Paradise Leased is Creaking Back to Life

A message from our founder…

Wiggins PortIf there’s still anyone out there who may care after all these months, we here @ PL wanted you to know that Paradise Leased is going to start coming back to life over the next few weeks. We’ve been away with a big book project that has just been completed. We then took a few days off for a nervous breakdown and a few more for a drinking binge so we are now getting ready to pick up where we left off with new stories of old Hollywood/Southern California and the West for your enjoyment and amusement. Even as we speak, the ladies are busy pulling the files so there will be new doings soon enough. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with. I just wish they’d hurry up.

For the many who wrote in asking about our whereabouts we heartily thank you for your kind words and patience. And thank you to the more than a quarter of a million people who dropped in to visit our little site last year alone.

Central 2

In the interim, please enjoy this fabulous 1906 postcard view of Hollywood in the days of my strapping youth before those “flicker” people came in and ruined everything. It was taken from the parapet of the grand old Hotel Hollywood and is showing the view west of Highland towards La Brea (Plummer back then). The house marked with an “X” is at the corner of Hillside and Pine, today’s El Centro. The Mission/Dutch hybrid house in the immediate foreground was @ 135 Olive Drive, which by 1913 had been renumbered/renamed 1735 Orchid Avenue. It was one of early, early Hollywood’s show places and home to Hollywood realtor C.H. (Charles Howard) Lippincott and family. Born in Sherard, Illinois, Lippincott had been paymaster of the Rock Island and Peoria Railroad before seeking his fortunes in Hollywood in 1905. It was in that young community that he became one of its most prominent citizens. Lippincott joined all the right clubs and was a member of the Los Angles Country Club and the Jonathan Club. He was also an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Realty Board as well as being a member of the Commandry of the Knights Templar and the Al Malaikah Temple of the Shrine. In 1898, he had married the fetching Nellie M. Stephens, daughter of a founder of the Moline Plow Company. He died in 1931 @ 63 after an illness of several months. By that time, the Lippincotts had long moved away from the Olive house and over to 1853 North Harvard. Here’s a better view of the Olive house with Mrs. Lippincott and children in front of the home.


Mrs. C.H. Lippincott of Hollywood yesterday afternoon entertained with a musical tea. American beauties decorated the dining room and living room; pink carnations the music room and library; and the hall was fresh with ferns and other greenery. The hostess was assisted in receiving by Mrs. J. Lippincott, Mrs. C.J. George, Mrs. Walter Poor, Mrs. L.H. Durant, Mrs. R.P. McJohnston, Mrs. G. Van Nest, Mrs. Alexander Barret, Mrs. Fred Smith, Mrs. Robert Risher, Mrs. Homer Laughlin, Mrs. Paul Compton, Mrs. C.F. Whittlesey, Mrs. Oliver Stratton, Mrs. W.R. Blackburn and Miss Blanche de Longpre. – Los Angeles Times March 10, 1909.

Long gone, of course.

Central 2AAlso, visible in the postcard is an unusual Mission-esque house with a second story viewing tower on the right hand side. Originally numbered 184 Orange Drive, this historic property is one of Hollywood’s oldest, most historic houses. It was built ca. 1900 and was later (1924-38) the home of silent screen star Conway Tearle. For decades, it has been the headquarters of the American Society of Cinematographers and it truly is a great Hollywood treasure. The present address is 1782-4 North Orange Drive @ Franklin, just across from the Holly Chateau/Magic Castle.

Tearle, Conway 1

Stay tuned. We’re coming back, ready or not!

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16 Responses to Paradise Leased is Creaking Back to Life

  1. Sil Adkins says:

    Thank you for posting!

  2. Ken Akers says:

    So good to have you back!

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Mary Mallory says:

    Good to have you back, and congratulations on finishing the book!

  4. June says:

    Welcome back!

  5. Brianna says:

    So good to see you back!!

  6. Rita Cavin says:

    Welcome back.

  7. Patrick says:

    Welcome Back! You’re such a tease….what’s the book?

  8. Kirk Trutner says:

    Good to have you back! Looking forward to more great stories!

  9. Marvin Stone says:

    What great news . . . we’ve missed you, Steve, and look forward to what you will be bringing us. Have you found anything on the Irene Dunne residence on No. Faring in Holmby Hills (since torn down)?

    Marvin Stone

  10. glad to hear it

    ray macdonnell, dublin

  11. judy says:

    Just stumbled on this site a week ago, but I did notice that Part IV of the Jack Pickford story, which was to shortly follow Part III (dated August 2011) was nowhere to be found. Hope this is on the drawing board. Part III was SO good, the logic SO perfectly presented, the research SO impressive. I liked the pictures too, particularly the comparison pics of Will Hays and Jack. I’m now holding my breath to learn what became of Jack. Actually, I’ve read enough about the silent era that I know what became of Jack, but I want your take on it.

    Now then, just because I’m nosy, tell me, how did you become interested in Jack Pickford?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks so much, Judy! Ah yes, Part IV. I do plan on finishing it but I got distracted by shiny objects. I hope to eventually finish it off, but I was at least glad to cover the most important areas of false information on Jack (and some on Olive too). At least there’s an alternate version out on the Internet now than the garbage written about him that hs no basis in fact.

      In answer to your other question, I don’t really know. i guess he just kept popping up on my radar everytime I read anything on Mary Pickford and then I saw a few of his films and thought he was really good. So much more natural than the typical silent era histrionics of some of his contemporaries. He seemed so interesting on a personal level, a real force of nature. Those kinds of people interest me more than the bigger stars and it’s hard to find anyone more interesting than Jack. I keep trying to gather more info on him as time goes by.

  12. John Nisbet says:

    Excellent! Congrats on the book project, and glad to see you back posting here.

  13. Andrew says:

    Glad you are back!

  14. hubert says:

    yes steve, I´m out there. great work. envy you ao for yr location.

  15. Carol says:

    I am related to the Stephens family of Moline. Do you have any photos of what came to be known as the McKinley Mansion (310 La Fayette Park Pl), owned in the 1920s by Charles Randall Stephens, my great grandfather? Do you know of any photos of him?

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