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1929 oil derricks replace Inglewood homes

1929 oil derricks replace Inglewood homes

Oct. 1929: Oil workers take a break in the front yard of the Cook homestead in Inglewood. The new oil derrick on left means the home faces removal or destruction.

This photo accompanied an article in the Oct. 7, 1929, Los Angeles Times reporting on an Inglewood oil boom:

Oil! The magic call of the modern Eldorado has resounded in the thriving suburb of Inglewood. The prosperous little city of business houses and homes has been transformed overnight into a hustling oil mart with its attendant activities and speculations.

Eight rigs have been erected and are sending their drills toward the sands for “black gold.” Sixteen permits have been granted by the City Council for additional wells and many are the lot owners in a strip of territory two miles long and half a mile wide who have made arrangements with oil companies operating in the field to convert back yard gardens into working plants for oil seekers.

What a week ago was a residential section of a modest suburb with a real estate value of possibly $3,000,000 is roughly estimated today by some to be an oil field valued at more than $100,000,000. This vision of great and sudden wealth has brought to hundreds of owners of modest homes dreams of a future of ease and luxury and inspired the ever-present speculator to ply his trade with increased activity.

At nearly every corner of the tract temporary offices have been erected where real estate operators and a corps of assistants are busy buying, selling and leasing property and giving out large quantities of information, correct or otherwise. Nearly every oil company operating in Southern California has work crews building derricks, operating steam shovels or aiding in the removal of houses that are being taken away to make room for boiler plants and drilling rigs….

The “boom” is not devoid of its touch of pathos as the visitor sees home ties broken as houses are rolled away, while lawns and gardens are demolished in the rush for wealth….

A followup search of the Los Angeles Times archives failed to determine the fate of the Cook homestead.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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