Down – The history of each community includes some colorful characters who have left their mark on local memory over a long period of time.
A.D. One of the bell reporters in the 1870s was the Hawkins, whose home was known for its pools and pristine gardens near Fulton Wells (now Santa Fe Springs).
Hawkins’ favorite sport was riding a horse, and he mastered the art of catching chickens with his whip and quickly getting into the wagon, much to his embarrassment.
Mrs. Hawkins was afraid of her husband’s speedy driving, so he drove her to Los Angeles depot and then left alone on a Southern Pacific train.
Every 45 minutes after arriving at the Los Angeles Mall, Hawkins awaits her on an unpaved 12-mile dirt road.
During the hurricane, they lost one of their young children in a basket in the back of a fall car. Later, when Hawkins found out about the accident, he went back and found the baby still in the basket and unharmed.
Source: Dow Downey Southeast News
The following story comes from “1873-1973 Downey Century Celebration”.
As we become accustomed to our modern comforts, our modern-day resources are as much a part of the world as possible – and a simpler way of life.
Downey now operates 68,000 telephones on the General Telephone Company system, but before 1884 it was only a telegraph, and for 13 years the whole community was in one phone call, first at Downey Street General Store and then at Livery.
Prior to World War I, the only gas in Downey came from a coal mine in Belflower.
In the 1900’s, until the string of electric lights in the Central Business District was opened, the lights in the city were kerosene or ethylene lamps. Edison, Southern California, today has 102.8 miles of distribution and distribution lines out of five distribution centers in the city, serving 31,000 meters of connections in Downey and representing $ 3.142 million investment within the city limits.
Around 1902, Arthur Darby connected four wind turbines and water tanks to the city tract. The company dug the San Gabriel River for local farmers.
The first common water system in Downey was started in 1925 and served 190 families. Four years later, the Downey County Water District was established with 600 water users, took over the system in 1963 and now operates 12,000 connections over a 200-mile network, covering half of the downtime.
Today, 10 years after entering the water business, Downey has a long-term goal of controlling 6 other water services in the community to provide a single water supply throughout the community. Negotiations with Park Water Company, which operates 800 connections, have been ongoing for five years. The rest are relatively small, serving isolated pockets around the suburbs, mainly in the southern part of the city.
The following is an excerpt from the October 22, 1993 issue of The Dawn Eagle:
This December, the Downey Historical Society will have an open house that includes a visit to the old Dismukes House.
There is a picture in the old 101 cafe in the house. 101 Cafe is now a memorial but it was once a house, a living room and even a house of prayer for the survivors after World War II.
101 because 101 Downey Ave., on the Firestone Boulevard, is a cardboard building.
Older timers always remember the smell of beer and the shiny metal bar.
In the late 1940s, after the last breath of the bar, the store became a clothing store. Later, in 1986, the old building collapsed.
A.D. In 1949, the bar’s worst nightmare was when a bartender shot a unscrupulous customer.
When Bartonder Edgar Gray arrived, he told Deputy Sheriff, “I am the man who was lying on the floor. He was widely reported in the newspapers.
During further questioning, Deputy Gray stated that he had been told by his client that he had been shot several times.
When the elders heard the explanation, they shook their heads. It was out of the Old West, and even the “night clock” painting on the wall matched Baru Aura.
Morris’s photography skills are reminiscent of Morris 101 but he says he was never in it. “This was a very special place in the community,” says Morris. “There were a lot of drunks and people were sleeping there.”
Morris said the café across the street was better and cleaner. In the past, the old town martial arts office was located near Downy Street, where Johnny Salon is today.
This was convenient, says Morris, because Marshall had to travel long distances to cool down the 101 rows.
It was so bad that the pretty girls in town weren’t seen there. It was a constant problem. It was a luxurious living room, often adorned with the unique beauty of its clients. There is no such thing in Downey today and the police are grateful for that.
Some celebrities once drank there, although most of them and their families still hope it is forgotten.
John Vincent, a member of the Downey Historical Society, restores the old “night watch” painting on the wall of 101.