Los Angeles Central Library

630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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Siege at Fort Anthony

To ensure a seat at this free LAPL event, please register. There are no “plus ones,” so each person should sign up with their own name and email address. This is just one in a series of special events celebrating Esotouric’s 10th Anniversary.

The time: Winter 1964.

The place: The Cahuenga Pass, opposite the Hollywood Bowl.

The conflict: An eminent domain showdown between, on one side, the Los Angeles County Supervisors, powerful motion picture interests, and Peter J. Pitchess, the Sheriff of Los Angeles. On the other side, Steven Anthony, an ex-Marine and Barney’s Beanery bartender who loved his young family’s storybook cottage in the Hollywood Hills and just wanted his day in court.

Los Angeles Public Library and Los Angeles historian Richard Schave (Esotouric bus adventures) invites you to join us for a special presentation on the Siege of Fort Anthony, with special guests Elona Anthony (Mrs. Steven Anthony), Hollywood historian George Kiel, Bunker Hill native son Gordon Pattison, L.A. historian Nathan Marsak, and Fort Anthony defender John Maljevic. The program reveals the history of a lost neighborhood and the efforts of one brave man to preserve it in the face of powerful forces of Urban Renewal and civic transformation in the County of Los Angeles.


George Kiel knew as a six-year-old in Ohio that he’d spend his adult life in Hollywood making movies. George has been a drapery designer for the Hollywood studios for about a third of a century. His specialty is period design and the design details that make each period unique. His non-professional passion, though, is history and historic preservation. George has been a volunteer at Hollywood Heritage, Hollywood’s preservation organization, for nearly 20 years. George currently manages the Hollywood Heritage Museum (home of Hollywood’s first feature-length motion picture) and has been a volunteer walking tour guide of the history of Hollywood off and on for 10 years. At home, both of the homes George has owned have been neglected wrecks that George has spent years restoring back to the periods when they were built (1924 and 1937, respectively). George has an unending love of Hollywood, and the stories that make Hollywood’s history come to life.

Gordon Pattison is a native son of Bunker Hill. His family owned the Salt Box and the Castle, the last two homes standing after the neighborhood was cleared for redevelopment. To learn more, see Gordon’s LAVA Sunday Salon presentation Old Bunker Hill: One Family’s Perspective. Gordon can also be found blogging about the old neighborhood on On Bunker Hill, talking about Angels Flight Railway on Off-Ramp, visiting the few remaining pieces of his family’s houses at Heritage Square Museum, on KCET’s Lost L.A. series Lost Hills episode, and remembering novelist John Fante at his square dedication and atop Bunker Hill. He can also be found on Esotouric’s The Lowdown on Downtown tours, sharing memories of lost Bunker Hill.

Nathan Marsak is a Los Angeles historian, preservation advocate, and is perpetually restoring his Highland Park home. He can often be found leading walking tours of lost downtown for LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, which named him Visionary of the Year in 2015. Nathan is the author of Los Angeles Neon, and a regular contributor to the time travel blog, On Bunker Hill.

John Maljevic has lived in Los Angeles since 1951. That year he came out of the Marine Corps, took a job at a Hawaiian nightclub in Hollywood, and put himself through machinist training at Boeing Aircraft in Long Beach, while living at the Hollywood Athletic Club. By the early 1960s, John was a fixture at Barney’s Beanery, where he befriended Steven Anthony, the singing bartender. John’s skills as a metal manufacturer allowed him to help Steven both fabricate and seek patents for his 3-D projection system. John and his good friend, Charlie Sample, the celebrated Western silversmith, were both involved in the “Siege of Fort Anthony.”

After his undergraduate studies in art history at UC Santa Cruz, Richard Schave (“indispensable Los Angelist” – Los Angeles Magazine) set out to explore the American interior as an itinerent brick mason. His return to his native Los Angeles coincided with a renewed acquaintance with Kim Cooper, a once-detested academic colleague who would become his bride. Together, fusing scholarly research with new digital tools, they launched the 1947project time travel blog, along with In SRO Land, and On Bunker Hill, as well as the Esotouric tour company. With the success of Kim’s True Crime tours, Richard developed a series of Literary and California Culture excursions. Off the bus, Richard is a dedicated preservationist, and the host of the LAVA Sunday Salon and the LAVA Literary Salon series, named Best L.A. Literary Salon by Los Angeles Magazine. He also curates an ongoing series of forensic science programs at Cal State Los Angeles. To stay informed about Richard’s off-the-bus programs, including his much-beloved Broadway On My Mind walking tour series, subscribe to the LAVA newsletter.

In lieu of a biography, Elona Anthony offers this statement: “Good evening, my name is Elona Anthony; my husband was Steve Anthony the person that stood up against the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, power, money and greed in a standoff to take our home in Hollywood. The “Siege” as it was called brought decades of pain and hardship to our family.

The system did all that it could do to destroy Steve Anthony, who in one fleeting moment of decision, made up his mind to stand up for what he believed. They took our home: property, job, land, and freedom, “actually all of our freedom to own land and live in peace.” Steve was a proud Marine, being discharged at twenty and served his country for the exact same reason, so people would be able to live in peace.

I was eighteen, going to college and studying drama in the evenings when I met my husband who opened his home up to our instructor who lost his lease where he was teaching. I married my husband in 1960 at twenty and by 1963 we were blessed with three children.

1964 was the year that turned our lives upside down, losing everything we had and putting myself and three small children relying on strangers for a place to stay and our basic needs.

In 1966, my husband had a permanent job working for a plumbing company where he studied and became a licensed plumbing and building contractor. We moved to Sonora California in 1971, where my husband and I started a business. Our last child was born in 1972 giving us five wonderful children. We saved and built our home in Sonora, but the action that happened in Hollywood followed us everywhere we went. We always had people that were interested in what happened and for the most part everyone was in agreement with what we did on that day. Our bravery and stamina was always acknowledged.

Unfortunately, my husband’s health was at risk and eight years later, when he was fifty, he had a heart attack. Again, it was a very trying time. I went back to school and was able to get a job as a bookkeeper, while caring for my husband for the next fourteen years. When my husband passed away, I could no longer keep our home. I moved to the city, working in the private sector for a couple of years and for the past seventeen years with the State of California.

My son and I are here today to remind people of the injustice that not only happened to our family, but that are still going on today due to power and greed, and all my husband asked for was a simple demand: that our property be protected through the U.S. Constitution and that he have his day in court.

The land grab has got to stop!!”