Subdivisions | B&G SubdivisionIn 1887, Block 2, Lots C, D, & E (each lot was 5 acres) of the Monrovia Tract was subdivided into the Lots D and C of the B&G Subdivision. The owners may have been L.H. Green and Frank A. Gibson on whose behalf the subdivision was filed on April 6, 1887.
Lots D& C are bordered on the north by Foothill Boulevard (formerly White Oak Avenue) and the south by Whittemore’s Subdivision. Lots D & C are bisected by South Encinitas Avenue which was cut through the subdivision shortly after the subdivision was filed.
Lot D is bordered on the west by South Myrtle Avenue. Lot C is bordered on the East by South Ivy Avenue.
Most of the lots ran east/west and were originally 49 ½ feet wide and 130 feet deep. Lots 1-5 in Block C face Foothill and run north south. They were 50 feet wide and 148 ½ deep. In Block D, Lots 1-3 also face Foothill and were 50 feet wide and 148½ deep. However, Lots 4-6, a total of 148½ feet, face South Myrtle, and run east/west.
Though subdivided in 1887, no structures show up on the 1892 or 1897, Sanborn maps until 1907, so it doesn’t seem to have been a rapidly growing area. However, houses were built in the late 1890s after the 1897 Sanborn map came out. The 1907 Sanborn map shows 18 family dwellings on Lots D & C. On the 1913 Sanborn map, there are 22 family dwellings and two commercial structures, the ‘Leven Oaks Hotel and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Both commercial structures faced South Myrtle.
207 S. Encinitas Ave.
Block No: D
Lot No: 17
Construction Year: 1924
Style Detail: Simple wood frame
Style Altered? No
Location Changed? No
Subdivision: B&G Subdivision
South Encinitas Avenue didn’t even exist in April of 1887 when this area, which was formerly Block 2, Lots C& D of the Monrovia Tract was subdivided and renamed the B&G Subdivision. However, as one can see by the subdivision map, a 50-foot wide rode between the two lots was planned. What can’t be seen on the map is this planned road dead-ended to the south at East Palm Avenue (in Whittemore’s Subdivision), though on the north end it opened up to E. White Oak, now E. Foothill Blvd. The decision to cut the road through to East Lime happened quickly as it is shown that way in a 1904 Monrovia map.
The lots sold quickly. Most of the lots, including Lot 17, were valued at $300. One year later, their value was cut in half. The 1888 tax roll shows that Lot 17's first owner by Edwin P. Large, a well-to-do merchant who had a furniture store in town. Since he had already built a fine Victorian house for himself elsewhere in Monrovia, he seemed to have held on to the property until 1902 when Mrs. M.L. Butts purchased. She also had a fine home on Hillcrest, so she must have bought the land as an investment. It was a good investment as the land was only valued at $75 when she bought it, but when she sold it to A.L. Smith in 1906, it was valued at $200.
Smith sold the property the same year to H.J. Thomas who held onto it for three years, selling it to Laura E. Phillips in 1908 or 1909. By then, the value of the property was $350. Phillips only owned it for one year, selling it and Lot 16 to John E. and Ella J. Bunker, who had previously purchased Lot 18 in 1907, built a house on it and were living in it (203 S. Encinitas).
The Bunkers continued to own Lots 16-19 for a long time. It is unclear if they still owned Lot 17 when the house was built on it, most likely in 1924. There are no permits for the property, and it doesn’t appear in the city directory until 1924. The Bunkers may have built the house as a rental, as they continued living at 203 S. Encinitas until 1930, and the Monrovia directories show numerous families living at the 207 S. Encinitas house. For example, in three years, three families lived at 207 S. Encinitas: in 1925, Uriah R. & Lizzie Bowers; in 1927, J.H. Barton; and in 1928, John and Blin Zerell.
The house is shown on the 1927 Sanborn Fire Insurance map (see illustration) to be a simple square with a small front porch and a detached garage. However, the permit filed in 1960 for the demolition of the house describes it as being six-room house with garage, so there were non-permitted additions over the years.
The Baptist Church, though it has an address of 225 S. Encinitas, is in Whittemore’s addition, just south of Lot 16 of the B&G Subdivision. In the late 1950's, the church purchased Lots 16-18 and tore down the houses on each of them for an education center.
No pictures of the exterior of the house exist, and no other houses built at this same time period are still standing to compare it with. Notations on the Sanborn Map indicate that it was a wood-frame house. It most likely had no Victorian architectural features as the houses on either side, Lots 16, 18, and 19 had because they had been built between 1904 and 1907.