Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

July 3, 1958: A crowd gathers for the dedication of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial on Hill Street. The wall re-creates the city's first Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1847. This photo was published in the July 4, 1958, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

March 10, 1954: Contractor M. J. Brock Jr., left, and Supt. Bill Lassetter check the progress of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial. This photo was published in the March 14, 1954, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 16, 1955: Shown is the barren wall of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial, which was then under construction. The memorial opened in 1958. This photo was used in the 1955-56 "Know Your City" photography series.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

July 3, 1956: Members of the Mormon Battalion rehearse a ceremony scheduled for July 4, 1956, to mark the raising of the first American flag on Ft. Moore Hill on July 4, 1847. From left, standing, are Maj. Gen. Nicholas G. Morgan, Ben Wadman and Brig. Gen. Fred E. Curtis, director of sequences. Kneeling is Brig. Gen. Fred Reese. This photo appeared in the July 4, 1956, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Edward Gamer / Los Angeles Times

July 18, 2016: Shown is the Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial on Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Scott Harrison / Los Angeles Times

July 9, 1957: In left photo, four boys ignore a sign at the base of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial and merrily go swimming. This photo was published in the July 10, 1957, edition of the Los Angeles Times. In right photo, the same location is shown with little difference except the lack of water.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

July 18, 2016: A detail of the Ft. Moore Pioneer Monument is shown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Scott Harrison / Los Angeles Times

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Ft. Moore memorial pays tribute to Los Angeles’ pioneers

July 3, 1958: Shown is the dedication of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial on Hill Street, north of the Hollywood Freeway.

This Bruce Cox image appeared in the July 4, 1958, edition of the Los Angeles Times. The accompanying article reported:

The city’s first Independence Day celebration — July 4, 1847 — was recalled yesterday in the dedication of 400-foot-long, 45-foot-high Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial Wall on Hill St. just north of the Hollywood Freeway.

The Memorial Wall, dedicated “to the brave men and women who faced privation and death in extending the frontiers of our country to include this land of promise,” commemorates Los Angeles’ first Independence Day.

It was in 1847 at the newly constructed Ft. Moore on the hill overlooking the little Mexican pueblo that all American troops in the immediate area — the First U.S. Dragoons, New York Volunteers and Mormon Battalion — gathered to participate in the historic Flag-raising ceremony.

The largest section of the huge bas-relief panel of the Memorial Wall depicts that Flag-raising. Three smaller sections illustrate other aspects of pioneer life.

In addition to the ceramic veneer bas-relief panel, the Memorial Wall features an 80-foot-wide, 47-foot-high waterfall, a 68-foot-high pylon in front of the wall supporting an immense ceramic eagle and a towering flagpole.

Participating in yesterday’s dedication ceremony of the $373,887 memorial were city and county officials, descendants of members of the Mormon Battalion, members of the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers and the 72nd U.S. Army Band and a color guard from Ft. MacArthur.

During the 1977 drought, the fountain was turned off. Today, it’s still off. The memorial is intact and cleaned up, but attracts few visitors. For more, check out this excellent 2013 article by Hadley Meares on the KCET.org website: “The many lives of Ft. Moore Hill: The shifting and shrinking of a Los Angeles icon.”

The third photo in the above gallery — of a blank wall — appeared in the Dec. 16, 1955, edition of the Los Angeles Times as part of the “Know Your City” photography series. The original caption reported:

Know Your City, No. 32 — When we said we wouldn’t trick you we fibbed. Because this is pretty tricky. Looks like an unfinished wall. But it isn’t. This is part of a memorial. Can you guess what and where?

Answer: This is the Hill Street approach to the Board of Education’s headquarters atop Ft. Moore Hill. Actually, it is part of the walled memorial dedicated to “the pioneer leaders of Los Angeles.”

On Jan. 27, 2017,  Los Angeles Times staff writer Doug Smith reported the the Ft. Moore Hill memorial will be rebuilt: Dry for 40 years: Ft. Moore Hill’s drought is about to end.

 

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