“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Crescenta Highlands in Glendale in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Crescenta Valley Park

German-American History

Crescenta Valley Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, May 13, 2019
1. Crescenta Valley Park Marker
Inscription.  Between 1934 and 1957, most of this area in Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, west of Dunsmore Avenue and south of Honolulu Avenue, was a private park owned by the German-American League. The private park, named Hindenburg Park in memorial of former German President Paul Von Hindenburg, was a center for German culture. In 1939, due to growing anti-German sentiment during World War II, the League changed the name of their park to La Crescenta Picnic Grounds.

During the years of private operation, the grounds held hundreds of elaborate German cultural celebrations, featuring bands, plays, dances, and parades, with literally thousands of participants each weekend. These festivities included weddings, church services, Easter celebrations, Mayfest, and Oktoberfest. A kitchen at the park, along with food and beverage vendors provided traditional German fare for every occasion. Although the private park was used for many joyful celebrations, it was also used for more controversial activities.

In the years before World War II, the park was also sometimes used for the promotion of Nazi beliefs through political rallies
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and the Sutter Youth Camp. At this and similar summer camps in other states, American youngsters were taught physical fitness but were also indoctrinated into theories of Aryan superiority. "Aryan superiority" was part of Adolf Hitler's racist ideology. It led to persecution and murder of European Jews and any other group or individual who opposed Hitler's Third Reich regime. As Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany, supporters of Hitler at times paraded in this park. However, once the U.S. entered the war against Nazi Germany in 1941, many patriotic German-Americans joined the U.S. armed forces to fight Nazism.

Although the events of the 20th century may seem distant, there continues to be a need to guard against all forms of hatred, racism, and totalitarian ideologies of all types. The American ideals of justice and equal opportunity still require our vigilant support.

In 1957 the private park land was purchased by the County of Los Angeles and folded into the larger neighboring Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park to the east.
Erected by Los Angeles County Parks.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasWar, World II.
Location. 34° 13.479′ N, 118° 15.501′ 
Crescenta Valley Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, May 13, 2019
2. Crescenta Valley Park and Marker
W. Marker is in Glendale, California, in Los Angeles County. It is in Crescenta Highlands. Memorial can be reached from Dunsmore Avenue south of Honolulu Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Located south of the storm channel. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3901 Dunsmore Ave, La Crescenta CA 91214, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tuna Canyon Detention Station (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Bell of La Crescenta Elementary School (approx. 1.1 miles away); Bonetto House (approx. 1.2 miles away); St. Luke’s of the Mountains (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Great Flood of 1934 (approx. 1½ miles away); Sister Elsie’s Well (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Crescenta-Cañada Valley (approx. 2.2 miles away); National Flag Week (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Glendale.
Map on Marker image. Click for full size.
Historical Society of Crescenta Valley
3. Map on Marker
Former layout of the private park in red, modern County facilities in black.
Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By & Deutsch-Amerikanischer Verband
4. Photo on Marker
A performance of the musical comedy Im WeiBen Rössl (White Horse Inn) at the park, early 1950's.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on May 15, 2019. This page has been viewed 940 times since then and 187 times this year. Last updated on September 20, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 15, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 30, 2023