BACK TO EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS'
TARZANA RANCH 1921
by Bill Hillman
THE MAIN PLAYERS
"I said, JoN, we gotta go. Ed's waiting. I said we'd be there before noon. Time's a wastin'"
In my dazed state, stuck somewhere in the limbo of deep daydream, I looked around me as I clutched the leather encased steering wheel of the Packard. I slowly realized that Sue-On was beside me on the front seat while Danton was shouting from the rear, as he slammed down the lid of the vehicle's trunk. He crawled into the rear cockpit of the deluxe auto and I turned to focus my gaze through the dusty windscreen. In the distance, surrounded by rolling ranchland and grain fields, a sprawling Spanish-style home and outbuildings commanded the summit of a tree-dotted hill. The plastered walls, cupolas and the many sturdy arches of its arcades gave it an appearance of a Moorish castle."Sorry, Dan, must have dozed off while you were making your call. Did we have the right number? 0-220"
"Naw. But no problem. There's only one Burroughs in the area and central knew the number right off - Reseda 222. I spoke with his secretary."Finally shaken from my daydream and gaining full control of my senses I pushed down on the clutch pedal and struggled to grind the obstinate gearshift into first gear. We rumbled out of the store lot and turned west onto the packed gravel of Ventura State Highway. After a few hundred yards a voice from the rear suggested that I turn left onto a road which took us past a number of business buildings and homes under construction. We followed the dusty road in the direction of the hilltop estate that I had admired a few minutes before -- past what appeared to be a subdivision in its early stages of development. Passing by single story Spanish-style cottages, orange groves, berry fields, and small truck & poultry farms, we were soon winding through barley and wheat fields interspersed with stretches of natural rangeland grasses. The canvas top of the Packard shielded us from the mid-day heat of the California sun while the windowless open sides invited the cool, scented breezes.After a few minutes we started our ascent of the hill which was festooned with a great variety of rare shrubbery and plants. Someone must have combed the world for the greenery on this knoll, as there were hundreds of exotic plants that could only have come from far-off continents. We passed an elaborate gatehouse and followed the driveway up toward the house where we were struck with the full impact of the impressive Burroughs estate. The home was a virtual modern castle -- set on top of a wind-swept hill, looking across immense valleys on all sides to the purple peaks of mountains in the hazy distance, all a part of the “ranch.”The driveway curved through rose bushes and lush greenery and past a newly constructed building which we learned later housed a ballroom, a theatre and projection room, a study and classroom, servants quarters and a garage containing a fleet of high-powered cars. As we drove past a swimming pool on the west side of the main house we could see landscaped hillsides with terraced lily ponds amd grape arbors. Finally, the driveway reached the north side of the house. We drove under a flower and vine-clad pergola beside a wide, tiled verandah stretching almost the full length of the house.Forwarned by Danton's phone call and hearing the rumble of the approaching Packard, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Rice Burroughs emerged to meet us from under one of many arches that fringe the house. I struggled to bring the behemoth to a halt and we peered through the settling dust cloud to survey our hosts.
"Welcome travellers. . . you've found our Tarzana abode. You've had a long journey." Edgar Rice Burroughs was every inch the gentleman farmer. Beneath a soft leather equestrian jacket he wore a white shirt and tie, riding breeches and tall, laced leather boots -- all topped off with a cavalry hat, probably from the time he had served with the US Seventh Cavalry in Arizona Apache country."Good afternoon, Mr. Burroughs. I'm JoN, this is my wife Sue-On... and my co-pilot back in the rear cockpit is Danton Burroughs. . . a relative of yours who has made a long journey to meet you. . . again. . . after many years.""Please, call me Ed. Climb out of that mighty monster and meet Mrs. Burroughs. . . and our daughter, Joan. And over there coming out of our new garage where they've been pestering our ever-patient dog, Tarzan, are our boys, Hully and Jack. They've been hunting squirrels all afternoon. Get over here big game hunters. Let me hold the gun for awhile. It's not everyday we are honoured with a visit from a member of the Burroughs clan. There certainly is an uncanny family resemblance. I can't recall our previous meeting though. . . perhaps later, after you have settled in, you can jar my memory over dinner? You know the Burroughs family has a tradition of drawing from our somewhat sprawling and deep-rooted family tree in the naming of our off-spring. "Danton" is a new one on me, though. How did you come by this moniker?"
"It's a rather long and perhaps unbelievable story, but my dad christened me with the name."Just then Danton and young Jack made eye contact and I felt what could only be described as a strange tingling up the back of my neck. A sudden, almost eerie kinship was evident between the youngster and the middle-aged visitor as both instinctively reached out a hand to the other to meet in the clasp of a lingering handshake."Come along. Mrs. Burroughs will introduce you to the staff, who will show you to your rooms so you can freshen up after your trip. Oh, I see John Shea coming around the pool. John's my secretary and right-hand man. He's been putting up some new arbors by the water gardens. John! Come over and meet the guests you spoke with on the telephone. John will fetch our man Carl to help you with your luggage."Danton was escorted to a bedroom on the main floor overlooking an opening to the south patio while Sue-On and I were led upstairs to a large second-floor guest suite. The room contained a hand-carved double bed, and furnishings and decor showing a strong Spanish influence. After washing up and unpacking we descended the stairs and opened the door to the patio. Ed Burroughs sat in a shady corner, reading a Los Angeles paper and smoking one of his personally carved, ornate pipes.
"Ed, how did you ever find this place. It's truly a gem -- a dreamworld almost beyond imagination.""Well, we moved from the Chicago area a few years ago when the film business started to demand more of my time here. General Harrison Gray Otis, founder of the LA Times, had bought and developed the property around 1911, calling it Casa Milflores. It's actually located in the west end of the San Fernando Valley, in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, just north of our state highway, Ventura Road. Otis was largely responsible for construction of the Owens River Aqueduct that brought water -- and -- life to this valley. But after his death, 550 acres of the property came up for sale, including the main house. This was about the time we were scouting for a home in California and it seemed perfect for us, as Hollywood is but a short drive to the southeast. On March 1, 1919 we took possession of the ranch with its 4,500 square feet 20-room hacienda and renamed it Tarzana Ranch. The original cost was $125,000, but I've been sinking money into it ever since. We've done some major construction to put our unique stamp on the property.. It's always been my dream to farm and to raise livestock so we got pretty heavy into raising Berkshire hogs, goats, dairy cattle, Rhode Island Red chickens, pure-bred Herefords and Percherons... and of course riding horses which have been a lifelong passion of mine. The wild sprawling canyons and hills on the ranch are ideal for riding and we have all spent many happy days enjoying the invigorating delights of outdoor living.
