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123 E. Lime Ave.



The the first owner is listed as Joseph Sartori, but actually the tax records don't list him as owner until 1891.  This property had a rough beginning, bouncing around from owner to  owner as the value of property in Southern California plummeted after  the land boom of 1888.  It is unknown who owned Lot 18 from 1888 until  1891.  Lots were changing hands quickly as speculators came to  communities like Monrovia buying property to flip quickly for a profit.   Many times buyers flipped properties by bills of sale because they  hadn’t had time to record the ownership with the County.  The land boom  was over quickly, and buyers went broke when they couldn’t unload their  property, so rather than pay taxes on property that had dropped over 37  percent, many buyers just walked away.  By 1890, Lot 18's assessed  valued had dropped from $600 to $200.

The tax record for 1891  gives Joseph Sartori, a successful banker, as the owner.  In 1891, the  property’s value had dropped to $125.  Sartori sold the property to  Charles E. Slosson, who was in real estate, and held on to it until  1903.  By then, the property value had been valued at $75 for the last  six of the eleven years he owned it, so he must have gotten tired of  waiting for property values in Monrovia to go up.  Subsequent owners  were in and out quickly: G.H. Smith owned it for one year, selling to it  to C.F. Monroe who appears to have only owned it for year.  However, it  is this year, 1905, that the tax records record show an improvement on  the property. 

 The value of the improvement is $600, indicating more  than just a barn.  It may have been at this time that the structure,  which had been moved from another location, first appeared. According to  Steve Baker, Monrovia City Historian, the house that appeared on Lot 18  in 1905 had actually been moved from Block G, Lot 13, on South Myrtle.   At that location, is was a combination business and residence of the  Venderink family.  The name of the business was the Venderink  Improvement Company, and it was involved in construction work.  The  Sanborn map and the illustration from the periodical The Wasp indicate  that the structure was in existence at least by 1887. 

In 1906, Monroe  sells the property to Mary Bear, and the value of the structure goes up  to $700.  She may have gotten into a little financial trouble because  the following year, there is a different owner, G.W. Morgan.  Mary Bear  owns it again the next year.    The 1908-1909 Resident and Business  Directory of Monrovia lists three women, Mary, Julia, and Alice Bear, as  living at the address.  I’ve been able to find no information about  them.

In 1910, Mary Bear sells the property to F.W. Rogers.  Mr. Rogers  seems to have used the property as a rental.  In the 1911, the Monrovia  Resident and Business Directory shows that Thomas T. Davis, employment  not stated, lived in the house with his two children: Charles Franklin  and Helen J., both clerks at the post office.  They only lived here for a  short time.  In the 1913-1914 directory, the Davis family, minus  Thomas, is living at 134 N. Myrtle Ave.  F.W. Rogers sells the property  the next year to S. Emerson Salisbury, a dentist.

The Salisburys had  been living at 337 N. Mayflower, and his dental practice was at 527½ S.  Myrtle Avenue (1908 Monrovia Directory).  He and his family moved to 123  E. Lime Avenue by 1913, but he moved his business to the American  National Bank Building at the corner of South Myrtle and Lime Avenues.  By 1924, Dr. Salisbury had moved his practice into his home.  This was  not unusual, and several doctors in Monrovia had their medical offices  in their homes as it was a great way to cut overhead.  The Salisburys  lived on in the house until at least 1945 when Fanny Salisbury died.  It  is unknown at this time exactly when Dr. Salisbury died, but it was  probably in the early 1930s.

The actual address of the dwelling, formerly the office/home of the Venderink family, first  appears on this property as 123 E. Lime Avenue on the Sanborn map of  1907.  The details from the Sanborn maps show that the footprint of the  main house is exactly the same from 1888 to 1907.  In 1897, a porch was  added to the back of the house.  In  1907, a front porch which wraps around the east side of the house can be  seen.  The 1913 Sanborn map shows a shed at the back of the property,  which has been replaced by a small auto garage by 1923. The illustration  shows the structure at its South Myrtle address around 1888.  It has  the typical Victorian front-facing gable design of the period.  What  can’t be seen in the illustration but is shown on the 1907 Sanborn map  is that the bay window on the south side of the house is replicated on  the north.

An  application to alter, repair, or demolish was filed by  the California Water & Telephone Co., located at 115 E. Lime,  on  April 2, 1952.  The application requests permission to demolish a  residence and a detached garage at 123 E. Lime Avenue.  This house,  along with others on Block B, was then demolished to build the California Water and Telephone Company and a parking lot for the utility's workers.

Block No:

Lot No:


Construction Year:

Architectural Style:



Style Altered?

Location Changed?









Berend Venderink

Berend Venderink



Joseph Francis Sartori


Town of Monrovia Subdivision

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