Save Our Stream (1965)

Courtesy of the Pacific Palisades Historical Society, a public interest film produced in 1965 by Rustic Canyon residents to lobby the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to preserve the Rustic Canyon spring-fed creek.

Remembering Ernie Marquez

As told by his Cousin, Sharon Kilbride

Ernie was my cousin, mentor and our family patriarch. Ernie taught me so much about our family history. I spent so many hours with Ernie in his garage “mancave” at his home in West Hills where he had countless photo images of Santa Monica Canyon - a place where we both grew up and love dearly.  I still reside on the last residential piece of Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, our family’s Mexican land grant received in 1839. We both loved this magical Canyon and our time spent at Canyon School - even though in different eras.

Ernie loved sharing his stories and one that touched me was his story about when he was only five years old and lived right next-door to Canyon school.  He would hear the children playing and would often go and sit on the stairs at the one-room schoolhouse watching and wanting to go to school. He told me that the principal at the time, Mrs. Sletten, would take him by the hand and walk him home and tell his mother he was too young to attend school. When Ernie turned six, he began his time at Canyon school, and this was one of the highlights of his life.  He thought the world of his teacher, Mrs. Weber, who taught all grades to 35 children in the one-room schoolhouse which is still there today. Ernie published a book, Memories of Canyon School 1930-1936, which includes many of his drawings from childhood. The book is available on Amazon and its one of my favorites.

Ernie and I went through so much together, saving the front portion of the cemetery from development and making the cemetery a beautiful, landscaped garden. 

Ernie loved the Marquez family cemetery and really enjoyed hosting the fourth graders from Canyon school every year at the cemetery learning about the Rancho history right in their own backyard. We had our last cemetery field trip together on December 11th, 2023, and Ernie was in great spirits that day. He was all smiles reflecting into his past and sharing our family’s history with the children. Ernie completed all his goals at the age of 99 thru his books, preservation of the Cemetery and our family’s history. I will continue to do the same in his honor. 

Ernie Marquez hosting Canyon School’s 4th Grade Class at the Marquez Family Cemetery on San Lorenzo (December 2023).