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Old wagon wheel found entombed in Echo Park Lake

Image via the LA Times

Of the official list of things found at the bottom of Echo Park Lake during the rehabilitation project (which we published last November), some of the stranger items included a payphone and a parking enforcement boot, along with a couple of guns and knives. But during the past few months of the Lake rehabilitation project, construction workers have been digging up the bottom of the mucky lake bed, and moving enough dirt that they’ve unearthed something from Echo Park’s history.

From the Sunday LA Times, a fascinating story on the uncovering of a rusty 1880s-era wagon wheel by a construction worker digging with a backhoe last May. Now, Echo Park Lake was established as a park in the 1890s, but the lake had been there for some time and served as a reservoir for the surrounding farms and ranches. In the LA Times story, experts determined – after some speculation about its authenticity, and if it was from a farm wagon or a stagecoach wagon – that it was indeed a farm wagon wheel.

It may not be the most ground-breaking thing to find buried in the lake, but it is incredibly fascinating. It’s a glimpse into the history of Echo Park, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and what it was like before the roads were paved, before the neighborhood was built, and before we were a city.

It would be great to have all of the items pulled from the lake bed up for display!

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