About The Los Angeles Corral of Westerners
In the mid-1920s, Charles and Nancy Russell decided to build a final home in Pasadena, California, far from the arctic winters of Montana. It is a pueblo-style home and they named it “Trails End”. Unfortunately, Charlie died a month or so before its completion. Nancy moved into the home in 1927, and a few years later sold it to oil executive and Russell art collector Homer E. Britzman.
Britzman was a devotee of the history of the Old West. After becoming acquainted with activities of a new organization called “The Westerners” which had been founded in Chicago in 1944, he felt we needed such a group here in the southland. Thus it was that he called together a group of men with similar interests to meet on December 3, 1946, at “Trails End” to form a Westerners group here. “Trails End” became “Trails Beginning” for the Los Angeles Corral whose longevity has continued to this day.
On December 19, 1946, the Corral’s first formal meeting was held at the Redwood House restaurant (now gone). Homer Britzman was elected founding Sheriff. A number of well-known names were on that first roster including Glen Dawson, our only remaining founding member. It was a noteworthy group and obviously for us, an auspicious beginning. The legacy they left has brought knowledge, enjoyment, camaraderie and many other positive benefits to the hundreds of people who have followed.
Over the years we have published 22 Brand Books, close to 250 Branding Irons, numerous special publications and won many awards. We have given money to worthy scholars and students. We have enjoyed countless speakers at our meetings and have learned much from them. We have celebrated with Fandangos and many a Rendezvous. In the mid-1990’s, we expanded our basis for membership. Women have brought a new perspective and vitality to the Corral. At the same time, they have been willing workers and are imbued with the same interests and aims as the men. The Corral continues to grow in dimension with the addition of each new member.
In 1986, we honored our 40th Anniversary with a banquet at the Huntington Library. In 1996, our 50th year was observed at the California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica. Not to be outdone, the Corral celebrated our glorious 60th Anniversary with a luncheon at the Pasadena University Club. There will be many more anniversaries and celebrations for this outstanding organization dedicated to the Old West.
Written by Past Sheriff Jerry Selmer for the 60th Anniversary