“They came over and told us stories of where we lived.” Banes also heard from others that the whole area used to be covered in asparagus, and that Deodar cedars once lined Acacia.
“There are two or three still left by Verdugo Road,” he said.
As further evidence of the Verdugo connection, Banes said there are some irrigation valves and pipes on his property. Several years ago, he spoke with a Glendale High School classmate, Ellen Perry [former Glendale News-Press history writer] who said it was part of a water system installed by Julio Verdugo.
So, combined with what he heard from neighbors and friends and the clear view he had of the house, the old Verdugo property holds a significant place in his memory.
“The house was gorgeous,” Banes said. “It sat up on the hill with a porch clear across the front; the south end was enclosed with glass. The front was faced with stream rock and the fireplace and chimney were of the same rock.”
When Banes was growing up, the house was occupied by a family named Packard.
After a series of renters, the Bakers moved in.
“They were there a long time, from about 1947 to the mid-1980s,” he said. “They terraced the hill, put in roses, and built large concrete block planters on either side of the stairway.”
Banes said he always enjoyed looking at the roses they planted in the yard.
Julio Verdugo’s 200-acre homestead extended along both sides of Verdugo Road, according to George S. Goshorn, writing in the GNP in 1967.
“Some time after Verdugo’s death, the level land on the west side was cut into 8-acre tracts for his heirs.”
Goshorn also wrote that Julio Verdugo’s old adobe, Portosuelo, once stood on a portion of the property, but was demolished in the early 1900s and that Antonio Verdugo, mother of Dora Verdugo Bullock, later built a house on another portion of the property, on what is now Cherokee Lane.
But to Banes and his friends, no matter who owned the house, it was simply Julio Verdugo’s old property and a great place to roam. There was a terraced area for plants and trees and an arbor covered with a huge mulberry tree that had been trained over it.
“We had so much fun eating mulberries when we were young,” Banes said. “There was a huge field perfect for picnics. We walked all around the property.”
Get in touch KATHERINE YAMADA’S column runs every other week. To contact her, call features editor Joyce Rudolph at (818) 637-3241. For more information on Glendale’s history, visit the Glendale Historical Society’s Web page: www.glendalehistorical.org; call the reference desk at the Central Library at (818) 548-2027; or visit the Special Collections Room at Central on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays or make an appointment by calling (818) 548-2037.