Samoa Avenue

Samoa Avenue was born San Ysidro Road in 1913, when William E. Smythe – head of the “Little Landers” movement of utopian farm communities – and Tujunga godfather Marshall V. Hartranft opened a Little Landers colony here. The street’s name was surely a reference to the California border town that Smythe had developed four years earlier: the first Little Landers colony. Alas, in 1932, when Tujunga was annexed by the City of Los Angeles, all street names that had duplicates in L.A. had to be changed to avoid postal conflicts. Since there was already a San Ysidro Drive in the hills east of Benedict Canyon, Tujunga’s San Ysidro needed a new name. Why Samoa? No special reason; civil engineers often replaced street names with those starting with the same letters, so they probably just combed through their “idea file” of potential names and saw that Samoa, which also started with “Sa”, was available.