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Maine Avenue, Lakeside

It's the perfect Wild West street scene. Movie producers have been using it as a location ever since May 25, 1911, when Pauline Bush starred in Allan Dwan's one-reeler, A Daughter of Liberty. The TV series Renegade was shot here. It just looks the part. Okay. Cross that with "Victorian mountain spa town." With its luxurious 80-room Lakeside Inn (circa 1887), a Hotel Del look-alike, the town was also known as "the Coronado of the Hills." The Inn has long since burned down, but the rest has stayed much as it was. The 1896 Presbyterian church, the 1900 Neal house, the 1905 Ross house, the 1911 Town Hall (now the Manhattan Playhouse), the 1912 women's club (now a coffeehouse), the 1919 Texaco gas station, the verandas over the sidewalks, all looking small beneath a backdrop of towering granite mountains. Oddly, the arrival of the San Vicente Freeway (67) has allowed Maine Avenue to remain as quiet as it must have been 93 years ago -- maybe quieter: On April 21, 1907, just a block over, Barney Oldfield roared his "Green Dragon" racer one mile around Lakeside's lake in 51.8 seconds, smashing the mile-a-minute barrier. They made a movie of that too, in 1913. On location, of course.

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