Lot 7 of 96:
Land speculation archive from old Los Angeles  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$16,250
$5,000 - $8,000

Archive of material pertaining to early Los Angeles development, primarily relating to Richard Garvey, one-time Pony Express rider and Southern California land speculator and developer; Ozro W. Childs, horticulturist, merchant, land speculator, and a founder of the University of Southern California; and others.

Garvey, Richard; Ozro W. Childs, et al.

Southern California


1860's to early 20th century


Large group of original letters, documents, receipts, checks, account ledgers, deeds, scrapbooks, manuscript maps, and other material relating to Los Angeles, Richard Garvey, Ozro W. Childs, and other pioneer Los Angles land speculators and entrepreneurs.

Significant archive of material relating early Los Angeles and Southern California, largely involving Richard Garvey, a former Pony Express rider who settled in the Los Angeles area in the 1860's, engaged in ranching, horse-breeding and other activities, speculated in land, and became known as the Father of Monterey Park. A mail rider for the U.S. Army following his Pony Express career, his route took him through Monterey Pass, a trail that is now Garvey Avenue, and he settled down in the King's Hills. Garvey began developing the land by bringing in spring water from near the Hondo River and by constructing a 54-foot high dam to form Garvey Lake located where Garvey Ranch is now. The archive, containing material dating from the 1860's to the 20th century, includes:

  • File of approximately 185 letters, both typed and handwritten, most to Richard Garvey from various individuals, some to others on related matters. Most involve business and real estate transactions, primarily in Southern California. Also, receipts, bills, invoices, etc. Housed in five file folders, as purchased from the estate of Richard Garvey, with handwritten copy of the receipt for the purchase of the entire archive for $75 in 1952 on the front cover of one of the folders.  A fascinating and revealing archive dating from around 1875 to 1905, with close to 200 letters relating to Richard Garvey’s business and real estate dealings in the last quarter of the 19th century, and into the 20th. Most of the letters are on business or government letterheads, which are intriguing in themselves. A sampling of the letters: a short typed letter relaying information on sugar beet cultivation, on the back of which is a printed map showing the location of the town of Chino and the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino. * Letter from T. Earley, Real Estate & Mortgage Broker, stating that “Our time has expired on the sale of your ranch and I am sorry that we have not been able to sell more of it…” * “…Mr. Horwood, who has just returned from New Zealand …is desirous of investigating the Souther [sic] part of the state with a view to buying a ranch. I told Mr. Horwood about your place… and of your system of irrigation…” * “We have a beautiful 10 acre piece of Redlands, across the street from New Lyons place, 10 shares of Crafton(?) water stock go with this land. This is a very valuable and beautiful tract…” * “Have you some good land that you would like to exchange for a 6-3/4 acres at Pasadena with six room house good barn & lawn… oranges…” And many more.
  • Scrapbook/binder containing hundred of documents, receipts, account statements, letters, stock certificates, deeds, court proceedings and other material relating to the Los Angeles Canal & Reservoir Company, from around 1869 to 1873. Although Richard Garvey does not appear prominent in the enterprise (O.W. Childs, George Hansen, and John Downey were among the principals), the company, whose property was auctioned off in the early 1870's, undoubtedly relates to Garvey's early real estate dealings. An old handwritten paper label on front cover reads "LA Canal & Reservoir Compy's File 1869." (Worn, rear cover off.)
  • Scrapbook/binder similar to above, with several hundred canceled dividend checks from the Los Angeles Canal and Water Company. 
  • Large manuscript cadastral map on drafting linen, "Map of the O.W. Childs Tract - 200 Lots in the City of Los Angeles, Cal." 66.5x91 cm (26x35¾"). Nearly 70 of the lots have the owner's name inked in, nearly all of them with the last name of Childs - Ozro seems to have been good to his children. O.W. Childs arrived in Southern California arounds 1851, fleeing the foggy weather of coastal Northern California, which aggravated his asthma. He succeeded in business and land speculation, and founded the Farmers and Merchants Bank.
  • Several thousand, perhaps more, canceled checks signed by Richard Garvey, drawn on the Farmers and Merchants Bank. Most from the 1880s and 1890s
  • Ink manuscript "Plat showing the property of Richard Garvey on the North-west corner of Spring and Ninth Sts Los Angeles City, Cal. Surveyed under the direction of S.J. Dockweiler, Jan. 1889." (Foxed, creased, edge wear.)
  • Account ledger titled "Day Book - F.L.R." on front cover, with entries for sales of livestock and other goods to various customers, including E.J. ("Lucky") Baldwin. c.1890-95.
  • Original photograph of a horse, on mount of Parker & Knight, Pasadena, inscribed in ink on the back: "Compliments of 'Lucky' Baldwin, Pasadena California, July 7th, 1905." (soiled, wear, with stain).
  • Abstract of Title to the Rancho Potrero de Felipe Lugo, a grant along the San Gabriel River given in 1845 by Governor Pío Pico to Teodoro Romero and Jorge Morillo. At various times the land, or portions of it, belonged to Nicolasa Workman, Thomas Temple, Richard Garvey, E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin, John F. Cassell, James Durfee, and others, with the myriad, somewhat convoluted transactions, and related court judgements, here recorded in painstaking detail through 1888.
  • Book of stock certificates in The East Alhambra Land, Water and Improvement Company. Certificates 1-33 were sold, with stubs remaining and filled out (Richard Garvey was both a buyer and a seller); certificates 34-41 are not present, but the stubs remain though not filled out; certificates 42-250 remain, unused, still attached. 1888-[89].
  • Metal engraved printing plate for a portrait of Richard Garvey. 25.5x17.5 cm (10x7"). Undated.
  • Book, "California: Its History and Romance" by John S. McGroarty. Special presentation issue inscribed to Richard Garvey and signed by the author on printed leaf at front, bound in full morocco ruled in gilt, spine lettered in gilt, Garvey's name stamped in gilt on front cover, Los Angeles: Grafton Publishing, 1911. (Rubbing to extremities, fading to spine.
  • Nine lease agreements, indenture deeds, and other documents relating to property controlled by the O.W. Childs estate and relations, 1890-1928.
  • Plus a few other items.
Additional shipping charges may apply