"Each year the valley has become more wonderful to me. It never changes, and yet it is never twice alike. See the purple sage away off there, and the lighter spaces of wild buckwheat, and here and there among the scrub oak, the beautiful pale green of the manzanita - scintillant jewels in the diadem of the hills. And the faint haze of the mountains that seem to throw them just a little out of focus, to make them a perfect background for the beautiful hills which the Supreme Artist is placing on his canvas today. An hour from now He will paint another masterpiece, and tonight another, and forever others, with never two alike, nor ever one that mortal man can duplicate; and all for us. . . if we have the hearts and the souls to see! Ah, but I wax a little too poetically. . . that infamous Burroughs florid prose that my critics so often meet with derision. Sometimes I have to laugh at it myself."Confidentially, we've had quite a few farming setbacks and I don't know how long I can keep pumping my writing royalties into the operation to cover losses. My neighbour, Adamson, has the world's largest herd of pure-bred Guernseys at his Adohr Dairy Farms. Adohr is just his wife's name spelled backwards. Another neighbour of mine is subdividing and developing a 320 acre tract of land on Reseda Boulevard between the Southern Pacific railroad tracks and Ventura Boulevard. He's even about to found a town, "Runnymede." There seems to be a pretty good market for one-acre plots and farmland in the area and I've been thinking of doing the same down along Ventura to recoup some of my losses. John and I have even been tossing around the idea of incorporating to get control over my own publishing. We might even build an office on the highway. I'll give you an advance copy of the booklet I'm preparing to promote the Tarzana Tract venture. Can you believe it? My own little town -- "Tarzana." I've even gone ahead and had a subdivision map drawn. . . it's buried somewhere under all the junk in my office."
The creator of countless alien cities chuckled at the thought of trying his hand at creating his own city in the real world -- and giving it the name of his most famous fictional character. At that moment Danton appeared in the doorway to the patio.
"Oh, Danton... come join our little party. Is the room to your liking? You've probably noticed that it presents a fine view of the ranch and the mountains beyond. As I am wont to do, I was rattling on boring my guests with some of my outlandish daydreams. But now I beg you all to excuse me for bit. I must retire to my study to write some business letters after which I have a business meeting with John Shea. I swear that shyster lawyer Kosch from Numa Pictures is about to drive us both to drink.We're hatching a plan for a movie production company of our own that should add some money to the bottomless farm coffers. No rest for 'the laird of the manor' you know. Please make yourselves at home. . . and take the run of the house. It's a very busy day for Mrs. Burroughs and the staff -- the start of harvest, you know -- but I see that Hulda has laid out refreshments for you in the shade of the patio. And we'll dine together at 5. You'll hear the dinner bell."
Ed Burroughs returned to the house and we three sat down over iced tea and biscuits to marvel at the view to the south. The patio was bordered on three sides by the ranch house and was filled with foliage and flowers. The open south side had a high iron gate, which we presumed would close off the patio from outside each evening. These features all added a touch of Western and Mexican splendor and exclusiveness to the design. Our view from the cooler shadows of the partially covered south porch at the patio entrance was across immense, sun-blessed valleys to the purple peaks of the Santa Monica mountains in the hazy distance, all part of the Burroughs property. Across the southern driveway that ran along the side of the house was an odd Indian-rugged, stone stairway that descended through a vista of exotic shrubbery, umbrella trees, flowers and vines. Alongside the steps were the water gardens -- tiered pools connected by waterfalls. Each pool was bordered with flowers of vivid colors: marigolds, purple irises, pink holly hocks, yellow lilies, blue stocks, and red roses There were also a countless variety of trees, including Oregon blue cedars, Monterey pine, junipers, doedars, acacia, redwood, bull pine, and Australian beefwood. The upper pool was a lily pond surrounded by Japanese quince blossoms and rose bushes. We later learned that a tunnel ran under the south driveway from the basement to the upper pool landing. The lower pools were fish ponds and contained water hyacinth and brilliant fantails. Gravel walkways accessed each of the pool landings with their benches and umbrella shade trees.A winding concrete path led beyond the pools to a modern poultry house of concrete slab construction with attached pens and long alfalfa runways. Next to these pens were the stables, corrals and a riding ring for horses, with living quarters for grooms, caretakers and other outdoor staff. Nearby was a small dairy barn accomodating the little herd of Guernseys that no doubt supplied milk, cream, and butter for the ranch. Scattered about the grounds was a variety of farm and maintenance machinery: trucks, tractors, road scraper, plows, harrows, mowers, rakes, hay rack, threshing machine, drill, planter, manure spreader, binder, etc. Farther on, field workers were busy mowing an alfalfa field, while to the west, in a fenced pasture, gentle Guernseys lay in the shade of a wide-spreading sycamore that shielded them from the glorious California sun hanging in clear blue skies.
In a hilly pasture, still farther up the valley, the black, iron grey and red of Percheron brood mares and white-faced Hereford cattle contrasted with the green pastures upon which they grazed. In an adjoining pasture great Berkshire sows sprawled beneath sycamore, oak and walnut trees or wallowed in a concrete pool shaded by overhanging boughs. To the northwest was evidence of a nine-hole golf course with a nearby orange grove and a rustic log cabin. Danton took particular notice of a hilly outcrop off to the west, making the comment that it would be a great place to build a house. Between these pasture lands were rugged canyons, arroyos, hogbacks and brush-covered hillsides rolling to the Santa Monica Mountains. Knowing that Ed was an avid horseman we guessed that there would be a myriad of bridle paths and innumerable trails through those hills.
Hoping to find respite from the ever-increasing afternoon heat, Sue-On suggested that we cross the patio and pass through doorways and arches to the north porch, where we were pleasantly surprised to feel a cool breeze in the shade of the house. Looking out across the north we had an unobstructed view of the broad valley stretching away to the Santa Susanna Mountains in the distance. Down the center of the valley a toy train moved noiselessly. As we watched it, we saw a puff of white rise from the tiny engine. It rose and melted in the afternoon air before the thin, clear sound of the whistle reached our ears. The train crawled behind the green of trees and disappeared to stop at the station a little further on. Broad barley, oat and wheat fields stetched from the hill base below to the state highway half a mile to the north. The ripening heads of this sea of grain stood motionless beneath the blazing sun. It would not be long before the Burroughs field hands would be maneuvering a horse-drawn binder around the fields to cut the stalks into sheaves in preparation for stooking and the harvest crews.
