By Ralph Cantos
This remarkable old photo, taken around 1908-09, shows a Los Angeles Pacific trolley at the end of the single-track Laurel Canyon Line. The camera looks south as one of the two Laurel Canyon trolley buses begins its one-and-a-half mile journey up Laurel Canyon Boulevard to the end of the line at Lookout Mountain Avenue.
The trolley buses, made from modified 1915 Oldsmobiles, had an approximate 10-passenger capacity. After about 5 years of traveling up and down the treacherous narrow road, the poor old trolley buses fell apart.
The overhead wires came down and the service was replaced by Stanley Steamers about 1915. The line was operated as a real estate gimmick to a new housing development, known as "Bungalowland," by one Charles S. Mann. He was a small-time Henry Huntington, and judging by his choice of convenience modes, must have been a glutton for punishment.
Ralph Cantos Collection