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Elysian Valley

Tell us what Elysian Valley means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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All you guys who say you grew up in Frog town in the 50's and 60's, should know that it was 1st call Lil' Valley gang and not until 1974 it became frog town even some of the veterans of that area will admit to that. I'm just one who likes to get history straight but sad to say varrio pride dose not allow the truth.

— Daniel
June 6, 2013 at 7:44 p.m.

Frogtown is a special place to grow up , Dorris place elementary was always a blast , the after school program , the movie sets , Mrs McClaskey , Duddy , Mrs Williams 5th grade , All the vets standing in front of the white fence in front of the liquor store , The bombs on shoredale , Benedict park , The riverbed , All the good stuff , I remember this pretty girl who lived in that corner pad on shoredale and blake , man did i have a crush on her . ha ha , memories .

— Frogtown Love
July 21, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.

I live near Frogtown and it's always had a unique charm, a sort of island neighborhood between a pretty stretch of the LA River and the 5. I administer a Frogtown Facebook page for all interested:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elysian-Valley-Frogtown/120119684724930

— Eric Brightwell
April 6, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.

I grew up in Elysian Valley aka "FROG TOWN" in the 70s,80s,90s,an pretty much in the 00s . We lived on Partridge all those years . Went to Allesandro elm , Irving jh an Marshall HS . I remember playing in the river like it was the playground , Ive seen the River change to what it is today . I remember going to or comming home from school and stopping by Dolly Madisons an getting some donuts on the way "wink wink" .I remember Tony C chasening us out of the park if we were bad "wink wink" i remember a lot of good thing's an a lot of bad thing's growing up in FROG TOWN an i dont think i would change one memory for anything . I still go back there to visit old friends till this day . wish to move back there some day ,what a great place to live . "PARK SIDE" just one of the guys from the nighborhood "wink wink"

— Benny Gallegos
October 12, 2010 at 6:19 p.m.

This is for Judith. If I didn't love Elysian Valley, I would have left eons ago but I am still love this place. I've been here all of my 50 years. I still believe that each one of us should maintain our lawns and homes so that Elysian Valley never loses its charm.

— Rosemary
September 20, 2010 at 6:21 p.m.

This is for Rosemary Preciado to let you know as a new member of Elysian Valley, we and our neighbors love it here and take really good care of our homes and each other. It's one of my favorite things about it - how much the neighbors care for each other. I wouldn't change it for the world!

— Judith
August 30, 2010 at 8:11 a.m.

I grew up in Frog town during the 50's and visit often. It has a lot of nostalgia and memories for me. Close to down town Olvera street, Atwater, Griffith Park and Hollywood. I remember roller skating down Glover Place playing roller derby, Dorris Place, Mrs Davis, Mrs,Powder and Mr Stickland, they all had an impact on me during my gramar school years, Catechism (to get out of school early-lol), Gene's store, St Ann's church, Nightingale Jr High, Licoln Heights High school and ofcourse the frogs. My Mom was known as Momma Frog on Glover Place. My sisters and I spent many hrs playing in the river with the ploywogs, we catch them and take them home and watch them turn into frogs. We made friends on both sides of the tracks. Milk was delivered in glass bottles every morning. I remember the bakery truck would come by twice a day my Mom would have the dry cleaning done and would be delivered to our home, yes those were the days when we took care of each other. God Bless Frog town and the families that are still there. My step dad still walks to the lil store even though life has changed, some things still remain the same.

— Chris Centeno-Lopez
May 11, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.

I grew up in FROGTOWN in the 60s & 70s wouldn't trade that for a million dollars,dorris place school,st ann parish,irving jr.marshall hi(mr.jacobson)helms man,tamale man,gene's mrkt,benadict park(tony c)bb gun fights down the river bed,eatting old bread from 4S bakery after school,THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS!!long live the frogs

— gilbert
May 9, 2010 at 5:57 p.m.

