14 January 2001
My grandfather, Henry Walker Scott, moved in 1883 to Los Angeles, where he was a partner in the Fosmir & Scott Foundry and Machine Shops, 120 Alpine, Los Angeles, CA.
Some time after his death in 1888, his wife, Sarah Alice (Warren) Scott, moved to Piru City with her six children. An old letter I received from an aunt said that Sarah (known as Alice) had "operated a boarding house in Piru." I believe that this was most probably the old Mountain View [Mountainview] Hotel, and that she was there from about 1890 to 1900 before returning to the Los Angeles area.
The family were devout Methodists; Alice's father and grandfather had been Methodist ministers in Michigan. My aunt's letter told of how, when in Piru, my father, who was born in 1886, and his dog had caught gophers for a dime each on the David C. Cook ranch so that he could send $15 a year to India to help support a child.
The only reference I remember my father making to Piru was this story. One Fourth of July, his older brothers planned a fireworks display for their boarders. They had a fairly large box of assorted fireworks and hoped for a good celebration. However, early on, one of the Roman candles was misdirected and lit in the box, setting off the rest of the display and causing the assembled guests to scatter in a hurry.
I have wondered whether this incident might have made it into a newspaper. It sounds like the kind of human-interest story that would have been reported. My guess is that the date would have been between 1898 and 1900, some time before they left Piru.
I wrote a while back to Harry Lechler in the hope that he might be able to tell me whether my grandmother had actually managed the hotel for Mr. Cook. However, I was gold that the Lechlers no longer had any of the old records, that his family had bought the place in 1911 and that the previous owners were the Sullivans. So, there is a 10-year gap with different owners.
If you should happen to run across any references to the Piru hotel during the 1890s, I would greatly appreciate receiving them, especially if they might confirm the Scott presence there.
Homer W. Scott
West Hartford, Conn.