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Farmers Market History and Photos

The Farmers Market Photos

The Farmers Market is one of Hollywood’s most popular and famous tourist attractions.  Many vintage Farmers Market photos can be seen on the website.

In the 1880s, Arthur Fremont Gilmore purchased a large tract of land in the Los Angeles area on which he ran a successful dairy farm.


Gilmore Oil

In 1903, while drilling for water, Arthur Fremont Gilmore struck oil. At that time, Gilmore was in the dairy business, having acquired his 256 acre farm in the 1980s. One rich well after another was brought in on the old farm, changing it into an oilfield studded with oil derrick's and processing plants. In addition, a shack town arose to supply the needs of the workers. Dairy interest were disposed of in 19 four, and the A. F. Gilmore Oil Company was formed. AF's son, Earl B. Gilmore, grew up in the oil business and developed the oil company into the largest independent oil business on the West Coast. Gilmore used a big red lion for his trademark and a real live line and as a mascot. This property later it became the site of the Farmers Market, Gilmore Field, Gilmore Stadium, and CBS Television City.

In 1933, the only thing that was going well was the depression. Roger Dahlhjelm was working for a lady who owned a bakery – tea-room, where he kept the books for four dollars a week and all the date nut sandwiches he could eat. He noted that farmers were even worse off than he. Many of them tried to keep going by operating roadside stands, but business was bad.


Beginning of Farmers Market

Dahlhelm and had a bright idea. He figured if all the stalls were located in one spot they could do better. So he began to look for a big field where the farmers could bring and sell their produce – – and the biggest and best field of all was at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and third Street. It belonged to Earl B. Gilmore, the California oilman whose father discovered oil on the land in the early 1900s. Roger approached Gilmore with his idea and Gilmour agreed to let the farmers use his land.

The next job was to convince the farmers of his plan. This was not easy. But Roger persevered, talking to egg producers, fruit ranchers and truck farmers. At last, on a sunny July day in 1934, the farmers market opened its 18 little canvas-covered booths looking very much like a garden party staged by the ladies of the church.

Rogers dream was an immediate success and it grew rapidly from the beginning. 12 years after the farmers market opened, the travel editor of the Hartford Times, wrote, “It's worth a trip to the West Coast just to visit the Los Angeles farmers market".

Today, there are over 160 stalls and shops, which offer every conceivable product imaginable. In addition there are several fine cafés and restaurants, which serve a variety of culinary delights. For years, farmers market has not only been a favorite with the local residents, but it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles.


Gilmore Field and Gilmore Stadium

The same year that the Farmers Market opened, Earl Gilmore built Gilmore Stadium. Located near the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, it was structured with a seating capacity of 18,000. It was known as the workingman's stadium, because popular prices prevailed during the latter days of the depression. At Gilmore Stadium, professional football in Los Angeles was played and became a paying commercial venture. It was at Gilmore Stadium that midget automobile racing developed into a national sport, and a training ground for the top drivers of big car racing, such as seen at Indianapolis. Every conceivable form of outdoor entertainment was promoted successfully at Gilmore Stadium.

Earl Gilmore also built the Gilmore Field which was the home of the Hollywood Stars Baseball team.

Several years ago, the owners of the Farmers Market built one of Hollywood’s most beautiful and successful shopping malls, called “The Grove.” In addition to the nice restaurants and shops, is a large Nordstrom store


Some of the best photos of the Farmers Market, Gilmore Stadium, and Gilmore Field are on the website.

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