Longridge Avenue

This street was formerly known as Alysmae Avenue. It was renamed in 1937 on the Longridge Estates tract, which was laid out on an old cattle ranch belonging to banker Willis Douglas Longyear (1863-1941); the “Long” comes from his surname. A Michigan boy, Longyear embarked upon his lucrative career in Kalamazoo. He came to Los Angeles in 1889 and soon joined Security Savings Bank – later called Security-First National – as a bookkeeper. He ascended to its vice presidency in 1917. Despite his Valley ties, he and his wife Ida lived on Wilshire from 1907 until 1925, when they moved to Beverly Drive. In fact in Beverly Gardens Park there still stands a statue of a hunter and hounds – pockmarked with shell holes – that Longyear had imported from the site of a World War I battle in France. It’s not true, however, that his son Douglas died in that battle. Nor, for that matter, did his daughter Gwendolyn.