Lot Amendments

Varying amounts of wear, as may be expected.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx, USPS Priority Mail or DHL. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 25% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.



Property listed in our online or print catalogues will be sold by PB Auction Galleries, dba PBA Galleries, as agent for others subject to the following terms and conditions.  Clients placing bids at auction agree to pay the full purchase price of any lots for which the client is the winning bidder and further acknowledge and agree to these Conditions of Sale.  PBA Galleries reserves the right to amend these by notice or oral announcement at the sale.

1.  All bids are to be per lot as numbered in the catalogue.

2.  PBA Galleries reserves the right to withdraw any property for sale at any time prior to its final sale.

3.   Unless specified, each lot is offered subject to a reserve, generally one-half of the low estimate.  PBA Galleries does not accept reserves of more than the low estimate nor allow consignors to bid on their own items.

4.   PBA Galleries reserves the right to reject a bid from any bidder.  The highest bidder acknowledged by PBA Galleries shall be the purchaser.  In the event of any dispute between bidders or in the event the auctioneer doubts the validity of any bid, the auctioneer shall have sole and final discretion either to determine the successful bidder or to re-offer and resell the article in dispute.  If any dispute arises after the sale, our sales records shall be conclusive in every respect.

5.  The “hammer price” is the price at which a lot is sold or the highest accepted bid at the close of the lot.  The “purchase price” paid by the winning bidder is the aggregate of (a) the hammer price, (b) a buyer’s premium of 25% of the hammer price up to $100,000, plus 20% of the amount above $100,000, and (c) applicable California state and local sales taxes.  California state and local taxes will be collected except where sold to a purchaser outside of California and shipped to the purchaser or the purchaser has a valid California resale license and provides such documentation to PBA Galleries.

6.  Payment terms:  All items are to be paid for by cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, wire transfer, cashier’s check, e-check or personal check with approved credit or through Paypal.  Wire transfers are accepted for all international transactions and any domestic transaction over $1000.  PBA Galleries offers a 1% discount on purchases paid by cash, check or wire transfer over $1000 on invoices paid within 10 business days of the sale.  The discount does not extend to shipping and handling charges.  PBA Galleries reserves the right to hold items paid for by personal check until the check has cleared the bank.  Buyer agrees to pay PBA Galleries $50 for any returned check.  Invoices are due upon receipt.  Merchandise is shipped only after full payment has been received. 

