Wilhardt Street

Named in 1885 on the Wilhardt tract, owned by Louis Wilhardt’s (1821-1871) widow and their four surviving children. A native of Hesse, Germany, Wilhardt came to the U.S. as a young man. He enlisted in the Mexican–American War in 1846 and was shipped out from New York to San Francisco in 1847, presumably arriving after the Treaty of Cahuenga ended California’s role in the war that January. With no war to fight, Wilhardt then made his way down to Los Angeles. Here he married Candelaria Peralta (1824-1861) in 1849 and had five kids with her. Five months after her death, he married Candelaria’s niece Soledad (1837-1911) and had seven more kids. Wilhardt was something of a renaissance man: he was one of L.A.’s first commercial winemakers, worked as a blacksmith, and owned a tannery. The spelling of his surname was so fluid that even his son Ramon (1850-1921), whom he had apparently disowned in 1871, went by “Willhart”.