After a lengthy chat we returned to our respective rooms to freshen up and to change into something a little more formal for dinner. Shortly before five we were drawn to a commotion on the west side of the house. Scurrying down to investigate we found Ed and the kids at play in the unheated water of the new Tarzana swimming pool. Middle age and the occasional health problems did nothing to slow him down as Ed cavorted with his three youngsters, while Emma watched from a nearby chaise lounge in the shade of a deck umbrella. A single chime from the bell at the front of the house was the signal for everyone to prepare for dinner. The four water rats climbed from the pool and made their way along with a much drier Mrs. Burroughs to their respective rooms to dress for the evening meal.
It was a refreshed and impeccably dressed country gentleman who joined us a few minutes later at poolside. He motioned for us to follow him as he turned to lead us into a family room.
"We have a few minutes before the final dinner bell . . . enough time to show off some of my lair."We found ourselves amid a jungle of tropical plants and priceless carved furnishings. The huge floor-to-ceiling, brick and stone fireplace with memento-filled inglenooks was one of many imposing fireplaces we were to see throughout the house. The Burroughs flair for the exotic was in evidence everywhere. When we expressed admiration for the unusual decor, Ed informed us that many of the items were gifts from admiring fans.
"The tiger skin rug by the fireplace was presented as a joke. In the original magazine publication of Tarzan of the Apes I had tigers roaming the African jungle. Some people just won't let me live that one down. But it's a fine rug. Mail time is something I look forward to. Since my books are published in many languages all over the world I hear from some pretty colourful readers."Gazing around the room we were impressed by its uniqueness: custom-made chairs and settee lined in pinto calfskin. ornately woven Navajo rugs, oriental carvings and silk paintings, carvings and art with jungle animal themes, and mementos reflecting this man's colourful past. Studying the displayed photos and artifacts I realized that I knew of no other author who had garnered so many life experiences in preparation for a writing career that would not begin until age 35. Up until this time he had lived a life that reads like fiction: son of a Union Army major, military academy student and later an instructor and assistant commandant, exhibition horseback rider, US cavalryman in Arizona's Apache country, cowboy on trail drives, goldminer, railway policeman, photography / stationery shop owner, driver of the first electric car in the Chicago Exhibition, salesman, writer & editor, Sears manager, efficiency expert and instigator of innumerable not-so-successful business enterprises.A major showpiece in the room was a giant eight-foot high grandfather's clock that dominated a sunlit corner of the room. We moved in for a closer inspection of this towering timepiece that must have been the source of the chimes that we had been hearing reverberating through the house on the half hour. While Danton examined the inner workings, Sue-On and I wandered across lush oriental carpets to examine another piece of artistic handiwork that dominated the room: a sprawling oak table of hand-carved gothic design. The conclusion of our quick tour of the Burroughs family room coincided with a stifled gasp from Sue-On. She had stretched her up hand to admire an ornate stained glass window when it came in contact with a furry object off in the shadows. Her hand had become lodged in the tusked snout of a wild boar . . . mounted in lifelike ferocity on the wall beside the high window.
After extricating my mate from the clutches of the wild beast we made a hasty retreat and followed Ed to his study. Adjoining the study was a well-stocked, sunlit library. He informed us that the library doubled as a classroom for the Burroughs kids, who took their lessons from a private tutor. He went on to add, with a hint of excitement in his voice, that they were about to move much of the library to a section of the new ballroom building, where construction had been just completed.
"For awhile we had a chauffeur drive the children into the city each day. We had enrolled the boys in a private military school and Joanie in a religious school for girls but none of them seemed at all happy with the experience. When the boys got quite sick from something Dr. Crispin called polio, we decided to keep them all at home. Our own little classroom seems much more to everyone's liking, although Joan has since enrolled in the Hollywood School for Girls. Many of her friends are enrolled there, as well as the offspring of many of the showbusiness people we keep running into. I'm afraid the girl has eyes for Hollywood."
There were also plans to add a more private personal study in the new building -- a more secluded area where he could hide away and write with fewer distractions. Ed was already spending an increasing amount of time in the building's film projection room, where he was editing the 15-chapter Son of Tarzan serial into a single feature version. He was hoping that sometime in the future the studio might release it.Most of the books that were strewn about on the author's large carved desk seemed to be reference books for farming and business, but the shelves that lined the walls showed the eclectic reading tastes of this teller of tall tales. Some of the volumes that stood out included works of classic and contemporary authors, volumes of poetry, westerns, mysteries, adventure yarns, encyclopedias, and reference books on geography, geology, greek, latin and military history. There was even a section for his old schoolbooks -- this was a man after my own heart -- he kept everything. Ed explained that he had been stricken with a "peculiar form of insanity" at an early age. "I can't remember when I didn't collect things. I guess the true spirit of the collector is to horde useless, valueless and discarded things: stamps, coins, postmarks, cards, autographs, labels . . . but my true love and obsession has always been books. I like to handle them and to own them . . . and I hate to see them abused."
One wall was set aside to display McClurg, Burt and Grosset & Dunlap editions of his novels, as well as sets of pulp magazines in which his stories were first serialized. Wall spaces between bookcases were decorated with framed canvases of much of the original bookjacket and interior art from his books. Scattered about were framed photographs and certificates: his old commandant - General King, newlyweds Ed and Emma, and even Emma's graduation diploma from Brown grammar school. Curiously, tacked here and there were ragtag sheets of amateur sketches with a childlilke "Jack Burroughs" signature that immediately captured Danton's interest. A small clothes closet yielded another treasure -- Ed's old military cadet tunic. This one I had to try on. It didn't fit.I was not surprised to see a large typewriter in a prominent spot in the middle of the author's work desk but my curiosity was piqued by the unusual, almost Victorian-looking machine stamped with the name "Ediphone." The device was surrounded by rows of labelled cylinders. Ed explained, "Ah. That's a damnfool dictating machine I picked up awhile ago. I've got sort of a love/hate relationship with that marvel of modern technology. Some days my head races ahead of my typing fingers and I'm tempted to spill my inimitable prose into those silly cylinders. But then I've got to find a transcriber who can type and spell, and can work quickly for long hours. More and more, I find myself returning to my trusty typewriter. I think it helps to actually see the words magically appear on paper. I've come a long way since I scribbled that first Mars novel on scrap paper. Ten years ago -- back in Chicago -- it was a real fight to keep the wolf from the door.Most people find it incredible that my writing career didn't begin until I was 35 years old. But what they don't realize is that I have always written and sketched. I've always kept journals and have been a faithful letter writer. Years before I started writing novels I was getting poetry and cartoons published in newspapers. I was editor of the Michigan Military Academy school paper and yearbook for which I wrote most of the articles and did the artwork. And over the years I've done a great many one-of-a-kind booklets, kids books and sketches for family members. I wish I'd written down all the tall tales that I've entertained young 'uns with over the years. I even tried my hand at self-improvement manuals for salesmen and businessmen. My writing certainly wasn't driven by a search for fame -- it was just another way of trying to support my family and put food on the table. It wasn't until 1911 that I finally found my niche and got publishers interested in paying for my Mars and jungle fantasies.
