Guide to the Dana Point Syndicate Records of S.H. Woodruff

Processed by Su Kim Chung; machine-readable finding aid created by Gabriela A. Montoya
Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Phone: (949) 824-3947
Fax: (949) 824-2472
Email: spcoll@uci.edu
URL: http://www.lib.uci.edu/rrsc/speccoll.html
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note

History--History, California--History, Los Angeles Area Social Sciences--Urban Planning and Environment Geographical (by Place)--California--Los Angeles Area

Guide to the Dana Point Syndicate Records of S.H. Woodruff

Collection number: MS-R 60

Special Collections and Archives

The UCI Libraries



University of California

Irvine, California

Contact Information

  • Special Collections and Archives
  • The UCI Libraries
  • P.O. Box 19557
  • University of California
  • Irvine, California 92623-9557
  • Phone: (949) 824-3947
  • Fax: (949) 824-2472
  • Email: spcoll@uci.edu
  • URL: http://www.lib.uci.edu/rrsc/speccoll.html
Processed by:
Su Kim Chung
Date Completed:
1998
Encoded by:
Gabriela A. Montoya
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Dana Point Syndicate records of S.H. Woodruff,
Date (inclusive): 1911-1937
Date (bulk): (bulk 1920-1930)
Collection number: MS-R060
Creator: Woodruff, S.H. (Sidney H.)
Extent: 2.4 linear feet 3 boxes and 2 oversize folders
Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: The business records collected by real estate developer S.H. Woodruff in his capacity as head of the Dana Point Syndicate, a group of wealthy Los Angeles investors formed to finance the purchase, subdivision, and development of some 1,400 acres of coastal property at Dana Point in the late 1920's. The records contain administrative, financial, legal, and real estate documents on the Dana Point development and provide information regarding contemporary property values on the Orange County, California coast. Other documents include publicity brochures and broadsides created to promote Dana Point's prime location on the Pacific coast. The collection also contains visual documentation on the development of the Dana Point area in the form of cadastral maps, photographs of the Dana Point property (both prior to development and during construction) and completed Dana Point Syndicate buildings, and architectural sketches of Dana Point Syndicate houses and the proposed Dana Point Inn.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

Preferred Citation

Dana Point Syndicate Records of S.H. Woodruff. MS-R 60. Special Collections and Archives, The UCI Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Helen Smith circa 1970.

Processing History

Processed by Su Kim Chung in 1998.

Biography/Organization History

Organizational History

In mid-1926, Los Angeles realtor-builder S.H. (Sidney) Woodruff formed a group of investors as a means to finance the purchase, subdivision, and development of roughly 1,400 acres of coastal property at Dana Point, a town on the Pacific coast in Orange County, California. As the head of this group, known as the Dana Point Syndicate, Woodruff was instrumental in designing the Dana Point development and promoting its coastal amenities through a nationwide publicity campaign. The centerpiece of the development was to be the luxurious cliff-top Dana Point Inn, which was modeled on similar buildings located on the Italian and French Rivieras.
Although successful in its early stages, Woodruff's Dana Point development effort failed in 1930, due primarily to the effects of the 1929 stock market crash upon the finances of the investors. Despite setbacks, Woodruff still hoped that his project would come to fruition throughout the 1930s. His alternative financing methods failed, however, and in February 1939, Woodruff, as president of the Dana Point Corporation, received permission to sell off the syndicate's interests.
In the end, only thirteen houses were actually constructed by the Dana Point Syndicate, and the hotel itself never went beyond the foundation stage.
Prior to his work with the Dana Point Syndicate, Woodruff was best known for his collaboration on the exclusive subdivision known as "Hollywoodland," which gained fame as a result of the large metal sign erected in the Hollywood Hills to publicize its location.
Little is known about Woodruff's life beyond his work in community real estate development. He was the son of a wealthy Michigan family, and by his own admission, had no thought of working until age nineteen, when his father lost the family fortune and went heavily into debt. He was trained as an architect in Buffalo and erected his first building in York, Maine. At some point, Woodruff moved to the West Coast and was involved in rebuilding portions of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, prior to his work in Southern California.

