Seen on board the SS City of Los Angeles in April 1931, Western screen star Hoot Gibson and his third wife, Sally Eilers, either depart or return from a delayed Hawaiian honeymoon.
6¼x8½-inch ACME wirephoto with a newspaper photo editor's crop marks and enhancements. Date-stamped on back, April 20, 1931. Cutline reads:
MOVIE STARS ENJOY BELATED HONEYMOON.
Hoot Gibson and his bride, Sally Eilers, both of the films, on liner City of Los Angeles. They had to complete movie
engagements before making honeymoon trip to Hawaii.
The SS City of Los Angeles started life in Germany in 1899 as the SS Grosser Kurfürst, making regular runs between Bremen and New York.
The United States interned the vessel in New York at the outbreak of World War I, then siezed her when the U.S. entered the conflict in 1917 and used her as a troop transport
to France under the name USS Aeolus. After the war, the ship was decommissioned, retrofit and transfered initially to the Munson Steamship Co. for runs to South America
as the SS Aeolus, then in 1922 to the Los Angeles Steamship Co. for runs to Honolulu, at which time the ship was rechristened SS City of Los Angeles. She was scrapped in Japan in 1937.
Edmund Richard Gibson earned the nickname "Hoot" when he worked as a messenger for the Owl Drug Co.
He was born August 6, 1892, in Tekamah, Nebraska and appeared in more than 200 films (including short
features) between 1910, when he earned $50 for his role in "The Two Brothers," and
1960, when he made an uncredited appearance in "Ocean's Eleven." Gibson did
most of his work as a silent cowboy actor between World War I and the early 1930s. He directed a bit
in 1920-21 and produced some of his own films from 1923-30. The 5'9" Hollywood giant died of
cancer on August 23, 1962, in Woodland Hills — five days before a wildfire burned down
Gene Autry's Melody Ranch in Placerita Canyon, where Gibson made some of his movies.
In addition to using the Santa Clarita Valley as a backdrop for filming, during the time he was
married to Dorothea Sally Eilers (a popular leading lady in late
silents and early talkies), he owned a ranch in Saugus now known as the Saugus Speedway. SCV historian
Jerry Reynolds writes:
"Roy Baker purchased a 40-acre tract east of Bouquet Junction during 1923, starting construction on
a rodeo arena a year later. Hoot Gibson bought the ranch and stadium in 1930, putting on shows that attracted
such stars as Tom Mix, John Wayne and Clark Gable. In 1934 Gibson sold out to Paul Hill, who ran the
Western Livestock yards and leased it to film companies for three years until a huge flood filled the home
and arena with mud and debris. (Hill) was unable to make payments, and the bank repossessed the property,
which was eventually taken over by a professor of economics at Occidental College, William Bonelli (who
started the Santa Clarita Water Co. and built one of the first local housing tracts in the late 1940s).
Today (the rodeo arena) is known as the Saugus Speedway."
LW3010: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased 2017 by Leon Worden.