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Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Report by Galen Hunter

1965 Ken Johnson Interviews

In researching the history of Redondo Beach

[ Page updated - October 2, 2018 ]

Listen to: Robert C. Gillingham Interview - Part 1

Listen to: Robert C. Gillingham Interview - Part 2

Listen to: Mrs. Frank L. Perry (Marian Palmer) - Part 1

Listen to: Mrs. Frank L. Perry (Marian Palmer) - Part 2

  1965 Ken Johnson Book "Fun Frustration and Fullfillment" title page:       Photograph of Page 207 from Johnson's book includes mentioning the tapes:

Photograph of the Reel-to-Reel Tapes in Boxes:

List of People Interviewed in 1965:

Robert C. Gillingham - 2 hrs.
- History professor
- Author 1961 book "The Rancho San Pedro"

Mrs. Frank (Marian) Perry - 2 hrs.
- Daughter of Dr. Frank M. Palmer, early collector of prehistoric artifacts at Redondo Beach
- Wife of long-time City Attorney Frank L. Perry

William E. MacFaden - 1 hr.
- Judge, Lawyer, City Attorney

Bernice Venable - 2 hrs.
- City Councilwoman

Curt Richardson - 1 hr.
- Chief, Police Dept.

Perry Jones - 1 hr.
- clerk, Board of Education

Harry McCandless - 2 hrs.
- Elementary School District, Superintendent

Goldie & Louis Fields - 1 hr.
- Goldie: Lt. Lifeguard
- Louis: Storekeeper

Hilker Williams - 1 hr.
- pioneer banker in Redondo Beach for Bank of America

John Gregory / Bob Cakebread - 2 hrs.
- general building contractors

I. H. Hawkins - 1 hr.
- businessman

1961 Robert C. Gillingham Book "The Rancho San Pedro" title page:

Transcript: January 28, 1965 Ken Johnson Interview with Marian Palmer (Mrs. Frank L. Perry) - an excerpt from Part 1 at 47 minutes and 39 seconds, about her camping with her family at the salt lake in the 1880’s and includes her mentioning the adobe house and the water well.

When you think back on old Redondo at the turn of the century and early nineteen tens and twenties, was the salt lake still uh large then.
It certainly was there when I was there. I was eighteen months old the first time I ever came to Redondo Beach. I have a picture of the folks camped down there with me in a high chair and, uh, the salt lake was there and I remember the salt baths and things when I got older
That’s right where the Edison plant is now.
Yes. And uh
How far up did it go? Did it go up to Hermosa? How big was it?
Well, as I remember it, it hum, oh it might have been about, all in all, all in all about like about a city block. A fairly good sized square.
And I remember, that there was uh, trees that grew on the side, and Ganahl, I think it was Ganahl Lumber Company that used to be on that street down there.
I don’t know if it was Ganahl then or not. It was a lumber company it used to have lumber stacked up on the outer edge of it. But they, used to uh, they used to mine it from days back.
For the salt.
Uh huh, […][…][…] and they, I spoke about when I used to camp down there, a there was an adobe house and there was a well. A fresh water well. And uh, you could get water […][…] they used […] to get water.
But my grandfather, didn’t like that water. He was always afraid that there’d be uh salt in it or something. And he had a, what’s called a […] and a mule. Kind of a, oh I don’t know what you call it, it’s like a sled. And it was a square thing and it had a big […] barrel on it. And it would come up to this other fresh water well […][…][…][…][…][…] and fill the water
[…][…][…] from that fresh water well. I wonder what happened to that water. See, I don’t know what they’d done to it.
Must be they covered it, or it’s dried up, or maybe its salt water […][…].
Well, it was going strong for a long time, even after there was buildings there. And they get their water that way in the barrel.

Another Transcript: 1965 Ken Johnson Interview with Marian Palmer (Mrs. Frank L. Perry).

This excerpt starts around minute 13 and 41 seconds into Part 1.
Mrs. Perry is discussing her father's (Dr. Frank Palmer) Indian artifact collections from Redondo Beach.

My father was a dentist. But, for his past time and his apprentice, he was an archaeologist.
And he was always out, oh every chance he could get - to go hunting.
And he made right from Redondo Beach - 3 complete collections of Indian artifacts.
Right at the Catalina Avenue, right at the next block on over here to Palos Verdes.

And, uh, one of these … … … … … … … … uh … … … … but I think now that it is … … …and helped me put it around as they wanted … put it there and … … and he gave the uh the high school, Redondo Beach High School … some things that he gave the youngsters for the school after he was all through with doing that kind of work.

So anyway he was … called … … … … the Southwest Museum a favor to go on an expedition into the uh … … down in Arizona. So, and uh, so he was going on a vacation, which he did. And of course those days they didn't have automobiles, so he went on a train and the rest of the way he went on horseback. And he was in … … … … wherever that is … … … the other side of the Grand Canyon.