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Finding Aid of the Harriett Weaver Collection about Residential Development and Fire, Flood, and Landslide Management in the Santa Monica Mountains
1447  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • [Index]
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harriett Weaver Collection about Residential Development and Fire, Flood, and Landslide Management in the Santa Monica Mountains,
    Date (inclusive): 1960-1986
    Collection number: 1447
    Creator: Weaver, Harriett
    Extent: 47 boxes (23.5 linear ft.) 1 oversize box
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Harriett Sherwood Weaver (1913-1988) contributed book reviews and feature articles to the Kansas City star (1936). She married and moved to Los Angeles (ca. 1940). After the 1961 Bel-Air fire, Weaver crusaded for effective management of native brush in the Santa Monica Mountains and brush clearance legislation. She later served on the Los Angeles Countywide Citizens Planning Council (1972-79). The collection consists of writings, clippings, reports, brochures, pamphlets, awards and related materials dealing with residential development in the Santa Monica Mountains and the management of fires, floods, and landslides.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Harriett S. Weaver, 1986.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Harriett Weaver Collection about Residential Development and Fire, Flood, and Landslide Management in the Santa Monica Mountains (Collection 1447). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Biography

    Harriett Sherwood Weaver was born in Haigler, Nebraska, October 29, 1913; graduated Phi Beta Kappa, University of Kansas (1934); contributed book reviews and feature articles to the Kansas City star (1936); married John Downing Weaver (1937); moved to Los Angeles ca. 1940; the 1961 Bel-Air fire prompted her crusade for both effective management of native brush in the Santa Monica Mountains and brush clearance legislation; headed the fire committee of the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations; served on Los Angeles Countywide Citizens' Planning Council (1972-79); died November 23, 1988.

    Biographical Narrative

    Harriett Sherwood Weaver was born in Haigler, Nebraska, October 29,1913 and reared by her widowed mother in Kansas City, Missouri, where her Central High School classmates included the screenwriter, John Paxton (Cf. Collection No. 2082). At the University of Kansas she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa in the class of 1934. Two years later, when she began contributing book reviews and feature articles to the Kansas City Star, she caught the eye of a young reporter, John D. Weaver (Cf. Collection No. 1206).
    “Liberal Virginian, swell person - drinks & talk & books all evening, “she noted in her diary June 18, 1936, the night a K. U. classmate introduced her to John. They repaired to the roof of his Kansas City apartment building to enjoy the cool evening air and the lights of the Plaza. “Someday,” she said, “I want to live on a mountaintop and look out at the lights of a great city.”
    They were married the following year and, as John pointed out in dedicating Los Angeles: The Enormous Village to Harriett, they “crossed the plains in a covered Chevrolet to homestead in the Hollywood Hills” (circa 1940). As the decade ended Harriett was refurbishing a mountaintop house above the Sunset Strip commanding a ISO-degree view of the city.
    The devastating Bel-Air fire of 1961 triggered her 25-year crusade for more effective management of native brush in the Santa Monica Mountains. On March 16, 1989, four months after her death, Harriett's friends and fellow-workers in the Federation of Hillside & Cañon Associations joined Fire Department officials and members of the local firefighters' union for the unveiling of a memorial plaque at Station 99 on Mulholland Drive, overlooking the great city she had come to cherish and to serve so well.
    “There is an old adage that goes: 'You can't beat City Hall,'” recalled Jerry Fields, a former president of the Board of Fire Commissioners. “That saying is very popular because very few of us can fight City Hall and win. But Harriett Weaver did fight City Hall, and did win, and in doing it she taught us a better and safer way to protect the hillsides of our city. She did it without rancor or bitterness, but with warmth and understanding, as she pleaded and argued with great persistence, until she won her victory on hillside safety and protection.
    “As she relentlessly fought on one front, she battled a treacherous and fatal disease on another front. She never retreated. She never gave up. And she never complained. One major battle is usually more than enough for most of us, but this very special woman had an inordinate amount of courage, fortitude and just plain guts.”
    “Her long ordeal ended gently,” John wrote friends back east when Harriett died November 23,1988. “She was asleep in a Burbank hospital room, where her heart was being monitored, and I was sitting beside her, reading a book. Suddenly a dozen nurses descended on us. She had finally been granted her wish to go to sleep and not wake up. I dismissed the nurses and kissed her good-bye. In her last conscious moment, when I bathed her forehead and held a glass of water to her lips, there was no indication of pain or fear in her eyes, only an unspeakable weariness. It was the eve of Thanksgiving.”
    “She made a difference in this city,” John told Jack Jones when he was preparing Harriett's obituary for the Los Angeles Times. “In a huge megalopolis it's hard for one person to make an impact. She did.”
    The text of the bronze plaque at Station 99 reads:
    “EVERY ONE WHO EVER LIVES IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS WILL BE SAFER IN THEIR HOMES BECAUSE OF HARRIETT'S SUPPORT AND COMMITMENT TO BRUSH CLEARANCE LEGISLATION.”

