Hamburger Stand, Or

Early 1950’s stripped-down vernacular urban fast-food roadside establishment?



If you are a State Park Historian, and the hamburger stand in question happens to be on an archaeological site then it is the latter. So, why such a mouthful for something so simple? It all goes back to the State Parks Mission:

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Because the entire 32 acres encompasing Los Angeles State Historic Park are designated as one archaeoligical site, we are mandated to carefully review any projects or activities at the park that may affect the below ground cultural resources. Underneath our park are the remnants of the Southern Pacific Railyard that was formerly a major passenger, and later, a freight depot. Remnants include an enormous turntable and roundhouse used to service trains, foundations of maintence shops, an old hotel, and passenger depot foundations.

Hungry shopworkers at the Southern Pacific River Station

Hungry shopworkers at the Southern Pacific River Station

With regard to our little “vernacular roadside establishment” we mentioned in an earlier post that big changes are on the way. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Urban Green for a modern, healthy take on roadside fast-food. Part of that process on our end involves a State Park review of proposed renovations to the structure and surrounding area to ensure that valuable resources are not damaged. And this is where the historian and all those descriptors come in, to evaluate the historical significance of the building and make recommendations for preservation.

Archaeologist examining paving stones near Millie's

Archaeologist examining paving stones near Millie's

Paving stone

Paving stone detail

Paving stones were used to prevent the wagons sinking into mud as freight and passengers were loaded and unloaded from the station. There’s more than meets the eye everywhere at LASHP.



Filed under History, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Hamburger Stand, Or

  1. Jeri Sloane

    I love all of the variety at LASHP as seen on this wonderful site. The flowers are amazing, and the richness and variety of pictures and details is amazing! I learned about how and why LASHP was established; what is hoped to be gained by LA citizenry and the variety of educational, cultural and historic opportunities. Seriously, wow! No wonder it’s hard to describe. You’ve done an amazing job with this site!!! Kudos.

  2. Sharon

    Love all the pics, they make the site interesting and fun to look at.

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