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Oak Glen Ranch
9811 Hillhaven Ave.
Tujunga CA 91042-3013

Built in 1908 by Mrs. Flora Morgan, Oak Glen Ranch was one of the first farmhouses in the Tujunga area.  Flora and her daughter, Bertha Morgan, both typified the astute business women of Tujunga.

In 1890, Flora and Bill Morgan, a storekeeper and game warden, came to California for better economic opportunities with their three children, Bertha, James, and Hattie.  The family was tired of urban living, so they bought beautiful acreage in Tujunga.  Flora hired local men to build the two-story ranch house made of fieldstone and wood.  In 1908, the family moved in and planted a large vegetable garden with fruit and walnut trees, while the remainder of the acreage was used for grapevines.  Well water stored in large wooden tanks on top of the rear of the property supplied the vast farm.  A lathe house, aviary, and walnut shed further graced the land.  Near the rear of the house, off the kitchen, a large patio was constructed with a built-in barbeque, fish pond, and incinerator.  This patio was the site of many parties.  As Bertha Morgan's still-living daughter Maude Therese Morgan Farrar explained, "We didn't go out much in those days.  Everybody came to us."  During the school years, the lady schoolteachers often stayed with the family.

After 23 years of living at this farmhouse, on November 24, 1931, the widowed Flora Morgan passed away at her home.  Though she had suffered from asthma early in her life, during her stay in Tujunga she was relatively healthy and asthma-free.  After her death, a movement was made to erect the Flora Morgan Home for the Aged because she was a very generous woman, especially to elderly women who were alone.  Both a street in Tujunga and a hiking trail - the "Flora Morgan Trail" - in the Verdugo Mountains were named in Flora's honor, both of which are still seen on maps of Tujunga.

Born in 1882, Bertha Morgan was raised in Los Angeles with her siblings.  In 1905, she graduated from a business school in downtown Los Angeles, and married Henry Batz, with her son William born in 1906, and daughter Maude Therese, born in 1910.  When her kids were young, Bertha and Henry divorced.  Because Henry threatened to take her son from her, Bertha had Flora adopt the two children.  Bertha and her kids moved back into Oak Glen Ranch with Flora and began a real estate career; she was also active in the local chapter of the Eastern Star.

During the 1919 real estate boom, Bertha was a key player.  Over 1,000 lots were sold in Tujunga in a very short time.  Each one was $300 - $450, or $10 down and $10 per month.  The population of Tujunga grew rapidly; in 1925, Tujunga became incorporated into a city of its own.  Bertha Morgan was there to witness the most important days of Tujunga's history.  While John Russell was elected the first mayor of Tujunga, Bertha Morgan was elected the first city clerk, and paid a salary of $25 per month.  From 9 am until 1 pm, Bertha worked as city clerk in Bolton Hall, Tujunga, then would run to her real estate office on Foothill Blvd. for the remainder of the day.

As city clerk, Bertha Morgan had an office in Bolton Hall, next to the two jail cells purchased from the City of Glendale for $1.  Bertha maintained all records dealing with the city's financial matters: maintenance of reports of the county health department at a clinic in Bolton Hall; all general correspondence, typing minutes of the city's weekly night council meetings, purchasing supplies, maintaining ordinance files, keeping building permits, dog licenses, police, fire, and election records, and map files.  She never expressed concern that she was the only female elected official.  All other officers and officials had great respect for her professionalism, and proficient business skills.

In 1932, after the City of Tujunga was annexed to the City of Los Angeles, Bertha Morgan  continued to work as the secretary to the Deputy Police Chief of LA.  Then she married long-time friend, William Herrington.  She later retired and moved to Oregon.   Bertha's daughter, Maude Therese, now lives with her daughter in Ashland, Oregon.  Because the Montrose/Glendale flood of 1934 had ruined her previously-planned wedding, Maude Therese Morgan Ferrar was married in front of the fireplace in the living room of Oak Glen Ranch.

Bertha Morgan leaves a legacy of a loving mother, a successful businesswoman, and the only female elected official in the history of the City of Tujunga.  As the only woman elected to city office in Tujunga, Bertha was known for "holding her own with the boys."  Both Flora and Bertha Morgan were a vital part of our town's history, and typified the astute business women that founded Tujunga.

From 1936 through at least 1940, the owner of Oak Glen Ranch was W. G. Coats.  In the early 1940's, Oak Glen Ranch was listed in a phone directory as being owned by Katie Rose.  In 1944, the ranch was owned by Carl Spahr, who converted it into a "special care school" according to a building permit by the LA Department of Building and Safety.  According to some records, this facility was called the West Coast Boys School and was a military academy.  From the 1950's until present, the property was owned by Mrs. Fredrika Montgomery, whose father was Vice Council and Ambassador to Sweden.

The farmhouse and outbuildings were all constructed with wood and native fieldstone.  Now, it is a classic example of an early Californian farmstead, consisting of a farmhouse with native stone fireplace and porch, ice house, outdoor barbeque/oven, stables, chicken coop and aviary, garages, barn, water tanks, and field for cash crop.  It contains probably the only barn still standing in Tujunga, and one of the few remaining ice houses in LA County.   Oak Glen Ranch would be ideal for schoolchildren to tour.

(Information provided by Bolton Hall)