Thursday, August 18, 2011

#206: The Lummis Home

I think James Franco is vying for the title of Most Interesting Man Alive. He acts, directs, writes, paints, photographs... He even has his own college course at Columbia College! It's all very impressive, but Franco still has a ways to go to catch up to Charles Fletcher Lummis, the quintessential Renaissance Man of the late 1800's.

The two men have something in common: they both studied at Ivy Leagues schools (Franco at Yale and Lummis at Harvard). After two years at Harvard, however, Lummis dropped out and published a well received book of poetry. He then accepted a job as the city editor of the Los Angeles Times and--get this--decided to make the cross country 3,500 mile journey on foot. His accounts of the 143 day journey were published in the Times as well as in his own book A Tramp Across the Continent.

Lummis then went on to publish more books and was also an avid photographer, librarian and historian. Later he became a big advocate for Native American rights, and settled in Los Angeles where he established the Southwest Museum. Near the Southwest Museum he built his home. The Lummis Home is a
work of love, built from scratch by Lummis himself.

The Lummis Home is located just off the 110 freeway near the Arroyo Seco at 200 E. Avenue 43. The home is built of stones, wood and concrete. The stones were actually taken right from the nearby river bed, transported in a wheelbarrow by Lummis.

The actual wheelbarrow used to transport the stones

Lummis' inscription above the fireplace

The Lummis Home is Historic Cultural Monument #68. It is open to the public on Fridays-Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm. Be sure to go on the free tour!

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