“Clifford Reid House” – developer of the Hollywood Riviera
(All information contained in this section is from the ‘History of the Early Hollywood Riviera’, by Marshall E. Stewart)For more early pictures of the Hollywood Riviera, please visit the Neighborhood Pictures page.
The Early Years
The first inhabitants of what later became know as Hollywood Riviera were Native American Tribes– most likely the Shoshone and/or Chumash tribes. The early travelers to the area did not understand the Indians’ way of life. They felt these Indians were inferior to the eastern tribes and called them ‘digger’ Indians. These tribes actually had a highly moral and peaceful way of life. Some of the finest woven baskets were created by these native inhabitants.The ‘Castles’
Before the development of the Hollywood Riviera the area was dry-farmed. The other residents of that time were squatters that lived at the base of the bluff. They too found the springs. The lumber and cargo piers at Redondo spilled or threw away unwanted lumber. The ‘castles’ were built on pilings and out of available otsam. Years ago, evidence could be seen where the residents had cut int the cliff for their replaces. Dwellers lived there for health and economic reasons, and sometimes to evade the law. The development of the Hollywood Riviera caused the Corporation to discourage these residents by evicting them and burning these structures.
The Clifford Reid Corporation
The Clifford Reid Corporation developed the Hollywood Riviera. The mile square property was similar to the French Riviera which Clifford Reid had visited on a European vacation. Reid was entranced by the motion picture industry, and upon nding the open land south of Redondo, felt it would be a natural location for the Hollywood Set to buy and build. Potential land buyers were taken by wagon, auto, and street car to the outlaying sites, fed lunch, and given a promotional speech to convince them to buy. Most of the cities east of Los Angeles were started in this way. The salesmen, working for Reid, would go to the hotels and seek out tourists, invite them down to the Hollywood Riviera development, drive them down to a free lunch and speech as well as a promotional film.
World War II Years
On Dec. 25 1941 at the start of WWII the rst sighting of a Japanese submarine was seen from the veranda of the Hollywood Riviera Beach Club. Soldiers unfamiliar with the ocean were placed along the cliffs and at the Club. One of the soldiers, looking through a telescope, spotted an unusual vessel near one of the shing barges. He asked Roy Stewart, the Club manager, to identify what kind of vessel it was, and he recognized it as a submarine. The sighting was reported, causing a small military plane to arrive over the surfaced sub and drop a bomb. The submarine moved westward on the surface and as dusk and low clouds increased, a Navy ship could be dimly seen ring at the Japanese submarine.
Great video created by the Torrance Historical Society featuring Marshall Stewart himself. A great short story recanting days of old in the Hollywood Riviera! History of the Hollywood Riviera featuring Marshall Stewart.