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of writings, clippings, reports, brochures, pamphlets, awards and related materials dealing with residential development in the Santa Monica Mountains and the management of fires, floods, and landslides.

    Expanded Scope and Content Note

    Writings, clippings, reports, brochures, pamphlets, awards and related materials dealing with residential development in the Santa Monica Mountains and with the management of fires, floods and landslides, 1960-1988.
    Cf. Collection no.1244 ( Federation of Hillside and Cañon Associations) drawn from the files of Betty Dearing [1917-1977], which were organized by Harriett S. Weaver with the help of Nancy Pohl, who has added some of her Briarcliff Improvement Association material to this collection.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged alphabetically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Weaver, Harriett--Archives.
    Flood control--Santa Monica Mountains (Calif.).
    Fire prevention--Santa Monica Mountains (Calif.).
    Landslides--Santa Monica Mountains (Calif.).

    [Index]

    Aerial Firefighting Boxes 16-17
    AIDS Box 11
    Allen, Mort Box 17
    Alomar Development Box 17
    Ambulances Box 12
    Anaheim Fire [1982] Box 5
    Anaheim Fire [1983] Box 11
    Aerial Firefighting Boxes 16-17
    Architects' Study, 1963-64 Box 17
    Arson Box 1
    Baldwin Hills Fire [1985] Box 6
    Bel Air-Beverly Crest Plan Box 17
    Bel Air Fire [1961] Boxes 1,21,33
    Benedict Canyon Boxes 17,27,31
    Beverly Drive-Beverly Ridge Box 18
    Board & Care Legislation Box 18
    Big Tujunga Fire Box 2
    Blinderman, Barbara Boxes 20,23,25
    Bodine, Albert G. Box 18
    Box Canyon Fire [1985] Box 6
    Briarcliff Improvement Assn. [Pohl] Boxes 18,23-25
    Bradley, David Box 19
    Bradley, Tom Boxes 3-4,11,19, 48
    Briarcliff File, 1958-59 Box 23
    Brush Boxes 1-6,33,41
    Brush Clearance Boxes 4,6-8,41
    Brush Clearance Ordinance Boxes 1-2, 4-8, 32
    Bunker Hill Towers Fire, 1980, 1983 Box 16
    Caesar's Palace Fire, Las Vegas, 1981 Box 16
    Canyon Crier Box 18
    Cedars-Sinai Fires [1983] Box 1
    Cerritos Plane Crash Box 11
    Chemicals Box 6
    Chatsworth Fire [1970] Box 2
    Chiefs, Fire Box 10
    Community Patrol Box 6
    Conflict of Interest Box 19
    Conrad, Paul Boxes 47-48
    Controlled Burns Box 6
    County Fire Services Commission Boxes 29-31
    Crescent-Heights Box 19
    Daniel, Jerome Box 19
    Death, HSW Boxes 44-46
    Dearing, Betty Box 18
    Developments, Hillside Boxes 18-19
    Disasters Box 11
    Dorothy Mae Fire [1982] Box 1
    Encino Slides Box 22
    FAIR Plan Boxes 20-21
    Federation, Hillside & Cañon Boxes 1-3, 6, 16-28
    By-laws Box 18
    History Boxes 18, 20, 41
    Minutes Boxes 23-24, 41
    Personalities Boxes 18, 25
    Fees, Trash Box 27
    Fences, Height of Box 20
    Fill, Import-Export of Box 20
    Fire Department, Los Angeles Boxes 10-12
    Fireworks Boxes 13-16,32
    Flak [Cf, Blinderman, Barbara] Box 20
    Flood Hazard, City Plan [1980] Box 22
    Forest Service, U.S. Box 6
    Fossil Area Box 17
    Goals Program Box 20
    Grading Ordinance, Revision of Boxes 22,27
    Greenberg, Joseph Box 23
