Godde Hill Road

The Goddes were a large German Catholic family – twelve brothers and one poor sister – from Westphalia, Prussia. Four of the brothers emigrated to the U.S. The eldest, Ferdinand (1848-1924), arrived c. 1878 and set up a farm in present-day Hollywood by 1881. Frank (1856-1925), Max (1861-1942), and Fred (1863-1930) Godde followed suit around 1884; local lore contends that they then took a train to Lancaster, walked to a slope west of town that looked suitable for almond trees, and staked their claim. Of these three brothers, Max would become the most prominent. (Interestingly, records show that in 1887 he bought a parcel of land in DTLA from Moses L. Wicks, Lancaster’s original developer.) He married German-born Elizabeth Sommers (1862-1929) in 1890 and they would have eight kids together. A successful almond grower, Max Godde and his family wintered in Los Angeles and spent the rest of the year tending to their Quartz Hill orchards. Max and Fred are also credited with building Lancaster’s first church (now Sacred Heart) in 1890. Godde Hill was named by 1931, its road by 1954.