Chronology

1926 Dana Point Syndicate formed with S.H. Woodruff as head. Syndicate purchased 1,400 acres of Dana Point property.
1927 Dana Point development property placed on the market.
1928 Dana Point residences built for private owners.
1930 Groundbreaking for Dana Point Inn.
1930 Stock market crash of 1929 caused Dana Point Syndicate investors to lose funding.
1939 S.H. Woodruff given legal permission to sell off the Syndicate's interests

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The business records collected by real estate developer S.H. Woodruff in his capacity as head of the Dana Point Syndicate, a group of wealthy Los Angeles investors formed to finance the purchase, subdivision, and development of some 1,400 acres of coastal property at Dana Point in the late 1920's. The records contain administrative, financial, legal, and real estate documents on the Dana Point development and provide information regarding contemporary property values on the Orange County, California coast. Other documents include publicity brochures and broadsides created to promote Dana Point's prime location on the Pacific coast. The collection also contains visual documentation on the development of the Dana Point area in the form of cadastral maps, photographs of the Dana Point property (both prior to development and during construction) and completed Dana Point Syndicate buildings, and architectural sketches of Dana Point Syndicate houses and the proposed Dana Point Inn.
The collection is organized into four series: Business records, 1911-1937 and undated; Photographs, 1927 and undated; Promotional and publicity materials, 1927-ca. 1929 and undated; and Maps, 1924-1930 and undated. The documents related to administrative, financial, legal, construction and real estate activities comprise the first series; photographs of the Dana Point property prior to and during development comprise the second series; publicity materials on the Dana Point Development comprise the third series; and the development's real estate property maps comprise the fourth series. Materials were arranged alphabetically within each series by document type. Dates of documents are indicated when known.
The collection contains very little correspondence, there are no progress reports on the development during its construction nor any materials related to its eventual failure in the early 1930's. The map collection is limited to cadastral maps and does not include general or topographical maps of Dana Point.

Related Materials

The UCLA Department of Special Collections holds two related collections: "Collection of Material Related to Hollywoodland, California and Dana Point, California, 1929" (Collection 1527) and a photograph album entitled "Woodruff/Hollywoodland, and Dana Point" (Collection 94, Box 8). The Dana Point Historical Society holds the "Woodruff Collection," which contains over 300 documents and photographs.

Indexing Terms

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

Subjects

Woodruff, S. H. (Sidney H.)--Archives.
Dana Point Syndicate--Archives.
Dana Point Inn--Archives.
Orange County (Calif.)--Archives.
Dana Point (Calif.)--Archives.
Real estate investment--California--Archives.
Seaside resorts--California--Archives.

Genres and Forms of Materials

Maps--California--Dana Point.
Photographic prints--California--Dana Point.
Aerial photographs--California--Dana Point.

Occupations

Real estate developers.

Other Authors of Materials in this Collection

Dana Point Syndicate.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Business records, 1911-1937.

Series Scope and Content Summary

The business records of S.H. Woodruff that were created in his capacity as head of the Dana Point Syndicate. Materials organized into four subseries based on format.
 

Subseries 1.1. Administrative documents, 1927-1937 and undated.

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Minutes of meetings of the administrators and stockholders of the Dana Point Syndicate and the Dana Point Inn.
Box : Folder 2 : 1

Bound volume of minutes from Dana Point Inn Ltd. Board of Directors meetings and Annual Stockholders meetings, 1929-1937

Box : Folder 2 : 2

Dana Point Syndicate meeting minutes on allowing a new member into the syndicate, 1927

 

Subseries 1.2. Construction documents, 1926-1929 and undated.

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Material documenting the construction process including architectural drawings and utilities contracts.
Box : Folder 1 : 1

Architectural renderings of Dana Point Inn, undated

Box : Folder 1 : 2

Architectural renderings of Dana Point Syndicate buildings, undated

Box : Folder 1 : 3

Electricity contracts, 1926-1929

Box : Folder 1 : 4

Lighting contracts, 1929

Box : Folder 1 : 5

Water rights agreements, 1927

 

Subseries 1.3. Financial documents, 1920-1939 and undated.

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Material related to the finances of the development, such as accounting ledgers, promissory notes, stock subscriptions and certificates, and insurance policies.
Box 3OS

Accounting ledger of Los Angeles developer Tracey E. Shoults and partners, including S.H. Woodruff, 1920-1923

Box 3OS

Accounting ledger of daily Dana Point development financial transactions, 1928-1933

Box 3OS

Bound volume of Dana Point Inn Ltd. common stock certificates with names of shareholders, 1929-1939

Box 3OS

Bound volume of Dana Point Inn Ltd. preferred stock certificates with names of shareholders, 1929-1939

Box : Folder 1 : 6

Business forms, undated

Box : Folder 1 : 7

Car and life insurance policies, 1931

Box : Folder 1 : 8

Promissory notes, 1923-1932

Box : Folder 1 : 9

Sales ledger file of Dana Point property buyers, 1929-1931.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box : Folder 3OS : 1

Stock certificate forms, ca. 1929

Box : Folder 1 : 10

Stock subscription, 1924

Box : Folder 1 : 11

Stock prospectus for Dana Point Inn Ltd., ca. 1929

Box : Folder 1 : 12

Title insurance, 1929

Box : Folder 1 : 13

Miscellaneous documents, undated

 

Subseries 1.4. Legal documents, 1916-1931.