"Speaking of Mars . . . I thought I was all out of ideas for more John Carter yarns but it seems that the Argosy readers have been begging for more, so I've been working on number five for months now. Lately I've been bogged down with the idea of writing the story around live Martian chess battles where real warriors and armies battle to the death on an arena-sized chessboard. Sometimes I don't know if my books imitate my life or vice versa . . . or if this whole damn thing is a dream. My secretary, John Shea, and I play chess most nights and those danged chess pieces are carved so realistically that I often find myself daydreaming while staring at the cussed things. What I don't daydream through the day seems to carry over into vivid and sometimes scary nightmares. Some nights poor Mrs. Burroughs gets very little sleep." He went on to add with a half-serious chuckle, "She says I should move the Ediphone into our bedroom to catch the action while she tries to calm my tossing and turning . . . and somewhat unsettling vocal shenanigans."Ed reached under a stack of farm magazines to pick up a stack of Argosy All-Story Weekly pulp magazines to share with us. "Take a look at these. They serialized my latest Tarzan brain child over seven issues a few months back -- Tarzan the Terrible. Oh, and here's the final product from A.C. McClurg, my book publisher back in Chicago. I was just autographing a copy for my daughter, Joan. Check out the cover art and illustrations in this. No one can touch old James St. John."
The book was teeming with spectacular images of dinosaurs and tailed-humans by Ed's favourite artist, J. Allen St. John. The exciting chapter titles alone where enough to stoke the imagination of any Burroughs fan, and the handwritten dedication on the fly leaf of this edition read:
"To my sweet
littleold daughter Joan,
with lots and lots of love.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzana Ranch, July 1, 1921"
Don't know what I'd do without Mrs. Burroughs. She holds my daydreamin' in check . . . she and the kids even made me resurrect Jane in this one . . . after I'd done her in back in the last book. I always run the stories by her so she can do the proofreading that I'm too lazy to bother with. I haven't shared much of this new Mars book with her yet, though . . . I have a feeling it might be just a little too gruesome for her sensibilities. I'm afraid she has only herself to blame though. We ran a comedy moving picture about the mummy of Ramses III awhile back - The Egyptian Mummy. She made me show the silly thing three times. Gave me an idea for something I can use in the Chess Warriors of Mars book I told you about: Martian mummies displayed all over a city to scare off invaders. Pretty far fetched but it should whet the appetite of my All-Story readers."
All the talk of Martian chess prompted me to share an idea, "When I was a kid up in Canada I read a book once by an author who went so far as to invent his own variation of chess. I followed his directions and even played the game with the board, pieces and rules he had invented. Have you thought of taking the "chess" in your novel a step further? You could design your own Martian game: bigger board, weird rules, and all those characters from your books. You know . . . jeddaks, princesses, panthans, flyers, thoats and tharks . . . the whole gang. Sure would add an interesting twist and then you could make your own board, carve the pieces and try out the rules on John. Well, without the fight to the death."Ed patiently listened while I went through my little brainstorming spiel. Meanwhile, Danton was examining a somewhat repulsive object he had taken off the wall. We all turned our attention to this new discovery and Ed explained, "It's an actual shrunken head from an Indian tribe in South America. The kids call him 'Elmer'. . . sort of a house mascot. We keep him around to ward off evil spirits."
Braver than I, Sue-On asked to touch the leathery skin and stringy hair of grotesque little head. Then in a bit of horseplay, she placed the skull on Danton's head, which encouraged him to play along, pretending that the head had put him under some sort of voodoo spell and had control of his body."Careful you two or I'll put you into one of my farfetched stories," Burroughs jokingly warned them. "Before we move along I'd like you all to sign the guest book. A little ritual I make all my guests go through. I've collected quite a rogue's gallery over the years and they . . ." A series of bell rings clanged from the direction of the front door and this was Ed's cue to hustle us into the next room.
We found ourselves in a large, wood-paneled room that was dominated by a long, heavy dining table supported by squat, profusely carved legs. The chairs of matching wood carried on the ubiquitous Spanish theme. One side of the room opened into a breakfast room that had a great view of the valley and sprawling hills. Doors on the other side of the room opened into the kitchen and butler's pantry, where the kitchen staff were putting the last touches on meal preparation. A large archway led to the east wing living room from which Emma and the children emerged. We were directed to our places at the table and were soon enjoying the fruits of country labour: home-made bread, fresh churned butter, tall cool pitchers filled with rich Guernsey milk, ranch-raised beef, an endless array of garden produce: potatoes, corn, peas and tomatoes, and lettuce -- followed up with hot apple pie topped with cream so thick that we had difficulty pouring it.
Dinner talk ran the gamut: grand opera, the budding of the walnut trees, the latest popular novels and moving pictures, word games, the most practical method of earmarking pigs, new neighbours in the valley, horses, prohibition home-brew, the children's progress in their studies, Hully's ground squirrel hunting prowess with his .22 rifle, the latest film star gossip from Joan's schoolmates, Jack's adventures on his new pony . . . and so on. Our trio joined most discussions, but to the mild puzzlement of our hosts we shied away from telling too much about ourselves.
We came to appreciate that Tarzana Ranch ran like a small city. A very large staff was maintained because of the size of the residence, grounds and the great variety of agricultural activites. The maintenance bills must have been horrific. The payroll alone would be staggering: secretary, cook, housekeepers, groundskeeper, livestock foremen, maintenance man, ranch hands, farm hands, chauffeur, and probably many more lurking behind the scenes. Ed let it slip that he thought his writing royalties for 1921 would be around $100,000 but I wondered just how long an income of even this magnitude could support such a lifestyle -- and a ranch operation that was obviously far from being self-sustaining or working at anywhere near a profit. I had a nagging fear that, somehow, the overflowing happiness that this family so obviously shared was too good to last. But Ed's excitement over the joys of country living was infectious. His dinner comments were typical of the many thoughts he often expressed on the advantages of raising children in such an environment.
