The Way We Were

3

The Great Eleven Cult in Topanga

An unusual Topanga Beach sight in August 1924 would have been Sam Rizzio, 18, walking back and forth, repeating, “I am a dead man,” while a woman sprinkled a vial to wet…

6

Topanga Yacht Harbor Planned at Cooper’s Camp

While the Topanga Yacht Harbor never materialized, in 1975, the Topanga Woman’s Club formed the Topanga Creek Yacht Club, “in view of the importance of the creek to life in Topanga.” (See…

5

The Santa Monica Pier Turns 110

The Santa Monica Pier turned 110 on September 9. It’s an impressive anniversary for a structure whose fate has so often been in the balance.  This much-loved and nationally recognized landmark has…

11

“A Bullfight Shuts Down the Rodeo Grounds”

Although rodeo stunts were introduced to the Cooper brothers’ ranch by Helen Gibson in 1921, and the first official rodeo was thrown there in honor of Sheriff William Traeger in 1922, the…

8

“Helen Gibson and The Rodeo Grounds”

The development of Topanga Beach happened quickly after a public campsite was created there in 1919 by two brothers, manager Miller Cooper and Deputy Sheriff Archie Cooper. Dancing was popular at Cooper’s…

4

“Silents in the Canyon”

Topanga Beach was also the setting for early movies, most notably a 15-minute, single-reel film, Crossing the American Prairies in the Early Fifties, that was directed through a megaphone by D. W.…

They Tramped to Topango

About 40 years after the last Native Americans departed Topanga Beach, the land was given by Mexico to Ysidro Reyes (1813-1861) and Francisco Marquez (1798-1850) as part of a 6,656-acre grant in…

W. W. Coolbaugh and Jack Rabbit Lodge

Colonel William W. Coolbaugh was 70 years old in 1909 when he bought Jack Rabbit Lodge from a fisherman named Harry Johnson. It was the only residence at Topanga Beach. For years,…

3

Native Americans of Topanga Beach

For decades,  it has been known that a number of Indian bones were buried all along the bluffs by the sea. Occasionally after a high tide, relics… are to be seen, the…