Advance Tickets Are $15.00 
And Available atwww.westadamsheritage.org