Fine early manuscript map of a part of the Downtown Los Angeles area, between Echo Park and the Los Angeles River, which is accompanied by an indenture and invoice from the California Wine Depot.
The map locates Naud Street, Willhardt Street, Downey Avenue (now North Spring Street), and Chaves Street (now North Main Street). To the north and west, the Ybarra Vineyard Tract, Geo. Lemesnager (George Le Mesnager), and Schiefferllin Tract are shown. Le Mesnager was one of two French Brothers who were among the earliest winemakers in the Los Angeles Area.
The map shows seveal structures in the subdivision, including a Blacksmith's shop and the Old Dwelling of the Willhardt clan. The also indicates in manuscript the lots which have been sold and is signed by R.H. Chapman and Charles E. Miles, the Los Angeles County recorder.
The invoice from the California Wine Depot reflects the payment of back taxes, etc. by Candalaria Wilhardt in 1887. The indenture is signed by Soledad Peralta de Wilhardt, Maria Cristina de Mountai, Juan Wilhardt, Margarita Wilhardt and Candelaria Wilhardt on May 6, 1885. The invoice and indenture can be seen here: /gallery/enlarge/34192a
Soledad Peralta de Wilhardt was the widow of Louis Wilhardt. The Wilhardt family came to Southern California in the early 19th century and married into the Peralta family. Louis Wilhardt came west in 1847, settiing in the Los Angeles area, where he became a succesful vintner.
George Hansen was one of the first Civil Engineers in Los Angeles County. Born in 1824 in Fiume, Austria, he came to California via Peru and Cape Horn in 1850, before moving to Los Angeles in 1853. Willhardt is perhaps best known for having lost his Vineyard in the great Los Angeles River flood of 1868.
In the early 1850s, Major Henry Hancock was employed by the City of Los Angeles to survey the city. In 1853 and 1854, Hansen assisted Hancock in the survey. In 1855 he was elected City Surveyor and served until May of 1857. He served again in this capacity between 1862 and1870. From December 1882 to April, 1883, he he held the office of City Engineer and Surveyor.
Hansen became very active in the early efforts to bring water to Los Angeles and was involved in many projects concerning public and private ownership of the city's water supply.
Mr. Hansen was also the superintendent who perfected and directed the plan for a German colonization settlement on the barren sandy wastes of Anaheim in 1857. The colony was organized as the Los Angeles Vineyard Company, under a board of trustees and as designed, was the largest vineyard in the world.
Though a popular member of society he remained a bachelor. Upon his death, which occurred November 10, 1897, he left his estate to his partner, who was also his adopted son, Alfred S. Solano.