Described as a "land filled with tules", "the willows," and the "peatlands," the Wintersburg area had been home to the Tongva for at least 9,000 years. The peatlands and sea provided everything that was needed: game, shellfish, and warm sunny days.
Farmers and ranchers
Left: The Trial of a Horse Thief, John Mulvany (1839-1906), Clay, Cosack & Co., Buffalo and Chicago, Library of Congress.
The Ross family kept their horses "under lock and key so that they would have a mount when they had to go after horse thieves." The settlers soon discovered that an enterprising local, Juan Diaz, was actually running a horse thieving ring and collecting rewards for returning horses he had stolen. They brought him back to the livery in Santa Ana, and---in Western justice style--- "hung him by the rafters until he confessed..."
Hidden in the tules
Oilmen (and outlaws)
Left: The Los Angeles Herald provided a little background on Southern, found guilty of shooting a man who had crossed a "line he had drawn in the dust. Los Angeles Herald, April 9, 1896.
Southern was sentenced to serve 12 years in the penitentiary, but managed to get a new trial after seven months and the case was dismissed. By November 1908, he is back in trouble with the law. The Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported Southern was charged with "shooting at Constable Langto of Wintersburg, with intent to kill." Southern's wife, Nancy, reported he "fired at her with a revolver and chased her to the house of a neighbor, half a mile distant." Sherman Buck and his sister-in-law Mrs. Charles Buck responded to the call for help.
The Examiner also reported Southern's wife, Nancy, filed for divorce after the attempted murder. They apparently worked things out, as a circa 1920s Orange County directory lists them together with a post office box on Wintersburg Road, where Southern owned land.
In a reckless display of bravado, wealthy French aviator Hubert Latham flew his plane, "Antoinette," over the Bolsa Chica Gun Club shooting ducks from the air. Latham was the first person to have attempted to cross the English Channel in an airplane (unsuccessful, he also was the first person to land a plane on water).
Left: Hubert Latham in Antoinette, circa 1911. This image may be from the air show at Dominguez air field in Los Angeles County. Photo, Library of Congress
The December 23, 1910, Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported "the first duck brought down by the aviator was brought to Los Angeles by Count Von Schmidt and will be stuffed and presented to Latham as a trophy for making the first aviation hunt on record." Everyone congratulated each other and then most likely retired to the club to eat roast duck.
The Fish and Game Commission further stated they feared others would try to copy Latham. "Within the year it might become the fashion to hunt ducks and geese in aeroplanes over all the state." Awkwardly, M.J. Connell, reported by the Los Angeles Herald Examiner to be the president of the Commission, also was a member of the Bolsa Chica Gun Club.
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