History of Hermon


Hermon is a rural neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California. It is situated in a half square-mile valley bordered by the beautiful Arroyo Seco park and the popular leash-free Hermon Dog Park.   It is primarily a residential community, with a small business district in the center, one elementary school, and the renowned Los Angeles Intl Charter High School.

Hermon is one of five neighborhoods comprising the

Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council (ANSC).


In 1903, Hermon’s Free Methodists residents established

the community  of Hermon, named after Mount Hermon in

the Golan Heights near the border of Syria and Israel.

The church group obtained the isolated valley along the

Arroyo Seco waterway from owner Ralph Rogers, and the

area featured annual camp revival meetings and a local

school, the LA Free Methodists Seminary.  For more info on how Hermon got it’s name, click here. After nationwide prohibition was repealed, Hermon continued legal prohibition and fielded Prohibition Party candidate Claude Watson every four years for many presidential election cycles.  

The seminary became Los Angeles Pacific College
in 1934, then merged with
Azusa Pacific University in the 1960s.

Currently, the campus is home to the popular

Los Angeles Intl Charter High School,

which also serves as the local community

meeting area after a major disaster.

In 1926, better links were established between Hermon and the rest of Los Angeles with the construction of a bridge across Arroyo Seco at Avenue 60, the Monterey Road pass through Walnut Hill to the south in 1930, and the Hermon Avenue (renamed Via Marisol, over the objections of many community members, by Los Angeles City Council member Art Snyder in 1978 to honor his young daughter, Erin Marisol Snyder) bridge to the west in 1939. 

Bushnell Way, Hermon’s elementary school public school serving 500 students in the local area, was previously the site of the old American School. It was named for Rose Bushnell, principal of the first public school in Hermon (American School).  Community leaders wanted to name the school to commemorate Rose after Hermon became part of the city of Los Angeles, but leaders were aware that L.A. school district policies did not allow schools to be named after a living person. Cleverly, they arranged for the street in front of the school to be renamed “Bushnell Way,” then had the school named after the street itself. That’s Hermon’s ingenuity.

In the 100 years since its inception, the neighborhood has grown from 100 small lots into a community of over 3,000.  Hermon is small, but mighty.  The cohesiveness of civic endeavors, clean-ups, graffiti prevention, advocacy and education is strong.  Hermon’s Emergency Preparedness efforts are arguably the best grass-roots plans in the entire City of Los Angeles.   

Click HERE to view LA Times article about Hermon (2008)!LA_Times_Article_-_Aug_2008.html

Monterey Pass into Hermon in the 1940s

Hermon in 1904: LA Free Methodist Seminary is in upper left of photo
[click on photo to enlarge]

Hermon in 1906, taken from the hill above Ave 60

American School (now Bushnell Way Elementary School) circa 1909

Ralph Rogers
Hall, 1905

Arroyo Seco Flood, circa 1913

1st wooden Ave 60 bridge seen washed out in center

Rev J Emory Coleman, son of a Free Methodist bishop, died 1906
[Coleman Ave named after him*]

Joseph Goodwin Terrill, protege of Dr. Redfield & minister of the Free Methodist Church

[Terrill Ave named after him*] 

John Wesley Redfield, evangelist, medical doctor, preacher & abolitionist

[Redfield Ave named after him*]

Rev. Charles Bond Ebey (1847-1908), founder of LA Free Methodist Seminary  in 1904

[Ebey Ave named after him*]


and now!

Original Hermon Free Methodist Church, built in
1904 and replaced by present sanctuary in 1953

LA Free Methodist Seminary 

Click HERE to view LA Times article about Hermon (2003)!LA_Times_Story_2003.htmlLA_Times_Story_2003.htmlLA_Times_Story_2003.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1
Click here for the history & photos of the Hermon Car Wall, built in the 1930s and 40s with imbedded car parts!Hermon_Car_Wall.html
  For a history of the Pasadena 110 fwy, click here!!
(Source: 2010 Montecito Hgts Centennial Booklet)History_files/Origins_0f_110_fwy.pdf

Did you know that Monterey Road based affordable housing developer Advanced Development Investment (ADI) is housed inside a piece of history. ADI’s Hermon home base at 5939 Monterey Rd coincidentally occupies a special place in Los Angeles history. It was once the home of Claude A. Watson, a vice presidential candidate in 1936, and twice the Prohibition Party's candidate for president in 1944 and 1948.

Historic Presidential Home Still Stands in Hermon!

[Photos and story courtesy Highland Park - Mt Washington Patch]

7/2: Hermon Clean TeamAdvance_Team.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0