- Type of Place
- Metro Area
- Los Angeles/San Diego
- Politics c. 1860?
- Unions, Organized Labor?
Sundown Town Status
- Sundown Town in the Past?
- Was there an ordinance?
- Don't Know
- Year of Greatest Interest
- Still Sundown?
- Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People
Method of Exclusion
Main Ethnic Group(s)
The following quotes are all excerpted and transcribed from newspapers published in the La Canada area in 1941 (dates are provided).
“Recently, a colored family negotiated for the purchase of acreage in La Canada… They [the people of La Canada] also recognize that where folk of one race force their way amongst other racial groups, there is often discontent and bitterness. La Canadans believe that they have a right to choose the neighbors in the community that they have developed. They feel that they have the right to avoid possible unpleasantries by ‘prevention-rather-than-cure’ methods” (Editorial in the Crescenta Valley Ledger, 4/10/1941).
“’We are confronted with a serious situation in La Canada Valley,’ . . . . ‘A colored family is negotiating for the purchase of a home in this locality, a certain property owner is urging the lifting of race restrictions, and prospective restrictions either have lapsed or are on the point of lapsing in scattered tracts throughout the district.’ … In his letter, [the head of the Chamber of Commerce] urged property owners to examine the deed restrictions on their property, and he stated today that it would materially help the restriction committee if property owners were prepared to state whether or not the restrictions had lapsed” (“La Canada C of C Head Urges Large Attendance, Crescenta Valley Ledger, 4/10/1941)
“Confronted with the lapse of racial restrictions in various tracts throughout the Valley, and realizing that to restrict property against ownership and occupancy by any group or race is at once unconstitutional and impossible, residents of La Canada, joined by many residents of other sections of the valley, voted in favor of an intensive canvass to sign all property owners in a voluntary agreement not to sell to other than the Caucasian race… It was pointed out that the La Canada chamber is not race discriminatory. The body merely wishes to maintain the status quo, and thereby avoid any possible unpleasantness or racial troubles” (“Race Restriction Meet Draws Crowd”, Crescenta Valley Ledger, 4/17/1941).
“[A] long-time resident of Pasadena and an interested visitor to the local meeting, spoke on the present program under way in Pasadena, stressing the point that there is no racial discrimination in the restriction program; it is purely an economic question, for where non-Caucasians have been allowed to settle in Caucasian communities, the property values have undeniably dropped … [He] advices La Canadas to regard the question as one vital to their future land values and urged immediate and decisive action” (“Fight to Restrict La Canada Valley”, Crescenta Valley Ledger, 5/7/1941).
“Final plans for launching the second phase of the race restriction program for La Canada Valley, undertaken last Spring by La Canada Valley Chamber of Commerce, were completed last Thursday night at a conference between directors of the chamber and executives of the Land Escrow Company of Alhambra, which is handling the legal phases of the program and supervising the organization of the committees to be appointed to secure signatures… This program was launched early this year after several threats of non-Caucasian race infiltration into the Valley were brought to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce. A similar program is in the final stages of completed in the Flintridge area where owners of approximately 400 parcels of property signed agreements to restrict use and occupancy of premises to members of the Caucasian race” (“Race Restrictions Drive Under Way”, Crescenta Valley Ledger, 11/6/1941).
“Q: Why should property owners restrict the use of property to Caucasians? A: First, to protect its economic value. The value of property in an unrestricted district is destroyed when a mixed race condition develops. Second, to prevent social problems from developing, occasioned by mixed races. Third, to maintain our schools free from race problems… Q: why does the Chamber of Commerce undertake to have me sign this agreement? A: Because it is doing all that it can to make La Canada a better place in which to live. The agreement will preserve your property values, your home life, and the high standard of your schools. Q: What will this agreement mean to La Canada? A: La Canada is one of only two or three communities in the Crescenta-Canada Valley that does not NOW have a race problem. You should be proud that La Canada is your place of abode and that you own La Canada property. There is a REAL danger, however, that La Canada cannot continue to enjoy this distinction, unless YOU do your part and restrict your property” (Editorial, Crescenta Valley Ledger, 11/13/1941).
“The program was undertaken, . . . , at the instigation of a majority of residents in the Valley, and he urged immediate cooperation in order that the undertaking may be carried through to completion without delay. Some question has been raised as to the legality of the agreements, he said. Everyone may rest assured that the validity of this form of restriction has been attested by many prominent attorneys and experts on land titles, including members of the legal and title staff of the Title Insurance and Trust Company of Los Angeles and the Land Escrow Company of Alhambra he declared. No other legal method exists for placing restrictions on property that does not now have restrictions” (“La Canada chamber Holds First ‘Open Shop’ Tonight”, Crescenta Valley Ledger, 2/19/1942).
Additional oral history evidence from the 1970s.