Rossmore Avenue

South of Melrose, a bleak stretch of Vine Street turns into stately, tree-lined Rossmore Avenue, with bland strip malls giving way to handsome apartment buildings. You’re in Hancock Park now, and the “Ross” in Rossmore comes from Ida Hancock Ross (1843-1913). Born Ida Haraszthy in Illinois, Ross was the daughter of exiled Hungarian aristocrats. She married surveyor/lawyer Henry Hancock in 1863 and wound up managing the family property after his death. She didn’t just manage it: she made a fortune from it. (See Hancock Avenue.) In 1909, at the age of 66, “Madame Ida” married Judge Erskine Mayo Ross (1845-1928) after a quarter century of friendship. (Ross’s first wife Inez had passed away a year and a half earlier.) Her son George Allan Hancock started building the Hancock Park neighborhood in 1919 and named Rossmore Avenue first, in honor of his late mother and/or her esteemed widower.