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Item 57. Newmark’s Sixty Years in Southern California—“This
Pepys Diary of California offers evidence of days often made disheartening
by violence, epidemic, and drought. One gets a vivid picture of two civilizations—the
old, threadbare, and shabby; the young thrashing about in its struggles to
take form” (Walker).
|57. NEWMARK, Harris
(1834-1916). Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913.
Containing the Reminiscences of Harris Newmark, Edited by Maurice H.
Newmark and Marco R. Newmark.... New York: Knickerbocker Press,
1916. xxviii  688 pp., frontispiece portrait from an engraving,
numerous plates (from vintage photographs and prints), map. 8vo, original
maroon cloth, spine gilt-lettered, t.e.g. Spine slightly faded, light
shelf wear, front hinge cracked, a few traces of foxing, generally
very good, with bookplate of Elenore Meherin and John D. Van Becker. Pencil
notes of Warren R. Howell at back (“First Edition Zamorano 80 No. 57”).
First edition. Adams, Guns 1605; Herd 1638. Cowan II, p. 454. Graff 2016. Holliday 812. Howell 50, California 669. Howes N123. Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 57. Libros Californianos, pp. 49-50 (Powell commentary); p. 68 (Hanna list): “Commonly referred to as ‘the Pepys diary of Los Angeles’ because of its multitude of intimate references to men and events over six decades.” Norris 2844. Powell, Land of Fact 20: “Los Angeles’ most basic book—a veritable omnium-gatherum of history, biography, and anecdote.” Rocq 3221. Walker, A Literary History of Southern California, pp. 61-62: “This Pepys Diary of California offers evidence of days often made disheartening by violence, epidemic, and drought. To the sensitive Jewish boy from West Prussia who abandoned his brandy for an umbrella in crossing the Isthmus of Panama in 1853, the City of Angels was a place demanding rapid readjustment on his part.... One gets a vivid picture of two civilizations—the old, threadbare, and shabby; the young thrashing about in its struggles to take form.” Zamorano 80 #57 (J. Gregg Layne): “This work is indispensable to the student of California history for no other work contains so much detailed history of one part of California. It is a mine of information historically and biographically regarding the Los Angeles district from 1853 up to the year of Harris Newmark’s death. Newmark was a pioneer of 1853 and an outstanding merchant and member of the community for over half a century.... The book’s sale, due to its intense interest, was phenomenal considering its local subject matter.” ($100-300)
57A. NEWMARK, Harris. Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913....
Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company; Cambridge: The Riverside
Press, 1930. xxxv  744 pp., frontispiece portrait, numerous plates.
8vo, original red cloth, gilt-lettered spine, t.e.g. Spine a bit light,
else very fine, mostly unopened.
Newmark’s book has won praise as one of the most important sources
of information concerning the development of Los Angeles and its environs
in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Charles Lummis, that
colorful and flamboyant interpreter of California and the Southwest,
called Newmark’s encyclopedic memoir “the Pepys Diary of Los
Angeles.” Densely packed with facts and anecdotes, the charm of this
massive volume is its frankness, simplicity, and humor. In the introduction
to the fourth edition, community historian W. W. Robinson wrote, “It
is a very personal and unique account of a dusty, muddy, adobe village
emerging from pueblo days and of young city rising in strength.”
——Gary F. Kurutz
Additional sources consulted: Biographical Files, California State Library; Sixty Years in Southern California, 1853-1913 (Los Angeles: Zeitlin & Ver Brugge, 1970); Franklin Walker, A Literary History of Southern California (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1950), pp. 61-63.
Item 57. Vintage photo of Los Angeles in the late 1850s.
Item 57. One of many excellent documentary photos from Newmark’s Sixty Years in Southern California—“Los Angeles’ most basic book—a veritable omnium-gatherum of history, biography, and anecdote” (Powell).
Item 57. Vintage photos of San Pedro Street and Commercial Streets in Los Angeles.
Item 57. Photograph of Spring Street in Los Angeles, from Newmark’s Sixty Years in Southern California.
Item 57. Vintage photos of Temple Street and Pico House in Los Angeles, from Newmark’s Sixty Years in Southern California.
Item 57. Harris Newmark (1834-1916).