I was born and raised in "frogtown" and I have nothing but great memories in the eighties and nineties Mr. Kims market for an amazing glazed doughnut and summers at dorris place when they would bring in a portable pool and have arts and crafts. I loved it. playing in the middle of the street riding bikes some would say it was the ghetto but i Never thought of it as dangerous. I love you Frogtown!

— Jack
April 26, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.

I grew up in Frog Town on Glover Place.

My Mom rented our small two bedroom, in 1956 with 6 children, when I was 2 years old. I remember when the rent was $60.00 a mo. For years the rent never went up. Before that she lived on Riverdale, that is where I was born. She is still there on Glover Pl and is paying about $240.00; Rent control keeps her rent low. My mom is 92 soon to be 93 years old. I remember Dr. Matson on Riverside Dr. was our Doctor and when He used to make house calls when we were sick. We used to go to Gene's store and buy candy - 2 for a penny. I remember catching polywogs and watching them turn into frogs. I went to Dorris Place School, Nightingale Jr. High and Lincoln High School. I also remember Mr Strickland, 6th grade teacher at Dorris Place, who would send a student down stairs to get his cream puff from the Helms bakery truck. I miss St Ann's Bizzar where I would watch all the teenagers dance the locomotion wishing I was old enough to join them. Yes, those were the good old days!

— Diana C.
April 14, 2010 at 8:33 a.m.

I grew up in Frogtown and my mom still lives there. I will never forget the fun playing at the river and all the frogs. The carnivals at Benedict Park and partying on Shoredale. Those were the good ole days.

— chris
March 19, 2010 at 7:18 p.m.

Elysian Valley is the only home I've ever known...50 years. My parents moved here in the 50's and stayed. I remember sliding down the moss at the LA River, picking up polywogs and taking them home, riding our bikes up and down Coolidge Avenue before the freeway was built, going to Dr. Matson's clinic on Riverside Drive when we needed mending (no parent ever worried about health insurance). We knew our neighbors and we all took care of one another. Oh, the Helm's bakery truck sounding its horn and the aroma of fresly-baked bread coming from Dolly Madison's bakery. My hope is that the citizens who live in Elysian Valley will recognize how special Elysian Valley really is and that clean-up will begin starting with each home...get rid of fences, paint homes, mow lawns...take pride in your home and perhaps our Elysian Valley can be the place it was always meant to be...a lovely place to live.

— Rosemary Preciado
February 24, 2010 at 9:48 a.m.

My parents bought a house in the area in the 60s. I remember Riverside Drive was a dirt road. There was a bridge on Dorris Place & Riverside Dr. short cut to Elysian Park. I attended Nightengale Jr. High, most of my friends lived on Cypress Ave. We used to cross the River and railroads tracks to visit each other. There was a lot of frogs we had to be careful they often went inside the house.

— Ramona Lopez
February 24, 2010 at 9:11 a.m.

I am 33 years old now and I am proud to say that I grew up in "Frogtown."

My Mexican parents are from San Martin de Hidalgo, Jalisco and our people call this place "La Embajada" or the Embassy. My parents are both from the same town, but met here, fell in love, and had four children. I went to Dorris Place, Allesandro, Irving Jr. High, Marhshall HS, and CSUN. I grew up on Marsh Street and now my folks live on what's called "Churchside."

I was part of the generation that wiped out the frogs due to pollution, environmental changes, and the young people's tendency to collect bucket loads to play with. I grew up with other Chican@s and Filipin@s in the neighborhood and I would not trade my experience for anything in the world. The Neighborhood will always be "Frogtown" and we should never disrespect the "gang" because they actually protected us from the other neighborhoods in an urban reality sort of way. That is how it was, how it is, and how it will always be...

I Love LA but I grew up in Frogtown and I'm very proud of that...

PEACE

— Miguel Paredes
February 24, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

I grew up in the Valley and moved here with my husband as newlyweds about 2 years ago. We're both in our late 20's and I LOVE the area! You can take a cab into Hollywood, a cab into Downtown LA, or a cab into Silverlake for bar-hopping. Glendale and the Valley are minutes away and Griffith Park is a short bike-ride away. I want to eventually buy a house here. We eventually had to move back to the Valley for personal reasons, but boy do I miss Frogtown. I want to eventually buy a house here.