7.  Purchases that have gone unpaid twenty (20) business days after the sale are subject to any or all of the following:  (a) late charge of five percent (5%) of the total purchase price per month; (b) cancellation of the sale; (c) rescindment of bidding privileges at future auctions; (d) initiation of legal proceedings to collect the entire debt including original purchase price, late charges, and legal fees and costs to the fullest extent permitted by law; and (e) any other action or actions PBA Galleries finds necessary and appropriate.

8.  Purchases must be removed within five (5) business days of cleared payment unless shipping instructions are received by PBA Galleries.  If not removed, property will be held at the sole risk of the purchaser and no responsibility is assumed if such goods are lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed. PBA Galleries reserves the right to store unclaimed purchases either in our office storage facilities or a public warehouse at the expense of the purchaser.  Purchaser will be charged 10% of the purchase price/month for storage. PBA Galleries assumes no liability for any damages incurred during storage. 

9.  In order to prevent inaccuracy in delivery or inconvenience in the settlement of a purchase, no lot can be transferred.  Each buyer must pay for the whole of his purchases before any lot can be removed.

10. PBA Galleries has an in-house shipping department and will ship property via UPS, USPS, FedEx, or DHL.  PBA Galleries will not ship via USPS Media Mail.  Total shipping costs include a packing fee, carriage and insurance.  PBA Galleries will not be responsible for any loss of damage resulting from the shipping in excess of the amount of insurance.  Property is shipped only after payment has cleared.

11.  If purchased property cannot be delivered in the same condition as at the time of sale, due to fire, theft, loss or any other reason, PBA Galleries’ liability will be limited to the sum actually paid by the purchaser.  In no event, will compensatory or other damages be included. 

12.  Any and all information provided by PBA Galleries, including all employees of PBA Galleries, in its catalogs, other written or oral descriptions, email or elsewhere are qualified statements of opinion.  They are not intended to represent warranties or representations of any kind or nature with respect to the property or its value, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or whether the purchaser acquires any copyrights.  In no event shall PBA Galleries or the consignor be responsible for the correctness of description, genuineness, attribution, provenance, authenticity, authorship, completeness, condition of the property or estimate of value.

13.   Property may be returned by the purchaser, the sale rescinded and the purchase price refunded only under the following conditions:  (1) printed books which prove upon collation to be defective in text or illustration (provided such defects are not indicated within the catalogue or at the sale), and (2) autographs which prove not to be genuine (if this can be demonstrated and if not indicated in the catalogue or at the sale).  Printed books are not returnable for defects not affecting text and illustration, including, but not limited to, lack of half-titles, lists of plates, binder’s instructions, errata, blanks, or advertisements.  No returns will be accepted unless written notice is received by PBA Galleries within fourteen (14) days of the sale of the property and the property is returned in the same condition as it was at the time of the sale.  No lot is returnable on account of property included but not specifically named and described in such lot.  Lots selling for less than one hundred fifty dollars ($150) are sold as final sale and not subject to return for any reason.

14.  As a service to clients unable to attend the Sale in person, we accept absentee bids in advance of the sale by telephone or in writing submitted by email or fax.  All bids must state the highest bid price the bidder is willing to pay.  “Buy” bids are not accepted.  PBA Galleries accepts no responsibility for failure to execute such bids or any errors contained on submitted bid forms.

15.  Photographs, prints and other fine art multiples are sold in compliance with California law and PBA Galleries’ catalogue descriptions of such multiples to the applicable provisions of that law.

16.  SPECIAL NOTE TO NON-US BUYERS: All customs declarations will reflect the full invoice value. Any resultant duties, tariffs and/or taxes are the sole responsibility of the buyer.

17.  Watches are sold as is and it is the responsibility of the bidder to determine condition at the preview. PBA Galleries makes no warranty that any watch is in working order or that any component part is in original condition. Unless specifically described in a lot’s description, a manufacturer’s certificate of authenticity is not available and a manufacturer’s refusal to service or repair a watch due to the presence of replacement parts shall not constitute grounds to rescind a sale. Any repairs that might be required to return the watch to good working order are the responsibility of the purchaser.

All sales held by PBA Galleries are conducted pursuant to Section 2328 of the Commercial Code and Section 535 of the Penal Code of the State of California.