Bushnell Way

School principals don’t get much love, but Rose Jane Bushnell (1879-1960) was an exception. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she first came to Los Angeles in 1907 when her older sister Lillian (1875-1957) began teaching at an elementary school then called Hermon. Five years later, Rose began her long tenure as Hermon’s principal; she and her sister Mary (1878-1941), who also worked at Hermon, lived together on nearby Wheeling Way. As the story goes, the community wanted to rename the school for Rose (and maybe for Mary too; Lillian soon married and quit teaching), but the school district wouldn’t allow it unless the school’s street also had the Bushnell name. So the community made it happen. If true, the process took years: Isleta Drive was rechristened Bushnell Way in 1925, but Hermon School didn’t become Bushnell Way School until 1944, when Rose Bushnell retired. Smashing side note: In 1928, the Bushnell sisters’ house was partly destroyed by a runaway steam shovel. They received a $4,300 settlement two years later.