— Erika
February 15, 2010 at 5:18 p.m.

I grew up in frogtown in the '60's. I visited the area a year ago and I noticed that the LA river is now active and green. I can't ride my Schwinn stingray across the aquaduct to get to Ferndale. Also it's much quieter there now that they built a sound wall next to the Golden State freeway. Dorris Place School still looks great but Gene's Market isn't Gene's anymore.

— Reuben R
February 1, 2010 at 1:15 p.m.

I GREW UP IN ELYIAN VALLEY FROM 1937 TO 1950. I REMEMBER THE FROGS;THE L.A. RIVER SREETS AN DISTRICTS I REMEMBER MELTONS MARKET AT FLETCHER AN RIVERSIDE DRIVE THE RIVERSIE RANCHO PARKWAY NITE CLUB FRISCO DOLLY MADISON BAKERY VAN D CAMP DRIVE IN AN MUCH MORE RAY ROMO THE OLD TIMER

— RAY ROMO
October 20, 2009 at 3:32 p.m.

My family moved into Elysian Valley in 1958. We went to Dorris Place Elementary School, atended mass at St. Ann's Parish. It was a great place to grow up. We had the River ad the Elysian Hills for our play ground. The Frogs came in the early sixties. The Barrio was called "Little Valley" until the frogs came then it was changed to "Frog Town." Because we were virtually cut off from the city by the I-5 and the River we were always from the wrong side of the tracks. So all of the kids stuck together as we walked either 3 miles to Irving Jr. High or one and a half miles to Nightingale Jr. High. From there we were known as "Frog Town." Never really a huge "gang" we were only about 50-70 strong at any time but were fought off several large gangs- at once. To this day those of us that survived it all say we would never want to change a thing "Frog Town" was a community that stood together through good and bad.

— Flaco
October 4, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.

the best place in LA to live i grew up there and hope to retire there.. long live the FROGS!!!

— bubba
September 25, 2009 at 3:50 p.m.

Great place to live now. The river has birds and fish, and tons of people walk along the river every late afternoon and evening. The gangs are about gone, and trivial now. As a neighborhood made up mostly of single-family detached homes, and close to downtown, Glendale and Hollywood, this area is on the upswing. Factories are being converted to loft housing. Great time to buy.

— Benny
August 19, 2009 at 11:31 a.m.

The Frogs were there in the 50s and 60s when I was young. They were tiny, no bigger than half your thumb. But so many it was impossible not to get squished everywhere by cars and bike tires. Would always take the dried up little frog bodies to school to scare the girls in class.

Very diverse neighborhood, mostly latino and white, with some filipino and one or two black families. A couple of gangs were evident and active (Frogtown 13 and Whitefence) but very much part of the community.

Frogs went away when they cleaned up the river enough to support fish that ate the polywogs before they grew legs.

Same small store, St. Anne's church and Dorris Place Elmentary School, just as it was fifty years ago...same colors, everything. Miss the Helms Bakery. Watched them build Dodger Stadium up on the hill... Funny. Great place to grow up then, who knows now.

— Bobby
August 16, 2009 at 7:49 a.m.

Yes, in the late 80s and early 90s there would be tons of frogs from the LA river spilling into the neighborhood--in yards, streets, driveways. There would always be a squashed frog on our driveway or jumping out of the bushes. Sadly, that all changed when the frog population severely declined starting in the mid 90s onward.

— Dan Chan
August 12, 2009 at 9:41 p.m.

Elysian Valley is part of Northeast not Central

— Dan
June 14, 2009 at 10:34 a.m.

I had always been told that area is called Frogtown. I've heard that's because there used to be a lot of frogs from the LA River around there.

— John
June 3, 2009 at 9:56 a.m.

Elysian Valley

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County.
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About This Project
Elysian Valley is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.