A Hollywood Newcomer’s Cabin, 1909

February 20, 2013 § 4 Comments

The Seldom Inn/Courtesy Tommy Dangcil

The Seldom Inn/Courtesy Tommy Dangcil


In early 20th century Los Angeles, it was stylish to send postcards of local houses–whether your own, a friend’s or a movie star’s–to the folks back home. When I met the local historian Tommy Dangcil last month, I was struck by the number of such cards in his collection. Because he had published a collection of postcards that included Hollywood homes (Hollywood 1900-1950 in Vintage Postcards, Arcadia) I knew about the phenomenon, particularly in regards to the mansions of local grandees. But I was more impressed by postcards of houses that were utterly ordinary–except, of course, for their exotic location.

The messages on such cards invariably express delight about life in Southern California–the houses, flowers and climate. The sense of departure from old norms is still palpable today, as in the card pictured above. Though the house is a tiny, unlandscaped cabin, it is brand new and–as the writer proudly attests–“Just three rooms but all we need for we are ‘Seldom inn’ unless it rains.”

Next time: “I Love You, California”: the song, the era and the ad.

Related post: https://underthehollywoodsign.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/visiting-tommy-dangcil/

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