Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles facts for kids
Nichols Canyon has a natural, year-round, spring-fed creek and water fall over 60’ high, and several natural and man-made small water falls. They are among the many natural water falls in the streams of the Santa Monica Mountains, which run through the city of Los Angeles. The stream that flows through the bottom of Nichols Canyon attracts coyotes, frogs, deer, raccoons, skunks, rabbits and other wildlife. Hawks can often be seen circling the area as well. Home to many celebrities throughout the years, Nichols Canyon is a favorite jogging and cyclist road.
Nichols Canyon was named after John G. Nichols who served as mayor of Los Angeles, California, between 1852 and 1853 and again from 1856 to 1859. He was a businessman and a builder who lived in the first brick house to be built in Los Angeles, and he was the first mayor to expand the city. In 1851 his son, John Gregg Nichols, was the first Anglo American to be born in the city.
In the early days, approximately 3/4 mile up the canyon, was a small sales office with an old western type porch and roof overhang where canyon children would gather to play in the stream and make forts in the native sycamore, oak, sumac, sage, yucca and laurel. It is now known as "Rick E Lake", named after the current owner, Rick Ambrose. The property features 150 ft (46 m). of waterfront on a year-round stream with four waterfalls. Prior to being converted into a residence, the structure served as the real estate office for the Nichols Canyon development (1941). Remodeled several times, the home was featured in 1976 issue of House Beautiful's Home Remodeling magazine. Expanded to the present 2 bd/2ba configuration, the interior now features a rustic antique heart pine interior,inspired by James Cagney's 1930 cabin in Lake Arrowhead. Today, few of the original bungalow and cape cod style houses remain, having been expanded or replaced entirely.
There are many stories to be told about the Canyon. For instance, on the evening of May 13, 1874, a sheriff’s posse from Los Angeles camped near the mouth of Nichols Canyon a mile and a quarter northeast of Greek George’s ranch house. The next morning, in a shoot out at Greek George’s, they captured the Mexican bandit Tiburcio Vásquez. The present day Los Angeles County Park of Vasquez Rocks was one of his favorite hideouts.
Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.