    Groelinger, Herbert Box 18
    Helicopter, Bell [Big Lifter] Box 16
    Helicopter, Canadian [Superscooper] Boxes 16-17
    High-Rise Fires Boxes 16, 41
    Hot tubs Box 36
    Insurance Boxes 1,20-21
    Kollsman Case Box 23
    Laguna Slides [1978] Box 23
    Landfills Box 21
    Landslides & Floods Boxes 21-23, 32
    Las Vegas Fires Boxes 7, 16
    Laurel Canyon Fire [1979] Box 4
    Laurel Canyon Freeway Box 23
    Laurelwood Box 23
    Laws, Fire Boxes 1, 6, 9, 11, 29
    Lot Averaging Box 23
    Malibu Fire [1970] Box 2
    Malibu Fire [1982] Box 5
    Malibu Fire [1985] Box 6
    Malibu Slides [1979] Box 22
    Mandeville Fire [1978] Box 4
    Mandeville Slides [1979] Box 22
    Manning, Fire Department Box 11
    M-G-M Grand Hotel Fire [1980] Box 7
    Melhorn, Charles Box 23
    Melograno, Lil Box 25
    Michel, Charles Box 25
    Minorities Box 12
    Moore, Brian Box 24
    Moriarty, W. Patrick Boxes 14-16
    Mulholland Hotel Plan Box 24
    Mulholland Scenic Corridor Box 24
    Museums Boxes 38-39
    Narvid, Ethel Box 28
    New Yorker article (1979) Box 4
    Noise Box 19
    Ojai Fire (1985) Box 6
    Palos Verdes Slides Box 22
    Paramedics Box 12
    Parks, Mountain Box 25
    Pensions Box 12
    Peshtigo Fire [1871] Box 34
    Planning Box 25
    Plants Boxes 8, 9, 20
    Pohl, Nancy Boxes 18, 23-24
    Pool Pumps Box 7
    Pools, Swimming Boxes 36, 37
    Power Lines Box 12
    Residential Planned Developments Box 25
    Roberts, Clete Box 33
    Roth Decision Box 8
    Safety Tips Box 12
    Santa Barbara Fire [1977] Box 3
    Schools in the Mountains Box 26
    Sepulveda Basin Box 26
    Spas Box 36
    Sherman Oaks Boxes 22, 26-27
    Sidelights Box 12
    Single Family Residence Laws Box 28
    Slope Density Box 27
    Smoke Detectors Box 12
    SOHA [Sherman Oaks Homeowers] Box 27
    Solar Heat Box 36
    Spas Box 36
    Stations, Old Fire Box 12
    Stevens, Carole Box 23
    Stone Canyon Disaster Boxes 12, 22
    Studies & Reports Boxes 3, 8-10, 12, 17
    Studio City Slides [1984-85] Box 2
    Studio City Plan Box 25
    Sunset article (1983) Box 5
    SuperScooper Boxes 16-17
    Taxes Box 27
    Topanga Fire [1977] Boxes 3, 6, 17
    Trash Fees Box 27
    Tree People Box 27
    Union Activities Boxes 11-12
    Vacation Tips Box 27
    Vegetatation, Native Boxes 8-9, 20, 37
    Wachs, Joel Box 17
    Water Conservation Box 27
    Weaver, Harriett S.
    Civic Activies Boxes 8, 29, 30
    Writings Boxes 1, 32, 35-41
    Fire Seminars Box 31
    Notes Box 8
    Miscellaneous Boxes 33, 34
    Death (1988) Boxes 44-46
    Tributes Boxes 5, 11, 31, 44-48
    Westlake Fire [1977] Box 3
    Wilacre Estates Box 28
    Wildlife Boxes 20, 31-32
    Women Box 12
    Women For Box 31
    Wood Roofs Boxes 6-7, 41
    Yorty, Sam Boxes 2, 7, 19
    Zoning Boxes 19, 28

    Related Material

    Harriett Weaver Papers (Collection 1246). Available at Department of Special Collections, UCLA.
    John Downing Weaver Collection of Los Angeles Ephemera (Collection 1393). Available at Department of Special Collections, UCLA.
    Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations Records (Collection 1244). Available at Department of Special Collections, UCLA.