22nd Annual WAHA Living History Tour - Entertaining Lives

The Living History Tour was a Success -- another Sold Out event for WAHA!

West Adams Heritage Association presents
the 22nd Annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery

Entertaining Lives

History Comes to Life on Saturday, September 29

Marilyn Monroe’s Grandmother, Buster Keaton’s Cameraman Join Vaudeville and Jazz Age Performers on this Unique Outdoor “Stage”

Flappers, singers, dancers, magicians, and even a celebrity chef –– a host of colorful entertainers rest at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, one of the city's oldest, most historically significant cemeteries.

At this year’s Living History Tour, visitors will “meet” some of Los Angeles’s most interesting early performers and entertainment industry personages as costumed actors, at graveside, portray the lives of a Civil War-era escape artist, a headlining dancer who lost her life in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, a mezzo soprano who fought for civil rights, and a Chinese-American dancer/actor/MC, among other quirky and wonderful characters. 

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery was founded in 1884, and is now home to many generations of Los Angeles's citizens, representing every race, faith, and creed.  Each year, West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) tells some of their life stories while touring the historic grounds and elaborately-carved monuments of L.A.’s first lawn cemetery.

Tours will depart every 25 minutes, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (Advance reservations REQUIRED; each tour group’s participants are pre-assigned.)

This year’s tour commemorates not only Los Angeles’s longtime role as the center of this country’s entertainment industry, but also the roles several of these personages played in the larger history of civil rights.  In addition, the tour memorializes the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865).

This year’s portrayals include:

  • Della Hogan Monroe, Marilyn Monroe’s colorful grandmother; a religious devotee, Mrs. Monroe had baby Norma Jean baptized at the Hawthorne Foursquare Church in 1926;
  • Victor Dol, L.A.’s first chef trained in Paris, who opened an elegant French restaurant in 1876 that soon earned the nickname “Delmonico’s of the West”;
  • Rita Carewe, a Jazz Age starlet and “Baby WAMPAS” (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) winner who appeared in films with Delores del Rio, Edward Everett Horton, and Mary Pickford;
  • Sadie Cole, a Fisk Jubilee singer and a civil rights activist who helped desegregate L.A.’s cafes and beaches;
  • Byron Houck, baseball pitcher for the 1913 World Series Philadelphia A’s, who later became Buster Keaton’s cameraman on "The General." Houck was the Vernon Tigers’ ace pitcher when the team was owned by Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle;
  • Mildred Washington, a vaudeville dancer and choreographer who headlined at Sebastian's Cotton Club in Los Angeles;
  • Harry Cooke, Magician and Civil War Union Army “scout” who was America’s first Escape Artist;
  • Honorable Wu (Harry Gee Haw), actor, singer, dancer, and vaudeville impresario known as “The Broadway Mandarin.”

Tickets are no longer available.


Angelus Rosedale Cemetery is located at 1831 West Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007.

The tour will raise funds for the West Adams Heritage Association, to help support its efforts to preserve and promote the community’s architectural and cultural heritage.

For more information, please email tours@westadamsheritage.org.