Doheny Drive

Edward Laurence “E.L.” Doheny (1856-1935) was a Wisconsin-born miner who came to Los Angeles in late 1891 to join his friend Charles Canfield on various gold mining ventures. They never struck gold, but within a year they struck black gold – just outside of Echo Park. As the first men to discover oil within L.A. city limits, they sparked the Southland’s petroleum bonanza and were overnight millionaires. Doheny, in fact, would become one of the richest and most powerful men in America. He and his second wife Carrie Estelle (1875-1958) moved into their “forever mansion” on Chester Place in 1901… but we’re here to talk about Doheny Drive. In 1913, the Dohenys purchased 429 acres of undeveloped Beverly Hills property and converted it into a luxurious “ranch”. It was accessed by a dirt road called Clearwater Canyon, which was renamed Doheny Drive in 1915. Doheny would later build the nearby mansion “Greystone” for his son Ned (see Doheny Road), but Ned’s violent death, along with the fallout from the Teapot Dome scandal (in which Doheny had bribed the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to let him drill on a Naval oil reserve), darkened the old tycoon’s final years. Ned’s widow Lucy sold most of the family’s Beverly Hills property to Paul Trousdale in 1955.