HistoryGlimpses of the Past by Toluca Lake Magazine | September 22, 2022A rare look at Toluca Lake in its natural, marsh-like state, this 1902 photo demonstrates how the idyllic area drew visitors even before its development as a residential neighborhood began in 1923. The wading women are identified as Grace Brigance and Edith (or possibly Ethel) Border, and the image is from the collection of Charles Luther Boynton. Most of his materials focus on Claremont and Pomona College, but there are several pictures of young people visiting and camping at Toluca Lake. Photo courtesy of Charles and Edmund Boynton papers. Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library, The Claremont Colleges Services, Claremont, CA. Bob Hope at home in Toluca Lake with his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. Probably not coincidentally, Hope’s 1955–1957 series of comedy specials on NBC was sponsored by Chevrolet and known as The Bob Hope Chevy Show. Photo courtesy of Bison Archives and HollywoodHistoricPhotos.com. The back of this vintage postcard notes that Toluca Lake is “a delightful place to live and shop.” Image courtesy of Paulanna Cuccinello. Newlyweds Ronald and Nancy Reagan cutting their wedding cake on March 4, 1952. The couple married at Studio City’s Little Brown Church in the Valley with just two guests in attendance, their good friends William and Ardis Holden. Afterward, the four actors celebrated with dinner and cake at the Holdens’ Toluca Lake home on Sancola Avenue before the Reagans departed on their honeymoon. Photo courtesy of White House Photo/Alamy Stock Photo. Longtime Toluca Lake residents still remember Richard Nixon’s helicopter landing on the lawn of the Bob Hope estate on January 3, 1970. After the president thanked Hope for his help in signing up Vietnam War servicemen for educational benefits, the pair went over to Lakeside Golf Club to play a round with actors Jimmy Stewart and Fred MacMurray. Photo courtesy of Maidun Collection/Alamy Stock Photo. Diners at the Tick Tock Toluca could enjoy “Home cooked food served in a ‘Homey’ atmosphere,” the back of this postcard promised. Image from the collection of Toluca Lake Magazine. Toluca Lake has long been known as a destination for top-notch Halloween decorations and prime trick-or-treating. The Hope estate was a favorite stop for generations of local kids, handing out everything from full-size candy bars and silver dollars to signature toys like these. Photo courtesy of Robyn Allyn. A menu from Sorrentino’s Seafood House, which was located at the corner of Riverside Drive and Pass Avenue. The owners’ cousins ran Alfonse’s, another beloved Riverside Drive restaurant just a block away. Image from the collection of Toluca Lake Magazine. Designed by renowned architect Wayne McAllister and built in 1949, the Riverside Drive Bob’s Big Boy is the chain’s oldest remaining location in the U.S. and has been a neighborhood landmark for generations, with Friday night classic car shows continuing to evoke memories of a bygone era. Photo by Daniel Deitch. Menu images from the collection of Toluca Lake Magazine The Smoke House when it opened in 1946, at its original site on the corner of Pass Avenue and Riverside Drive. An instant success, it moved to its present location on Lakeside Drive in 1949 and has been a local fixture ever since. Photo courtesy of Bison Archives and HollywoodHistoricPhotos.com.