"We are so lucky to be able to raise our children in the country, where children are more dependent upon their sisters and brothers for companionship than children of the city. We all get better acquainted in the country and we have to learn to find the best that is in each of us, for we haven't the choice of companions here that a city, with its thousands, affords. The affection they show for each other is so perfect that there could never be any misunderstanding among them. We all rise early and are usually in the saddle before sunrise. Riding constitutes one of our principal diversions, a pastime from which we derive considerable pleasure. It's a happy, care-free life far from the strife and squalor of the city, and yet we enjoy more comforts and luxuries than most city dwellers ever experience. I also believe that this lifestyle promotes that characteristic so unique to the human mind -- imagination. Without imagination there is no power to visualize what we have never experienced, and without that power there can be no progress."
We retired to the East-Wing living room for after-dinner refreshments. Whereas the family room in the West Wing might be described as the Jungle Room, this room was much more formal -- more like an English drawing room with a strong Asian influence. Natural light from the south entered the room through a large window and a glass panelled door with transom, all of which combined to frame a splendid view of the valley. Above, a long skylight in the high beamed ceiling flooded the room with sunlight. Artificial light was provided by a brilliant chandellier and numerous floor lamps with their giant, tasselled shades. The walls were lined with wooden, glassed-in display cases filled with first editions and ornaments. A grand piano, laden with stacks of music, books and a Chinese vase filled with fresh-picked flowers, commanded the southern side of the room. Scattered throughout the room were plush chairs and items of Chinese design and origin: end tables, rugs, ornaments, and lamps. On the west was another grandfather's clock and a sofa, while across the room was a huge, green-tiled fireplace and a large, ornately carved table.At the insistence of young Hulbert, the budding photographer, the Burroughs family gathered around Ed for a family portrait. I offered to take the photo with Hully's camera and, despite my unfamiliarity with it, I believe the picture turned out quite well.Ed, upon hearing a car come up the driveway, suggested that it was time for everyone to move to the ballroom. We learned that a regular Friday event, to which Ed issued a standing invitation to those living in and around the Rancho, was the showing of the latest Hollywood films. There was no theatre for miles around and it wasn't unusual for 150 to 200 people to gather here each week. He supervised the show from up in his projection room loft, where he chose the films and worked as projectionist. Usually the bill featured both a comedy and a drama. Tonight, however, was to be a very special night as Ed was debuting the finished full-length feature version of The Son of Tarzan -- the film he had edited himself from the serial version. I had learned from the dinner conversation that Ed's film editing room was a great source of amusement to the family. He had sequestered himself in the tiny room for many days and weeks. Visitors to the room marvelled at the maze of cables strung across the room from which hundreds of strips of film were suspended -- numbered and collated in some cryptic system known only to Ed Burroughs, the movie mogul.Scores of visitors from the valley filed into the makeshift theatre which was actually the ballroom situated under the servant quarters and adjoining the Burroughs garage. Here they sat in anticipation awaiting the showing: a Hollywood moving picture, based on the fourth Tarzan novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, film editing by Burroughs himself, shown at Tarzana Ranch in Burroughs' private theatre, free of charge to citizens of the valley with Burroughs serving as projectionist. I wondered how many of the viewers were aware of the significance of this event. To the surprise of some, Ed's editing job was quite good. The only serious flaw in the film was the producer's choice of the actor who played Tarzan. P. Dempsey Tabler, an undermuscled, bewigged former bit player, did not make a convincing Tarzan or Lord Greystone (sic). Fortunately, a far superior Tarzan-figure, Kamuela Searle, carried the bulk of the picture as Tarzan's son, Jack Clayton, aka Korak the Killer.
Partway into the film the audience erupted into spontaneous applause as they greeted the screen appearance of a familiar-looking rider on a sleek mount. From the shouts that filled the room I realized that I was witnessing the screen debut of our host: "Ride him Ed!" "Look at the Colonel!" "Mommy, Look! It's Mr. Burroughs!" "Gosh, Tom Mix ain't got nothin' on OB!" At the end of the film Ed gave a polite wave from the projection booth in response to the enthusiastic applause of his audience. This was the signal to move back the chairs to open a space for dancing.John Shea wheeled out the gramophone and within minutes people of every age were dancing to the latest hits of 1921: 12th Street Rag, The Bells of St. Mary's, Crazy Blues, Give a Man a Horse He Can Ride, and many more I didn't recognize. Ed, invoking host privilege, occasionally managed to work in some of his favourites, mainly light opera and Sousa military march recordings. The multi-talents of the Burroughs family were further displayed when Emma sat down at the Heintzman upright, where she accompanied herself, Joan and Hulbert in a couple of well-received performances.
The revellers started to drift back to the valley at twilight, well aware that the Burroughs family always arose before daybreak. The coming of sunset was also the cue for the Burroughs family to gather around the flagpole on the east lawn to take part in the nightly ritual of lowering the Stars and Stripes.Before returning to our rooms, we took a casual stroll along the driveway around the main house. The cool night breeze off the ocean felt invigorating after the hot sweaty air of the ballroom. Peering through the masses of feathery foliage we caught glimpses of the moon-enchanted valley below -- a vista of loveliness. Farther along we could look over the acacias and cedars of the lower hillside and across the rolling fields toward the lights of a small village twinkling between two dome-like hills at the upper end of the valley. Rising high above us was the big cupola atop the ranch house, sending out a light that must have been seen over most of valley. We entered the patio just as Carl was lowering the wrought iron gate for the night. Sleep came easily and we were soon oblivious to the chimes of the grandfather clock in the room below as it marked off the night hours.
The eastern sky held only a hint of the approaching dawn when we were awakened by the morning wake-up clanging from the massive bell on the front door of the house. Forewarned that we would be joining the family on a long hot ride across the southern foothills we donned shorts, T-shirts and sneakers and made our way to the breakfast room. We were met with cheery "good mornings" but Ed seemed puzzled by our garb.
