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She grew up riding horses on trails of La Cañada Flintridge

March 31, 2011
  • Flintridge, now part of La Canada Flintridge, was established in the 1920s by U.S. Sen. Frank P. Flint, who subdivided it around the many bridle trails that covered the area. The trail gate shown above was on Foothill Boulevard, possibly near the Flintridge Riding Club, which at that time had an entrance off Foothill near where St. Bede the Venerable Church is now, according to Tim Gregory of the Lanterman House archives. Photo is circa mid-1950s. (courtesy Special Collections, Glendale Public Library)
Flintridge, now part of La Canada Flintridge, was established…

Bridle trails and horses have been an important part of life for residents of La Cañada Flintridge since it was first subdivided in the 1920s. Over the years, many residents have kept horses on their properties and the Karig family, who bought a place on Woodleigh Lane in 1950 for $45,000, was no exception.

The house itself was a small ranch house built in 1937, but the draw was the enormous backyard with lots of space and access to the riding trails for the four Karig children, explained Mary Karig Durso.

“Dad bought the place, just below Foothill Boulevard, because there were so many of us—my older brother Dan, myself, then Fred and Barbara,” she said. “There was so much to do. We had a badminton court, a pool and a place for horses. Each of us at different times had a horse, so we had to clean the corral, brush the horse and care for it.”


They rode their horses down Woodleigh or along Foothill down below St. Francis High School. She recalled the time she was riding down in a channel along Berkshire Avenue. The horse got caught in a patch of quicksand, but she was with some other people and was able to get out.

The Karig children all had chores.

“My father loved to grow things, especially orchids, so my job was always gardening,” Durso said.

They also kept a few bees. Her brother, Dan, was in charge of the hives and checked them regularly to see how well the honey was being produced. She vividly recalls the day they put the combs into a spinner to harvest the honey.

“It did spin the honey out, the problem was, there was honey all over the house,” she said.

Her brother Dan also had another job, washing dishes at a restaurant called Edge Of Town House at 556 Foothill Blvd.

“It was a big, beautiful house,” she recalled, and, because it was so near their home, it became an important landmark for her.

Recently, in an effort to find out more about the long-gone house (a service station is there now), Durso visited archivist Tim Gregory at Lanterman House in La Cañada Flintridge. There she found an ad in the Feb. 13, 1947 Ledger newspaper describing the restaurant’s refined atmosphere, prompt but unobtrusive service and fine preparation of choice foods. The restaurant was run by Martina M. Hubbard.

“It was very shi-shi,” Durso said. “We never ate there, though.”

The Karigs lived next to another local landmark, the Thursday Afternoon Club.

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