History of the Leonis Adobe

The Leonis Adobe Museum
W ay back in 1844, six years before Los Angeles was incorporated and California was given statehood, this modest little adobe structure was built as... well, nobody knows for sure. One theory is that it served as a stagecoach stop on the El Camino Real, the King's Highway connecting California's missions.

Miguel & Espiritu
Around 1880, Miguel Leonis and his wife, Espiritu Chijulla, the daughter of a Chumash chief, moved into their adobe brick house, enlarging and extensively remodeling the building into the gracious Monterey-Style mansion you see today. Leonis was Basque, born in the French Pyrenees. Once in the U.S., amassing huge wealth from real estate, litigation, and dowry, he came to be known as "El Basquo Grande" and "King of Calabasas" and pretty much ruled a huge chunk of the San Fernando Valley. He died in 1889 from injuries suffered in a wagon accident. In order to inherit the estate, Espiritu had to go to court to prove she was Leonis's legal wife. She ultimately did, but only a year before her death in 1906.
Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources
Kay Beachy (2nd right)
Jumping ahead to August 6, 1962, the first day of the Cultural Heritage Board's public business, the Leonis Adobe was literally on the verge of being demolished to make way for an adjacent restaurant's parking lot. Luckily, the board's first action was to declare the site California Historic-Cultural Monument No. 1.

A great deal of research, study, and skillful work has gone into faithfully restoring the Leonis Adobe to the way it is believed to have appeared after Leonis completed enlarging and remodeling it. But there are one or two exceptions. For instance, the present living room was originally two rooms, a parlor and living room, separated by a wall just to the right of the front door. The wall was removed around 1925, and has not been replaced in order to provide a large room for group meetings.
Leonis, in enlarging and remodeling the house, sheathed the outside front of the house, and paneled the interior living room with wood. He walled in the rear and northeast side porches, both upstairs and downstair to add more rooms. He added the Victorian fretwork balcony along
the front of the the house, and other enhancing details and features. In the present living room, the family portraits hang on the wall where they always have, but the mirror originally hung where the dining room door now is. This door was cut through in the 1920s. The bright colors that highlight the house were discovered under many layers of paint, and presumably were the ones Leonis had used.
If Miguel Leonis were alive today, he'd certainly ask, "Whose idea was it to put the 101 Freeway in my backyard?" In fact, the barn seen here, built in 1912, had to be moved twice in order to accommodate the 101, which runs just a few feet behind the property.
LEONIS ADOBE GRAPEVINE
folk Under The Stars
Saturday & Sunday,
April 26th - 27th, 2014
DAY #1
Apr. 26, 2014
4:30pm - 10:00pm
Dinner
Drink Tickets
Entertainment
Entrance to Music Festival on Day Two (4/27)
Tournament Cost $100
Includes $1000 in Chips

Non-Tourny Cost $75
Includes $200 in Chips

DAY #2
Apr. 27, 2014
10:30am - 6:30pm
Mike Stein & the Rolling Steins
Dust Bowl Revival
The Show Ponies
The True Willie Band
The Pocheen Ramblers
Modal Tease String Band
Click Here for More Information
April 2014
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
1
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Barrel Springs Elementary | @ 9:30am
2
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Fremont Elementary | @ 9:30am
3
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Lupin hill | @ 9:30am
4
Friday, April 04, 2014
Knolls Elementary | @ 9:30pm
5
6
7
Monday, April 07, 2014
Hancock Park School | @ 9:30am
8
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Willow Elementary | @ 9:30am
9
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Buena Vista School | @ 9:30am
10
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Chatsworth Hills Academy | @ 9:30am
Chatsworth Hills Academy | @ 9:30am
St Nicholas School | @ 9:30am
11
Friday, April 11, 2014
Sierra Park Elementary | @ 9:30am
12
13
14
Monday, April 14, 2014
Carver Elementary  | @ 9:30am
15
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Ocotillo Elementary | @ 9:30am
16
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Thomas Edison  | @ 9:00am
17
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Thomas Edison  | @ 9:00am
18
Friday, April 18, 2014
Ocotillo Elementary | @ 9:30am
19
20
21
Monday, April 21, 2014
Edison Elementary | @ 9:30am
22
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Polytechnic School | @ 9:30am
23
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Lang Ranch Elementary | @ 9:30am
24
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Sendak Elementary  | @ 9:30am
25
26
27
28
29
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Lawrence School | @ 9:30am
30
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Hancock Park School | @ 9:30am
Click Here to Watch a Short Story on the Leonis Adobe Museum.