"We'll be riding through brush and scrub all morning. I don't think you'll have much need for those swim suits. I'll loan you fellows some of my riding gear and I'm sure that Mrs. Burroughs can round up a lady's riding skirt and jacket. Now, dig in and we'll meet you down at the stables after you eat and change."
Finally ready to show off our official Tarzana Ranch riding duds, we galloped down stairs, through door, across patio, over the edge of the hill and down the slope. We followed a walkway that wound through full-foliaged umbrella trees to the stable and corrals at the foot of the hill. The stables held finely bred horses, the adjoining tack room was stocked with the best of trappings and the bunkhouse was equipped with all the necessary conveniences. Ed directed us to sign our names and departure times on the stable blackboard and then pointed out our mounts -- already saddled and tied to a ring in the stable wall by the stableman. Without hesitation the Burroughs kids clambored to their ponies and cavorted around the corral while they waited for the rest of the party to join them.Danton, a true Burroughs, mounted his horse with expert ease, while Sue-On and I held back -- expert novices. Sensing our reticence, Ed quickly took us under his wing. Holding the bridles of our mounts he led us through a quick tutorial.
"Take the reins in your left hand -- so. Like this -- left-hand rein coming in under your little finger, the other between your first and second fingers, and the bight out between your first finger and thumb -- there, that's it. Face your horse, put your left hand on the horn, and your right hand on the cantle -- this is the cantle back here. That's the ticket. Now put your left foot in the stirrup and stand erect -- no, don't lean forward over the saddle -- good! Swing your right leg, knee bent, over the cantle, at the same time lifting your right hand. When you come down, ease yourself into the saddle by closing on the horse with your knees -- that takes the jar off both of you. Ride with a light rein. If you want him to slow down or stop, pull him in -- don't jerk."
Satisfied that his pupils seemed to have the feel of it, he swung into the saddle with the ease of long habitude. He then led the way and we fell in behind with the rest of the Burroughs clan taking up the rear. The novelty, the thrill and the excitement we all felt were turning this event into an unforgettable adventure. We were somewhat surprised to note that he preferred the English saddle to the Western saddle that the rest of the family used. He explained that he had tried all types of saddles over the years and that this style required more skill but was also far more comfortable. Interspersed with snatches of conversation and intervening silences were occasional suggestions for improving our riding techniques: "keep your feet parallel to the horse's sides," "don't lean forward," " keep your elbows down," " keep your forearm horizontal."
Heading out from the bunkouse and horse barn we followed a straight gravel road past the golf course and onto a trail past "Koonskin Kabin," a rustic log structure."You'll recognize that cabin from last night's moving picture. I think it's been here since the '80s. Otis used to entertain some of his cronies out here but it works well as a mess hall for our ranch and grounds staff. National Films used it last year for some of their location shooting for the "Son of Tarzan" serial. We have big plans for the cabin, as well as for all the canyons to the south that you'll see first hand this morning. I think there can be big money in renting out the property to film companies. I've just had a call from Universal Pictures, who are planning to make a Buffalo Bill picture here in a few months. If this venture doesn't pan out we can use the area to expand my nephew Studley's little golf course to 18 holes."
We then crossed a large pasture, pausing beneath the shade of an enormous walnut tree upon the edge of a low bluff where the brood mares grazed with their colts. The great spreading branches of this giant easily provided shade for our band of eight horsemen. Ed obviously felt a great affection, and even friendship, for trees as they dotted all his pastures and hay fields. "I'm afraid my farm foreman doesn't share my love for trees. Apparently my beloved sycamores and walnuts take up too much crop land and make harvesting pretty difficult -- and expensive. He thinks I'm a hopeless sentimental idiot. I've been accused of this all my life. You know, fear of losing my giant oaks is the main thing holding me back from going ahead with my Tarzana subdivision plans."
After making a few tack adjustments we carried on into the hills to Jackknife Canyon, where we came to a well-used bridle path that took a winding route through the leafy tunnel of a cool barranco. As we passed through the park-like beauty of the lower hills, we sensed that our companions knew every bush and tree and boulder. Occasionally the horses would pause to nibble the bitter leaves of the live oak or graze on the sparse burned grasses of mid-summer.We were well into the hills when Ed suggested that we all dismount to give the horses a break and to give the greenhorns of the troupe a chance to stretch a bit. He took the opportunity to point out and identify animal tracks that we might have missed from horseback: the tiny kangaroo mouse, the great pack rat, the little red fox, the skunk, the badger, the coon, the coyote, the wild cat, the deer, the lion, snakes and rabbits of many varieties, ground squirrels and gophers. Shade trees -- oaks, sycamores, walnuts, and umbrellas -- welcomed the constant visits of birds to their branches or cool umbras. Blue Jays, road runners, the chaparral cock, vultures, and numerous other feathered denizens made appearances.Eventually our continual climb through the canyons and foothills took us to crest of a ridge from which the views were breathtaking. Framed by a gap in the Santa Monica Mountains was the distant mirage-like image of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. Looking back toward the north we took in the full panorama of the San Fernando Valley below -- stretching across to the Santa Susanna mountains at the far end. None of us spoke until Ed waved his arms to indicate the vista before us and he said, half-seriously and half-joking, "This is mine, all mine. It's a paradise but I fear that someday hordes will come and spoil it."On our way back to the Rancho I found myself unable to contain my excitement over the adventures we had experienced. I burst out a suggestion that Ed might write a story combining his main interests in California: the joys of outdoor living on Tarzana Ranch and the Hollywood film industry. He laughed and admitted that such a story was already in the planning stages. Looking back at the eldest of his brood, the exuberant 13-year-old Joan, he hinted that he might centre the story around her. Since enrolling in the Hollywood School for Girls, his pride and joy seemed to be captivated by the bright lights of Hollywood.
Ed Burroughs had been long known for his poetry, but little mention had been made of his singing prowess. We were treated to both talents on the return ride to the ranch.
"Pine no more my lassieUnexpectedly, the whole family joined in, the powerful voices of Emma, Joan and young Hulbert rising above the others.
My little lad be gay!
