Campo de Cahuenga and Ties to The Ebell

February 7, 2022

Historic El Camino Real Bell, now erected inside The Campo Museum

In late January our Club Historian, Phyllis Hansen, was interviewed by LA Times reporter Gustavo Arellano in her capacity as board member of the nonprofit Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association.  The Association is commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Treaty of Cahuenga, ending fighting in Alta California during the Mexican-American war. The article appeared Sunday, January 30, but you can read it here.

But there’s more:

“You may not know this, but there is a link between the Campo de Cahuenga and The Ebell,” explains Phyllis. “In fact, there is a plaque on the site with the Ebell name engraved in it! Our club was a supporter of the project. Mrs. A.S.C Forbes, who is considered the “mother of the Campo”, was an early Ebell member. She wrote many articles in the Ebell Magazine in her time, and she taught a class in the Ebell “History Department.” She was a major historian in California, and is also famous as the “California Bell Lady”. She designed, created and implemented the El Camino Real bells that still dot the historic sites and the 101 highway today. They were made in her own foundry—the only foundry founded and operated by a woman. The Campo bell erected in 1910 that is mentioned in the article was the third one, believes Phyllis, to be installed. It is now inside the building.

“There is a strong women’s history to the Campo de Cahuenga, which I mentioned to the reporter and he made a short reference to. The site only exists now because of Mrs. Forbes and her campaign to get the city to purchase the land, then to build the recreated structure.”