On Saturday, October 27th, The Men’s Club visited what is now known as Oakridge Estates. Some 80 years ago Barbara Stanwyck purchased a piece of property in the San Fernando Valley. The property bordered on the north by Devonshire Blvd, on the east by Reseda Blvd, on the south by what is now Lassen, and on the west by what is now Wilbur. On this property Ms. Stanwyck and Zeppo Marx, her agent and one of the Marx Brothers, built separate homes. Additionally, a thoroughbred training track and ranch were added. During this time period, Barbara and Zeppo called this the Marwych Ranch.
Barbara lived there for only 3 years and sold her home to Jack and Victoria Oakie, who changed the name to Oakie Estate. Over the next several decades the parcel has shrunk to its current size and location. Zeppo’s house has been removed, but Ms. Stanwyck’s house remains atop the hill on Devonshire Blvd. adjacent to the Chevrolet dealership. The pool and tennis court also remain. Ownership has shifted over the years and is currently cared for by Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Los Angeles. It is now know as the Oakridge Estate.
Our tour was conducted by Deborah Donnelly who is a member of Friends of Oakridge. Unfortunately, the house has fallen into disrepair and is in desperate need of restoration. The Friends of Oakridge are working tirelessly to raise funds for the needed restoration. As part of the tour, the organization has secured and display photos of the house and surrounding area from different periods of time. I’ve lived in the Valley my entire life and can remember when Reseda Blvd. was the end of the valley going west, so some of these pictures brought back memories of times forgotten.