For we’re going back
To our own Tarzana Ranch
To our own Tarzana Ranch far away"For the return ride Ed gave the boys and Joan free rein to race ahead and lead the way through more obscure trails. During one of their many camping excursions Ed had created a unique "doodad" symbol for each of the male members of the Burroughs clan. Our advance party made extensive use of these markings which they left in the dirt to give us direction at forks or where the trails became obscure. Noting the resemblance to Chinese writing characters, Sue-On was inspired to design and scratch our own symbols in the dirt during one of our dismounts.The ride back was uneventful other than the episode where I fought a losing battle with a cactus patch. A low overhanging branch had knocked off my hat and in my attempt to dismount, my ever-stiffening muscles, combined with my unfamiliarity with the stirrup, caused me to stumble into a hostile horde of cacti that had leapt out of nowhere. My equestrian faux pas was made even more embarrassing by the resulting side-splitting laughter of the kids. . . and the fact that Ed couldn't resist recording my predicament with his camera. After a painful extrication, I retrieved my hat and returned to the saddle. I then spent the remainder of our excursion pulling thorns out of sensitive places.
Not feeling totally unsympathetic to my discomfort and wounded dignity, Ed shared an embarrassing anecdote about himself. During his morning rides he usually wore a Colt .45 automatic pistol -- a carry over from his days as an officer in the Illinois Reserve Militia. One morning, while riding his favourite horse, The Colonel, he came upon a rattler crossing the trail. Ed took aim, the horse spooked and shied to one side, Ed moved his right hand to join his left on the reins and the gun went off by the horse's ears. The Colonel went down as if hit by a sledge hammer and Ed, thinking he had killed the horse, rolled clear. Colonel scrambled to his feet and ran home. Ed had to walk a couple miles home -- an embarrassing indignity for an old cowhand and ex-cavalryman.
Our return to the main rancho farm yard was announced by the barking of Tarzan, the Airdale Terrier accompanied by the rest of the canine pack -- Don, Jack and Lobo -- as they ran down from the house to greet us. Following this we could hear an odd sequence of chimes from the front doorbell on the other side of the house. A short time later I noticed Hulda bringing a tray of cold drinks out to the patio.
On our way across to the stable I was baffled as to the purpose of a large cage and shed that displayed a handpainted sign reading, "Tarzana Zoo." There wasn't an animal in sight. Ed, amused by my bewilderment, sent Jack into the shed to "bring out the beasts." The lad returned with a photograph of Hully and Pete, the ranch Pig Foreman, playing with two lion cubs in the "Zoo.""You're probably wondering why the zoo is so quiet. We visited the Son of Tarzan set quite often last year and the kids were fascinated with the wild animals on the set. After the film company wrapped up shooting the serial, the producer presented them with a Christmas gift of two lion cubs and a pair of monkeys. That's when we built these cages. We were all quite excited . . . for a few weeks . . . until we realized just how much maintenance the menagerie required . . . and how big and dangerous they were getting. A real zoo in the city took them off our hands . . . of course we had mixed emotions over the decision but I think everyone was quite relieved. And you can see that there is no shortage of animals for the youngsters to play with. They make the rounds each day, pestering my chickens and prize livestock."
We were impressed with the apparent efficiency of the farming operation . . . and the cleanliness of it all. Every piece of modern farming equipment was parked in an orderly fashion, the barns and outhouses were clean and well-cared for, the grounds teemed with quality livestock, and the Burroughs dream of creating a self-sufficient ranch seemed to be within reach. Ed, the gentleman farmer, obviously had spared no expense to create a model farm with a large, dependable support staff.
After turning our horses over to the groomsmen we climbed the steps to the patio, where we discussed our plans for the afternoon over cool drinks. Ed had planned a trip to the city -- their regular Saturday afternoon outing. He was quite involved in the new Tarzan movie and, of course, Emma never missed a chance to do some shopping and to see the latest shows.We were about to leave for our rooms to freshen up and have a nap before lunch when young Jack pleaded: "But Papa! You promised that you would try out Hully's new coaster." Temperatures were climbing into the 90s but Papa was still going strong. He squeezed into the latest creation from the Burroughs workshop, sort of a soapbox racer, and the two boys hit full stride pushing the contraption out to the driveway. They obviously had plans to launch the fearless aeronaut into the hazardous nether regions beyond the Great Ballroom. Not to be outdone, Joan talked her mom into joining her down at the riding ring where she was about to put the new pacing horse through its paces. The three travellers limped into the welcoming coolness of the house.
A short time later the signal bell from the front door sounded again with yet a different combination of tolls. Since we assumed that it was the 12 noon dinner signal, we made our way to the dining room. The morning's fresh air and activity had honed our palates and appetites to a state of voraciousness. Hulda and her staff turned out another memorable meal, the delights of which were savoured with great gusto by the morning riders: pitchers of ice-cold milk, hot bread, churned butter, fresh vegetables, roast chicken, and bread pudding with cream -- everything produced by Tarzana Ranch.
After our mid-day repast we retired to the living room to watch the family pile onto the sofa where the elder Burroughses encouraged their three children to share and show off their school work accomplishments. Listening in on them from across the room we got the impression that they all were especially interested in show business, acting, writing, geography, nature, art and photography. One chime from the grandfather's clock was the signal for everyone to rise and make their way to the garage to look over the fleet of shiny new Packards.
Ed moved some business documents from his roadster to the touring car and invited us to ride with him. A strange foreboding came over me and for some reason our party all decided to travel in our own vehicle. Since our arrival Ed had looked upon our motor car with curiosity and ill-concealed envy. He couldn't believe it was a Packard since he considered himself somewhat of an expert on all the latest models and he had never seen one such as ours. He agreed that there were too many in our party for one car so he took time to give me a few pointers on driving in Los Angele traffic. He even lent me his favourite riding hat for the trip. Within minutes we were winding down the driveway on our way over to the State Highway.
Our first stop was at a brick garage along Ventura where Ed had promised to get together with the Tarzana baseball team for a photo. The 11-member team was already assembled and dressed in their new uniforms when we arrived. They met their sponsor with a hearty greeting and then they all posed for the cameraman in front of the double wood doors of the garage. It was starting to become obvious that the generosity of the Tarzan creator was well known and appreciated throughout the valley. After the shoot Ed unpacked his own camera and did a bit of shop talk with the professional photographer before we carried on with our journey.
The drive along the State Highway into Los Angeles was a scenic one -- along a tree-lined, smooth roadway, flanked by sunlit orange groves and irrigated crops of many colours. Traffic picked up considerably as we neared the city and it was evident that the city was starting to sprawl in all directions. When the Bel-Air area came into view, Ed mentioned that Emma had been pestering him to build a townhouse in this new development.
