News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Time Jockey’ : Local Landing

by Joe Castillo

Flying in El Monte … The El Monte Airport was first surveyed as a potential airport site in 1936 and was opened in 1938 by co-owners Nick Lentine and G. Thompson, both of South Pasadena. The original purchase price of $10,000 included 35 acres of land located at the intersection of Tyler and Lambert Avenues.  It was the perfect location for an airport as there were hardly any houses in the near vicinity. The property was bordered by the Lower Azusa Bridge to the north, the cement-less wash to the west and Santa Anita Avenue to the east. In 1940, Lentine opened a Junior Pilot’s Academy where students from local colleges trained to become the future pilots of airways. A popular breakfast restaurant, Annia’s, provides an excellent viewing location for planes taking off and landing at the airport. Also, one can hire a tour guide and take a ride through the southland skies…..Sailing through the Valley… On a visit to the San Gabriel Mission, I came across something which really appeared to be out of place. An old, rusty anchor was lying in the middle of the Mission gardens. The anchor was from the ‘Guadalupe,’ a 99-ton Top Sail Schooner. The ship was built at the Mission in 1830 by Joseph Chapman, Michael White and Thomas Paine, along with the help of a number of Gabrielino Indians.   After the ‘Guadalupe’ was built, the ship was dismantled piece by piece and carted to San Pedro where the ‘Guadalupe’ was re-assembled and launched to sea. The ‘Guadalupe’ became the first ship built in California from native materials, and possibly the first ship to be built, disassembled, and re-assembled before even being placed in the water. Joseph Chapman was the person who directed the building of Chapman’s Mill and Millrace which was partially recovered during archaeological work associated with San Gabriel Grade Separation Project. Also, within the same vicinity at the Mission gardens was an authentic 1820’s cannon used to defend the Mission. The wooden cart holding the small cannon was restored and includes the wooden wheels, cannon carriage, stuffer and powder bucket. A cover is used to protect the cannon from the elements, while also being designed to reflect the Mission era. ….Congratulations…. Richard and Dolly Salazar celebrated their 60th Anniversary last week at St. Luke’s Community Center along with a large crowd of family and friends. The Salazar’s were married on May 11, 1953 and lived for many years in San Gabriel before moving to San Fernando. They first met at a high school football game at Mark Keppel High School and then went on a first date dining at In-N-Out Burgers. Richard and Dolly raised five children who attended Mission Grammar School, and participated in youth sport activities such as Little League Baseball. Congratulations on having a love-filled 60 years of marriage…..

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