Saturday, November 9, 2013

Monrovia is a General Law City

There are two types of cities in California, so if anyone asks, you can say with confidence that Monrovia is a General Law City. Founded May 17, 1886 and incorporated on December 6, 1887, Monrovia government is vested in:
(a) A city council of at least five members. (includes the Mayor and 4 council members)
(b) A city clerk.
(c) A city treasurer.
(d) A chief of police.
(e) A fire chief.
(f) Any subordinate officers or employees, provided by law.

A City Manager reports to the City Council and all civic commissions, advisory councils and committees are appointed by the City Council.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

House Hunting - Historically Speaking

People come into the library to research the history of their homes. Some are just curious. Others want to take advantage of the Mills Act. Almost all wish there was one giant book that tells them everything they need to know all in one place. Of course, it's not that easy.

The Library provides resources that make a good start down the research path. In addition to books, we have access to old newspapers and building permits on microfiche. Some of the books consist of labors of love produced by the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group (MOHPG), with pictures of noteworthy houses and a little background information. Some are histories of Monrovia, which might mention a property or person connected to a property. And of course, there are the City Directories and Telephone books which often yield a clue or two. Here is the resource guide to help you with your search:

Fortunately, preservation aficionados are researching homes only for the pleasure of  knowing more about the rich architectural history of the town. One site in particular is a goldmine of information about the early settlers of Monrovia and many of the more architecturally significant or just plain interesting houses in the area. The website is called Early Monrovia Structures Research (the link is to the right).

Good luck.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Monrovia's Big M

The Big M, that beacon on a hillside north of the Monrovia High School football field, was conceived and constructed by the student body under the direction of James Walters, student body president. The landowner, Mrs. James G. Davis consented to the construction of the Big M on her property. The work was supervised by the Monrovia Fire Department, Principal Max Forney and Vice-Principal Frank Williamson. Lumber was donated by local lumber companies, 25 tons of crushed rock were hauled to the site and 27 lights added the final touch. When the Wildcats win, the M lights up as a V.

October 19, 1951 marked the dedication of the Big M during the winning football game (26-12) with Mark Keppel High School (Alhambra).

Sources: Monrovia High School 1893-1976 by Thelma M.J. Thompson, pp. 41-42; Monrovia Centennial Review by Peter C. Ostrye, pp.253-254

Note: Ostrye and Thompson are not clear on dates. Ostrye says work started in 1952. Thompson implies, but does not state, 1951. According to the Monrovia Daily News Post, on Oct. 2, 1951, there is a front page article describing that the Big M is taking shape. On October 19, another front page article refers to the lighting of the Big M before the football game, and the October 22, 1951 front page has a photo of the lit up icon.