Rustic and Santa Monica Canyons

By Michael Edlen
Special to the Palisades News

(In 1990 Randy and Betty Lou Young published a limited edition book titled Street Names of Pacific Palisades & Other Tales. This short series of summaries of these names is based on that book.)

Rustic Canyon was developed as a series of private enclaves from 1887- 1921 and was generally little known until after 1924. Most of the original homes were rustic-style vacation homes built by members of the Uplifters, a group of men who founded this club as part of the L.A. Athletic Club.

Brooktree: named for its winding through many trees along the canyon creek.

Greentree, Hightree and Hilltree: also following the “tree” theme.

Haldeman: named for Harry Haldeman, one of the founders of the Uplifters Club.

Latimer: named for Howard Latimer, an original Uplifter who laid out the streets and roads on the Uplifters Ranch. Ranch: another part of the Uplifters Ranch property.

Rustic Lane: a name that described the setting.

Santa Monica Canyon had mostly developed between 1912-15, long before any homes were built in Pacific Palisades. The residents voted to become part of Los Angeles in 1925. Street names show the Spanish old rancho origin, and others reflect features of the canyon.

Adelaide: named for the eldest daughter of the land developer who owned the Santa Monica Land and Water Company. This scenic road is part of the boundary line be- tween Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Alisal: “sycamore grove” in Spanish. Attilla: derivation is not known. Channel: Santa Monica Creek once ran along under the road until a large flood in 1938.

Dryad: a mythological Greek wood nymph.

Entrada: “the entrance” in Spanish. Esparta: named for a city in Costa Rica. Hillside: descriptive of its location. Kingman: named after Kingman, Arizona.

Mabery: named for an associate of the developer.

Mesa: “table” or “plateau” in Spanish. Mesita: “little table” or “little plateau” in Spanish.

Ocean: the road overlooking the ocean. Sage: an aromatic native shrub.

San Lorenzo: “St Lawrence” in Spanish. Short: named because it is only one block long.

Stassi: a family name.“Inactive”in Italian. Sumac: a pungent native shrub. Sycamore: one of the native canyon trees.

Michael Edlen has been ranked in the top one percent of all agents in the country with over $1.5 billion in sales and more than 1,250 transactions. He has tracked Pacific Palisades sales and historic events for 30 years. Call (310) 230-7373 or visit

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