Cole Avenue

Cornelius Cole (1822-1924 – yes, he lived to be 102) was a New York lawyer who came to California in 1849 for the usual reasons – gold! – but soon got into politics and founded the California Republican Party. A friend of Abraham Lincoln’s, Cole served in the House from 1863 until 1865 and in the Senate from 1867 until 1873. Later, as an attorney, he helped Henry and John Hancock confirm their title to Rancho La Brea, and received as payment 483 acres of said rancho. Cole, who had previously lived in Sacramento and San Francisco, retired to this acreage in 1881; six years later, he began subdividing it as the town of Colegrove. The name referenced not only his own but his wife Olive’s (1833-1918) maiden name, which was indeed Colegrove. The town was annexed by the City of Los Angeles in 1909. The former Senator loved honoring his family with streets. Some are lost: Olive Ave., for Mrs. Cole, is now Romaine; Schuyler Ave., for a son, is now La Mirada; Emelita Ave., for daughter Emma, is now Lexington; Townsend Street, Cole’s mother’s maiden name, is now Cahuenga. The rest remain: Cole Avenue and Place, naturally; Seward and Willoughby, for two more sons; Waring for Cole’s son-in-law and/or daughter; Eleanor for his daughter-in-law and/or granddaughter; Barton, Gregory, and Camerford for his grandsons;  El Centro for the center of his ranch; Lodi Place for his hometown of Lodi, NY; and finally the world-famous Vine Street for his vineyard.