Harold A. Henry Park in Windsor Village: Wood family property now a public park

| September 30, 2020 | 1 Comment

AN ISLAND of land in Windsor Village, that now is Harold A. Henry Park, was once a family compound.      Photo of a page of a Wood Family book

What today is known as Harold A. Henry Park was once a family compound consisting of five houses.

Dr. Eldie Preston (E.P.) Wood came to Los Angeles in the early 1900s and decided to invest in property. He liked the area between Wilshire Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard (then still 10th Street).

The odd-shaped parcel he purchased became the site of a large home called the “Big House,” plus two one-story duplexes, a one-story Spanish-style home and a log cabin. The parcel’s borders were Francis Avenue, Windsor Boulevard, Ninth Street and Borck Place (now Lucerne Blvd). The “Big House” featured Craftsman-style architecture, and its largest room was the library, said Kathie Gauld, granddaughter of E.P. Wood. Kathie lived with her parents in the house that faced Ninth Street.

She remembers the impressive landscaping on the property including an immense rose garden, tropical fruit trees and specimen plants. Only the eucalyptus trees remain, Kathie said. There was a large patio and a badminton court. The main house had a separate wing for the servants, who were often a married couple, said Kathie.

“The log cabin is where my uncle Felix used to study for his dental degree, and its skulls and skeletons scared me.”

E.P. Wood was born in La Plata, Missouri in 1877. He studied at the American School of Osteopathy (which later became the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine), and he practiced in Deadwood, South Dakota. He came west to San Francisco, and then to Los Angeles.

COUNCILMAN Harold A. Henry (at left) served the City’s Fourth District from 1945 to 1966. He is shown here on Larchmont Blvd. celebrating the boulevard’s first parking meter in 1959. To the right are Bill Schulhof of Beverly Larchmont Pharmacy, Joe Chevalier and an “unknown starlet.”    [A $50 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream gift card will go to the first reader who writes to us at info@larchmontchronicle.com and documents her name. — Ed.]                                 Photo by O.T. Dunlap

He married Pauline Vollmer, and the couple had three children, Felix, Sonia and Vollmer (Kathie’s father). Pauline’s father, Herman Vollmer, was owner of Vollmer & Co., an upscale store on South Broadway that sold fine china, jewelry and silver.

In addition to real estate investments, Wood founded and/or invested in several businesses including the White Star Linen Co. that later became Table Linen Supply Co. After E.P. died in 1931, Pauline ran the family business. She later downsized and moved to the Spanish-style house on Ninth St., and her children moved into other houses on the property.

Pauline felt learning languages was very important, and she had the children learn French from their French governess before they learned to speak English. The family also spent a year in Europe in 1926. During the Depression, Pauline would give out food to people who came to the house.

Kathie often visited her grandmother and grandaunt Pearl (Pauline’s sister). Both women were graduates of Marlborough School when it was in its original downtown location. Kathie’s aunt Sonia, Kathie’s mother and Kathie herself also are Marlborough graduates. Pearl married William Wales Mines who founded Mines Field, which became Los Angeles International Airport.

When the city purchased the property in 1965, it was named Harold A. Henry Park to honor the Fourth District City Councilman. He had served the area from 1945 to 1966.

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Category: Real Estate

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  1. Matthew says:

    I enjoyed the article because not only has my family visited Harold Henry so many times over the years but we also live in a Craftsman style home. Could you make available photos of the Craftsman home as I’d love to see details of its architecture?

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