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Snow and slush in Echo Park? Snowball fights in Eagle Rock? Welcome to the winter of 1949

Echo Park snowfall | Courtesy Rick Morton

It was nearly 70 years ago today that Los Angeles found itself in the middle of three days of light snow and flurries that blanketed the city, including the steep hills of Echo Park and Silver Lake as well as Occidental College in Eagle Rock. If a light rain can create a city-wide Sig-Alert, you can only imagine what snow and ice did back in January 1949. “Snow Falls for Third Night, Tangling Southland Traffic,” said the headline at the top of the front page of the L.A. Times on Jan. 12, 1949.

Here are few snowy scenes from the Eastside’s last snow storm:

Mount Washington

Courtesy L.A. Public Library/Security Pacific National Bank Collection

Two cars on San Rafael Avenue prepare to turn and head downhill (yikes!) on Mt. Washington Drive.

Elysian Heights

A street car travels on slushy Echo Park Avenue near Cerro Gordo Street.

Eagle Rock

It’s cold here at Oxy, but not snowing-in-1949 cold. ❄️🌧 #historyinpictures #wintervibes

A photo posted by Occidental College (@occidentalcollege) on

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3 comments

  1. I remember being a little girl at the time and I was sick and couldn’t go out in the snow! So disappointing. We lived in WLA south of Pico, where I was born and raised. And, we had an old black Buick similar to those cars shown in the picture of Mt. Washington, but often took trollies into Los Angeles proper to visit my Grandparents.

    Thanks for the wonderful photos and memories.

    • Thank you for sharing that MinFran!! That’s so awesome you were here for the snow 🙂 (sorry you couldn’t play in it!)

  2. The Eastsider has provided a wonderful link for even more great photos in this story at “middle of three days…” There you can view cars lined up on Sepulveda Blvd in Sherman Oaks waiting until CHP would allow them to drive over “Old Sepulveda” into WLA. When the 405 was built it pretty much paralleled Sepulveda, and was a miracle freeway until it wasn’t!

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