Saturday, January 5, 2013


I (Laurie) was raised in the Los Angeles area of Southern California in the mid-1950s and moved away when I was 18 years old. I have been particularly interested in the Lucky Pony Winner Crystal Andreas since she lived only fourteen miles from my childhood home. 

Crystal Andreas and "Marmalade" (1914)
Unfortunately, I can find very little about her. I know that she was born on January 3, 1905, in the state of Indiana and was living in California when she won her pony in 1914. It appears that Crystal never married, and died in Los Angeles, California, (about 35 miles from her home) in 1977 at the age of 72.  For quite sometime, I have wondered if her family's unusual rock home was still standing, and because of the newly released 1940 census records, I can happily say that it is. 
Crystal and "Marmalade" on the Rock Home Steps (1914)
In 1940 her parents, Godfrey and Carrie, were living alone in the rock home since Crystal and her younger brother, John (born in 1908) had grown and moved away. The home sat on what was considered a farm, but no acreage was listed. Godfrey was a rancher and his yearly income was $1,200 (twelve hundred.) He owned, not rented his rock home (not a surprise) and the value of the home was listed as $4,500 (four thousand, five hundred.)  I  do not know what became of Crystal's mother, but her father died in 1942 at the age of 60.

The Rock Home Today--Note the Palm Trees on Either Side

The surprising part of the census for me, was that it listed the address of the home, and that address has not changed in 73 years. With that information, I found that the rock home is no longer a part of a farm, but is surrounded by miles and miles of other homes. Only one half acre and several large palm trees are left of the original farm property. I discovered that the house was built in 1913, just one year before Crystal won her pony "Marmalade," and is rather large with over 3,500 feet of living space. Although the address hasn't changed in all these years, the price of the home certainly has. According to public records, in 2010 Crystal's rock home sold for $485,000, which was down from the price it sold for in 2006 of $730,000.  What would her parents have thought of that?

The Andreas Family Would Be So Proud
The Andreas' family home is 100 years old this year (very old for a California home, by the way) and it is good to see that it has survived beautifully. In nearly 30 years I have been back to the Los Angeles area only once, but I hope to go again someday. When I do, I will be sure and take a drive past Crystal's home and try to imagine the fun she had living on her farm with her pony so very long ago...