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As we've discovered in our exploration into Highland Park, Charles Fletcher Lummis was a man who wore many hats, literally and figuratively. Among many other roles, he was City Editor of Los Angeles Times, librarian at the L.A. Public Library, founder of the Southwest Museum, Indian rights activist, magazine publisher, and home builder. He had quite a unique fashion sense as well.
Every year in June, the Northeast Los Angeles community celebrates his life and legacy at the annual Lummis Day Festival, taking place at various locations around Highland Park, including Lummis' own home El Alisal. You can find more information by visiting their website.
El Alisal was a magnet for a "rainbow of cultural traditions." Musicians, poets, writers, and artists gathered at the Arroyo Seco-adjacent home for salon-like parties, which he dubbed "noises." A peek into The Autry National Center's online archives reveals a who's-who of L.A.'s bohemian culture who had visited El Alisal, often sitting for a portrait in front of Lummis' own camera. If Lummis Day were held during Lummis' lifetime, these are the intellectuals and eccentrics who likely would have attended the festival.
Here's a look at some of the visitors to El Alisal. The following portraits were all taken by Charles Lummis himself:
Snapshots from El Alisal:
Top: Lummis with a few of his admirers, El Alisal, 1928. Courtesy of The Autry National Center.