Chevy Chase Canyon
Chevy Chase Canyon is the largest canyon in the San Rafael Hills. These hills roughly run North to South and separate Glendale in the West from Pasadena in the East. They are now bounded by the Glendale ‘2’ Freeway on the West, the Ventura ‘134’ Freeway to the South and the Foothill ‘210’ Freeway to the North-East. There are basically three accesses to the Canyon; from Glendale in the South, La Canada-Flintridge in the North and Pasadena in the East.
The canyon was originally named ‘Canon de Sicomoro’ and was part of the land grant from the King of Spain to Jose Maria Verdugo in 1784. Maps from the time show an Indian village due East of what is now Chevy Chase Drive. The area was primarily used for cattle grazing, although there are records of gold and silver mining taking place in the canyon. At the end of the nineteenth century the canyon was owned by the Doheny family and maintained as a private, and gated game reserve; the last bear was shot in the canyon in 1906.
In 1926, Bert Farrar – the canyon’s first developer named the canyon ‘Chevy Chase Estates’ and started selling one-third acre lots overlooking the golf course for an average price of $2,450. By the time of the stock market crash in 1929, there were roughly sixty homes in the canyon. Bert Farrar lost the remaining lots and the golf course through foreclosure to Security First National Bank of Los Angeles. The golf course continued to operate as a public course until 1937, when the bank announced their intention to sub-divide and build on the land. This spurred a group of local home owners to form one of the earliest ‘homeowners’ groups in California – the Chevy Chase Estates Association (CCEA) which was incorporated in 1948.
Over the years, CCEA has consistently fought to protect the canyon for its residents. The golf course has attracted many developers who have sought to built houses and condominiums on the property. At one point in the early 1960’s, the Glendale School District even wanted to build a High School, a Middle School and an Elementary School on the property! In 1965 sufficient memberships were sold to the Golf Club to buy the property and incorporate it as the Chevy Chase Country Club, Inc.
The Chevy Chase Country Club is located less than 8.5 miles from Los Angeles City Hall, yet it is a different world. With its canopy of mature Oak and Sycamore trees, it feels like you’re in the country. Indeed it’s not unusual to see deer and other wildlife. The median home in the canyon* is 3 bed, 3 bath, 2550 sq.ft., selling for $786,000.