Whiting Woods History
An appreciation of Whiting Woods would certainly not be complete without some discussion of the history of the “Woods” itself. At least one member of your Association is in possession of a First Edition book entitled “PERRY Experiences of a Pioneer” written by Perry Whiting. The book has a copyright of 1930. All items shown in quotes below are excerpts taken from this book. Anyone wishing to browse or read this book should contact an Association Officer or Board Member.
Perry Whiting was born in Michigan on April 21, 1868. As an adult, he co-owned the Whiting-Mead Company that specialized in building material merchandising and lived at “3150 Honolulu Avenue, La Crescenta (Los Angeles), California.” In 1915, Mr. Whiting learned his company “had a lien on the Pasadena Mountain Club” for $2,500. He also learned the property was “about one and one-half miles west of Montrose, on Honolulu Avenue, situated in a canyon in the Verdugo Mountains” and it consisted of “44 acres of mountain land all except about 10 acres of which was too steep for any practical use.” The Club consisted of a few stockholders who paid $.25 or $.50 for a membership card. This prevented the owner from being arrested for selling liquor to the members. The Club also consisted “of a small club house and ten small one-room cabins used for bedrooms, which they rented out for assignation purposes.” When looking at the property, Mr. Whiting said, “It pleased me very much, from the fact that there were a great many Live Oak and Sycamore trees. Such places as this are not plentiful in Southern California.” Whiting-Mead bought the property for $7,000 and Mr. Whiting subsequently purchased the property from the Company for $9,000. He remodeled the Pasadena Mountain Club clubhouse and used it for his private residence.
In the fall of 1916, Mr. Whiting read in the Los Angeles Times “For Sale, 415 acres in the Verdugo Hills, in La Crescenta Valley.” He contacted the owner who lived in Wisconsin and found the property in question was in fact “part of the canyon adjoining my property” and that “This land was very beautiful, having a regular forest on many parts.” After negotiating for several months, Mr. Whiting bought the property for $14,000.
In early 1921, Mr. Whiting’s ranch home “burned to the ground furniture and all.” However, late in that same year, he purchased “260 acres up in the canyon for $20,000 from a Chinaman who pretended to raise vegetables for a living, but I believed he made his money selling opium, as I found afterwards to be a fact.” He now owned 670 acres in the Verdugo Mountains.
Finally, in late 1926, Mr. Whiting remarried and planned to build a new home on the “La Crescenta Ranch across the valley from the fire-scarred foundation of my old abode.”
Today, Whiting Woods is a peaceful enclave that consists of 170 homes occupied by approximately 374 residents. Its major and only entrance and exit is on Whiting Woods Road. Its other major streets are El Lado Drive and Mesa Lila Road. The Woods still contain an abundance of live oak and sycamore trees (both of which are protected by the City of Glendale) and wildlife, such as deer, rabbits, coyotes, snakes, bobcats, etc., can frequently be seen. There are hiking trails at the top of Whiting Woods and Mesa Lila roads and there is a seasonal stream that runs through the area. Truly, Whiting Woods is one of the best places to live in the Los Angeles Basin.