Maureen Megowan's Blog

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Where did the Peacocks in Palos Verdes come from?

Mr. Frank Vanderlip Sr. was an enthusiastic bird lover, maintaining an extensive collection of exotic birds in an aviary below his home in the Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes, The Cottage built in 1916.  He even had a small structure built as a bird hospital and had a resident bird doctor.
 
The origin of the peacocks that inhabit the Palos Verdes Peninsula is somewhat disputed.  Frank Vanderlip Jr. , in an interview, stated that the peacocks were a gift from Lucky Baldwin, a prominant investor and businessman and a friend of Frank Vanderlip Sr. around 1924. In this version, Mr. Vanderlip was visiting with Mr. Balwin at Mr. Baldwin's estate in Arcadia, and admired his flock of peacocks that had originally been imported by Mr. Baldwin from India in 1879. Mr. Vanderlip then commented that his Villa Narcissa was "too quiet", and that Mr. Baldwin then gave Mr. Vanderlip 6 peacocks to "liven the place up". Elin Vanderlip in her book published shortly before her death, also states that the peacocks were a gift from Lucky Baldwin.This, however, would not have been possible as Mr. Baldwin died in 1909, prior to Mr. Vanderlip's purchase of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Another version has Anita, the daughter of Mr. Baldwin, giving the peacocks to Mr. Vanderlip years after Mr. Vanderlip had admired Mr. Baldwin's peacocks at Mr. Baldwin's estate prior to Mr. Baldwin's death.Yet another version, published by Francine A. Bradley, Ph.D. UC Davis, in a report to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes on managing peafowl on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, states that the original peacock colony on the Palos Verdes Peninsula was a gift of 16 birds from the daughter of William Wrigley, Jr. to Frank Vanderlip, Sr. from Mr.Wrigley's aviary on Catalina Island. This version was supported by an interview with Mrs. John Vanderlip (Suzanne Vanderlip ) in 2000.  One thing that does not seem to be disputed is that in later years, Mr. Vanderlip's collection of birds ( other than the peacocks ) were donated back to Mr. Wrigley's aviary on Catalina Island.
 
 
  Frank Vanderlip Sr. at his aviary
 
Francine A. Bradley, Ph.D. UC Davis, in a report to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes on managing peafowl on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, states that the original peacock colony on the Palos Verdes Peninsula was a gift of 16 birds from the daughter of William Wrigley, Jr. to Frank Vanderlip, the original founder of the Palos Verdes Project in the mid 1920's, from Mr. Wrigley's aviary on Catalina Island. 
 
Regardless of their origins, these birds were maintained at the Vanderlip Estate in Portuguese Bend. It is suspected that some of the birds were introduced to Palos Verdes Estates by former mayor Fred Roessler sometime in the period from 1960-65. There are now numberous colonies in Rancho Palos Verdes in the Crestridge, Vista Grande, and the Portuguese Bend areas, as well as in the Lunada Bay and Malaga Cove areas of Palos Verdes Estates.

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For more secrets and little know facts about the Palos Verdes Peninsula go to my website at http://www.maureenmegowan.com/PageManager/Default.aspx/PageID=1824011&NF=1

For more information about Palos Verdes and South Bay Real Estate and buying and selling a home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, visit my website at http://www.maureenmegowan.com . I try to make this the best real estate web blog in the South Bay Los Angeles and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. I would love to hear your comments or suggestions.

Comment balloon 0 commentsMaureen Megowan • August 23 2011 11:15PM
Where did the Peacocks in Palos Verdes come from?
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