Ed and the family made a point of often visiting the film set whenever a Tarzan film was in production. Last year, during the filming of The Son of Tarzan, one of the visits proved to offer more excitement than they had bargained for. A lion escaped from a pen and menaced Ed and Joan who were in its path. Ed, taking a cue from his fictional heroes, had moved in front of his terrified daughter and they both stood stock still until the lion moved off and came under the control of the animal trainer.
The current production was being filmed on the National Films lot at Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street. They were making a serial, The Adventures of Tarzan, starring Elmo Lincoln, the original film Tarzan. Ed had mentioned privately that he was very disappointed that Kamuela Searle, the handsome actor who had played Korak for a rival film company, hadn't been hired for the role. But apparently Elmo's Tarzan of the Apes and The Romance of Tarzan had been such hits that many film fans had trouble accepting another actor in the role. There was also a rumour going around town that Searle had been seriously injured by an elephant during the filming of one of the scenes in "Son." Today, Hulbert, the persistent photographer, insisted that his parents pose with the actors during a break in filming. He also took some great shots of the wild animals on the set.
Our next stop was the La Brea Tar Pits. Ed had spent quite a bit of time there last year during the writing of Tarzan the Terrible. He had taken Jack with him on one of his visits and ever since, the eight-year-old had been pasting sketches of sabre tooth tigers and prehistoric animals all over the house. We were greeted warmly by Mr. McWhorter, the curator and a long-time friend and supporter of Ed Burroughs.
Joan, the budding thespian, had begged her father for weeks to attend the all-star vaudeville show in the newly opened Loew's State Theatre. On our way over to this luxurious monument to show business, Ed took us on a tour past the many new theatres that were either being built or had opened recently.
Thanks to Hollywood and the burgeoning film industry, Los Angeles was experiencing an unbelievable building boom in entertainment palaces. The ones I remember seeing were Sid Grauman's Million Dollar Theatre, the Cathay Circle Theatre, the Follies, the Laughlin, the Lyceum, the Grand Opera House, Palace Grand, Shrine Auditorium, and Quinn's Rialto. We had time for a snack before the start of the matinee performance so we stopped at the popular Van Der Kamp's Restaurant. The kids loved the high spin-around stools that lined the serving counters, but Emma wasn't too impressed.
Just the experience of viewing the palatial decor of Loew's State Theatre was worth the price of admission. Joan was in awe of the silks, the velvets, the lights, the carpets, the gilded carvings, and the overall splendor. When the curtain rose on the entertainers she was totally lost in her fantasy world. Ed and Danton were much more excited about the gargantuan, wall-sized, floor-to-ceiling, coming-attraction display in the lobby: a vivid full-colour poster for the new Adventures of Tarzan serial.
It was late afternoon when we left the theatre but there was one more visit on the agenda. Emma had a passion for shopping in the downtown clothing stores. Today she was determined to take Sue-On on a tour of her favourite haunts. She hadn't bought a hat for over a year. The sadness surrounding the last quest for hats lingered still. She had treated Ed's mom, Mary Evaline, to a plumed delight during her stay at the ranch. Mother adored the gift but the dear lady never had a chance to wear it . . . she died a few days later. Ed had mentioned that he was thinking of building an aviary on the ranch in her memory.
Fearing that this shopping spree would last till the merchants locked their doors, men and children returned to the cars to wait for the fury to run its course. We were pleasantly surprised when the ladies returned to the waiting cars in record time -- Emma wearing an elaborately plumed headdress and Sue-On wearing a new necklace and carrying a hat box -- presumably with a similar monstrosity. Our hopes were crushed when they left the hatbox and returned to resume the hunt. Ed, a veteran of Emma's shopping marathons had come prepared. He rummaged through a large leather brief case he had stowed in the rear compartment and handed me a well-thumbed book entitled "In Remembrance of the World's Columbian Exposition." Scattered throughout this large volume were attached photographs and stereoviews along with handwritten journal notes. Apparently this was special memorabilia he had saved from his visit to the Fair during the summer of '93. I settled back into the soft driver's seat to leaf through the pages while Ed talked about this event that apparently had been one of the great experiences of his life. It had been a long day. The last thing I remember was dimly seeing Danton take Emma's new hat out of the box and emitting a resigned low whistle. Then I must have dozed off.
"Bill! Time to go! John's waiting for the car. It's already 8 o'clock. We gotta be back in time." Danton was shaking me by the shoulder.
I looked around in a daze, trying to shake out the cobwebs. To our right was a wrought iron fence and a jungle of trees and shrubs, behind which lay a 1920s bungalow style building -- the offices of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 18354 Ventura Boulevard. Burroughs had built this building in 1927. Today, it stands as a time capsule from the past, surrounded by a maze of 21st century asphalt, concrete, traffic, lights, high rise buildings and strip malls.
Things were starting to come back to me. We had promised to return the vintage '20s Packard to our friend John Westervelt before dark. Finally shaken out of my daydream and gaining full control of my senses, I pushed down on the clutch pedal and struggled to grind the obstinate gearshift into first gear. As we rumbled out into the speeding four-lane traffic of Ventura Boulevard I glanced down quizzically at a pair of hats on the seat beside me: one an old style cavalry type and the other a ladies hat with plumes that were high fashion back in the '20s. I was even more startled at what lay on my lap -- a leather-bound book with an elaborate cover. Inside were many old photographs and journal entries under the title: "My Remarkable Summer of '93 -- The Chicago World's Fair and Columbian Exposition"
"Yes. . . back in time . . ."
Bill Hillman's ERB Cosmos
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
Danton Burroughs Family Archive
Burroughs Family Letters from the John Coleman Burroughs Archive
The Girl From Hollywood by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Big Swingers by Robert W. Fenton
Tarzan Forever by John Taliaferro
Interviews with Danton Burroughs and Burroughs Family Members
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
McWhorter Memorial ERB Library ~ University of Louisville
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges
Burroughs Bulletins (Second Series) edited by George McWhorter
Burroughs Bulletin (First Series) edited by Vern Coriell
ERB-dom Fanzine edited by Camille Cazedessus
ERBANIA Fanzine edited by Pete Ogden
ERB and The Silver Screen: Volumes I & IV by Jerry Schneider
Los Angeles Public Library On The Web
Ed's Inner Sanctum
Mansion & Ballroom
Remarkable Summer of '93
A Docu-Novel by Bill Hillman
Boys from Orchard Lake
Strange New Worlds
The White City
The Great Wheel
The World of Tomorrow
Ed and His Electric Flyer
Complete All-Text Version
People ~ Plots ~ Places
Web Refs & Appendix
Memories from the
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