091618_time-ranger-hart_js_web

091618_time-ranger-hart_js_web
Sixty years back this week in 1958, Wm. S. Hart Park was dedicated. This followed a decade-long dramatic court battle. One of the most important film icons in world history, the silent screen legend Bill Hart left all of his millions in holdings to L.A. County after his death in 1946. His son, Bill Hart Jr., sued unsuccessfully in one of the wildest, wackiest and longest proceedings in county history. Adding insult to injury, the park dedication was pert darn smack dab on Bill Jr.’s birthday of Sept. 22. Today, this is a rough estimate, but the land alone would be worth probably a half-billion. Second insult to injury? After losing a fortune in real estate alone, Hart Jr. became a local real estate appraiser and had to drive past the castle and park daily.

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Trish Galloway

Trish Galloway