Bonnie Beach Place

With no beach in sight, I believe this street honors Bonnie Lucille Beach (1896-1940), youngest daughter of real estate developer Albert H. Beach, the man behind Hollywood’s Beachwood Canyon. Beach bought and sold a lot of land in East L.A., and although his name wasn’t on the Stephenson Avenue tract on which Bonnie Beach Place was laid out in 1906, it’s highly likely he was involved. (Stephenson Avenue was the original name of Whittier Boulevard.) Beach frequently partnered with Frank R. Strong and George W. Dickinson, whose names were on this tract; moreover, in 1903 there was a different tract near USC called Bonnie Beach – and it was owned by Bonnie’s older sister Mabel (c. 1878-1971). Sales agents for that tract? Strong & Dickinson. Draw your own conclusions. Speaking of drawing, the Escondido-born Bonnie Beach was a trained artist with a troubled life. She wed San Francisco physician Russell C. Ryan in February 1918, only to sue him for divorce 18 months later, claiming that he slapped her, tickled her(!), and forced her to call him “Doctor” in public. Her husband’s long-winded counter-complaint insisted that she only married him because she thought he’d be killed in WWI and thus she’d inherit his property and pension. After settling the divorce in 1920, Bonnie Beach Ryan established a modest career as a painter but died at 43 from complications of alcoholic cirrhosis.