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LAistory: Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin

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The name "Baldwin" shows up here and there around the City and County of Los Angeles, like in Baldwin Hills, or on Baldwin Avenue, which runs from El Monte through Temple City and into the foothills in Sierra Madre. Well the Baldwin in question is Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin, a man who made a name for himself as a real estate maven and as a bit of a wild card in the late 1800s and early years of the 20th Century. His name--and some, say his ghost--still lingers, as do some of the places he built over a century ago.

LAist first had a glimpse of Baldwin when we headed down to Baldwin Hills for our Neighborhood Project, where our background info on the man kept us in the stables: "Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin was a legendary horse breeder and racer whose steeds captured just about every major racing title in existence during his late 1800s heyday [and] was one of the first breeders in America to stress speed over stamina in his horses, a trait that is now standard in California thoroughbreds." But Baldwin's love of horses, although legendary, is just a part of his bio.