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Legal materials, such as contracts and agreements related to the development's construction.
Box : Folder 1 : 14

Assignment of beneficial interest certificates, 1916-1928

Box : Folder 1 : 15

Dana Point subscription agreements, 1926

Box : Folder 1 : 16

Lease agreements, 1930-1931

Box : Folder 1 : 17

Power of attorney for Olive Woodruff, 1926

Box : Folder 1 : 18

Solicitation agreement for Rosslyn Hotel, 1928

Box : Folder 1 : 19

Transcript of dispute between [S.H.?] Woodruff and J. Crawford Marsh, 1927

 

Subseries 1.5. Real estate documents, 1911-1932 and undated.

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Real estate documents, including property appraisals and quitclaim deeds.
Box : Folder 1 : 20

Dana Point property appraisals, 1926 October-November

Box : Folder 1 : 21

Dana Point Syndicate propery appraisal, parcel 2, tract 573, 1928

Box : Folder 1 : 22

Deeds of Trust, 1927

Box : Folder 1 : 23

List of Dana Point subscribers, undated

Box : Folder 1 : 24

Mortgage extension contract, 1925

Box : Folder 1 : 25

Quitclaim deeds, 1925-1932

Box : Folder 1 : 26

Rancho Santa Margarita (O'Neill Ranch) real estate contracts, 1923

Box : Folder 1 : 27

Real estate sales agreements, 1911-1927

Box : Folder 1 : 28

Real estate salesmen licenses, 1927

 

Series 2. Photographs, 1927 and undated.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Photographs of the Dana Point property prior to its development (including some aerial and coastal views of the property) and during construction. Also includes photographs of completed Dana Point houses and commercial buildings, persons associated with the Dana Point Syndicate, and various European Riviera resorts used as models for the Dana Point Inn. In addition to the loose photographs, there is a bound album of photographs depicting Dana Point buildings, people, and architectural sketches of various Dana Point buildings and the Dana Point Inn.
Box : Folder 3OS : 2

Group photograph of Dana Point Syndicate subscribers (?) luncheon with S.H. Woodruff, undated

Box : Folders 2 : 3-10

Dana Point Syndicate photographs

Box : Folder 2 : 3

Aerial views of Dana Point prior to development, undated.

Physical Description: 24 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 4

Coastal views of Dana Point property, undated.

Physical Description: 20 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 5

Construction views of Dana Point development, undated.

Physical Description: 17 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 6

Dana Point Syndicate houses and commercial buildings, undated.

Physical Description: 18 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 7

Dana Point Syndicate people, undated.

Physical Description: 28 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 8

European Riviera resorts used as models for Dana Point Inn, undated.

Physical Description: 13 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 9

Miscellaneous views, undated.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 10

Photographic reproductions of S.H. Woodruff correspondence, 1928.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box : Folder 2 : 11

Dana Point promotional photo album entitled Dana Point: The New Seacoast Recreational Community on California's Beautiful South Shore, undated.

 

Series 3. Promotional and publicity material, 1927-ca. 1929 and undated.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials used to publicize and promote the Dana Point development. including brochures, broadsides, and copy proofs for future promotional advertisements. Items date from circa 1927-1929.
Folder XOS 1

Brochure with map and description of Dana Point development, 1927

Folder XOS 1

Copy proofs for Dana Point advertisements, ca. 1929.

Physical Description: 12 items.
Folder XOS 2

Broadsides describing Dana Point development, undated.

Physical Description: 3 items.
 

Series 4. Maps, 1924-1930 and undated.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Maps used by the developers to mark the development's property boundaries, to record sales of individual tracts within the development, and to maintain a record of electrical wiring within the development (these are known as "cadastral maps"). Items date from circa 1928-1930.
Folder XOS 2

Tract map indicating 1928 and 1929 property values, ca. 1930

Folder XOS 2

Tract maps detailing specific areas of the development, undated.

Physical Description: 6 items.
Folder XOS 2

Sales map, undated

Folder XOS 2

Tract map with sold and reserved lots, undated

Folder XOS 2

Tract map, undated

Folder XOS 2

Dana Point lighting assessment tract map, undated

Folder XOS 2

Map indicating sites for buildings, golf course, and others, undated

Folder XOS 2

Map with annotations noting buyers' names on individual lots, undated

Folder XOS 2

Dana Point tax map, 1930

Folder XOS 2

Sales map, undated

Folder XOS 2

Tract map annotated with old prices, undated

Folder XOS 2

Tract map of Corona del Mar by Brose Reality, 1924

Folder XOS 2

Tract map of Dana Point development lots, undated

Folder XOS 2

Tract map of Dana Point development, with promotional publicity illustrations and text insert, undated