Street Stories

Hesby Street/Hartsook Street

There's a Hesby Street in Studio City, close by where the 101 and 405 meet. Two blocks from Hesby, there's a Hartsook Street. And therein lies a love story.

Bill Robertson says, "Fred Hartsook was a photographer and rancher near the town of Lankershim."

Robertson is director of L.A.'s Bureau of Street Services. He says before Lankershim became North Hollywood and before Fred Hartsook became a rancher, he was an itinerant shutterbug. Hartsook wandered all over the state, his team of mules pulling a homemade darkroom.

Hartsook eventually had 30 photography studios in California. In San Francisco, he met the love of his life: Bess Hesby. In 1915, she was crowned the Queen of the Pan Pacific Exposition.

Their honeymoon cabin in the redwoods of Humboldt County became the Hartsook Inn, where Mary Pickford, Bing Crosby and other luminaries were among the visitors. But Fred and Bess spent much of their married life in the San Fernando Valley, not far from the streets that now carry their names: Hesby and Hartsook.


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