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Verdugo Views: Early neighborhood memories revealed

July 20, 2012|By Katherine Yamada | By Katherine Yamada
  • Doug Motleys brother, Allan, poses on his bicycle in the driveway of the Motley home on Highland Avenue. The family lived on Highland from the mid-1930s until 1950. Photo, ca late-1940s.
Doug Motleys brother, Allan, poses on his bicycle in the… (Courtesy of Doug…)

When Doug Motley was born in 1946, his family was living on Highland Avenue in northwest Glendale.

His father, Watson, was an engineer with Pacific Telephone Company. Watson Motley had studied engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and trained as a military cadet, but left school in his junior year to serve in the U.S. Army in France during World War One. There he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. “He was a courier of sorts, delivering messages all over France by way of motorcycle,” Doug Motley said.

“My mom, Mildred Sanford Motley, was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico around 1904, before New Mexico was a state.” Motley doesn’t know how they met, but said they resided in Prescott, Arizona before moving to this area in the 1920s.

“I believe they moved to their home at 1634 Highland Avenue in Glendale sometime in the 1930s,” Doug Motley said. His father worked in what was called the Yellow Pages building in Los Angeles.

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“My mom was a faithful housewife and an accomplished watercolor and oil painter who won many awards and accolades for her portraits and renditions of scenery,” Doug Motley said.

When the Motleys moved to Highland Avenue, the area was in the early stages of growth. It had been developed in the early 1920s by brothers Dan and Arthur Campbell. Dan, who made his fortune in the Yukon gold rush and had gotten to know the Brand family, came to Glendale and used part of his fortune to purchase 25 acres next to Leslie C. Brand. Later, Arthur Campbell moved here and bought several acres adjacent to Dan.

In 1923, the Campbell brothers subdivided much of their property. Plans for the new subdivision called for four new streets running north and south from Kenneth Road: Ard Eevin Drive (now Avenue), Ben Lomond Drive, Idlewood Road and Chesterfield Avenue (now Cleveland Road). Cumberland Drive (now Road) was constructed east and west, paralleling Kenneth Road. They called the tract Campbell Heights.

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