Rene Blondeau

1837 - 1902

The late Rene Blondeau, pioneer Hollywood resident, who was born in Normandy, France, on May 3, 1838, and passed away in Hollywood, on January 20, 1903, had a most interesting and colorful career on three continents. He was the son of Rene and Louise de Favrol Blondeau. His father was an ardent Republican who was exiled from Paris to Normandy during the Empire regime in France, and remained there until his death.

After completing his education at a Jesuit institution in his native country, Rene Blondeau became an exporter of perfumes, soaps, art goods, and other commodities to European countries, and to North and South America. During this period of his life, he traveled extensively in foreign countries, promoting the sale of his goods. He continued his headquarters in Paris until 1868, when he came to New Orleansand entered business there, and was made a naturalized American citizen in that city. Six years later, he moved to San Francisco, continuing in business there two years, and then spent the next fifteen years in South and Central America, building up a comfortable fortune in the handling of perfumeries, art goods, and allied lines.

In 1889, Mr. Blondeau retired from active mercantile business, and settled in what is now Hollywood, purchasing seven acres of land on the corner of the present Gower Street and Sunset Boulevard. Here, for a time, he engaged in general farming. This property subsequently became the Blondeau tract, which was subdivided and almost completely sold out by his widow and daughter in 1906. During his residence in Hollywood, Mr. Blondeau erected the Cahuenga House, the tavern which later was the first headquarters of the Christie Film Company. He was an ardent Democrat, and was the organizer of the first Democratic Club in Hollywood. He had a particularly keen mind, which was well exemplified by carefully thought out and interesting contributions which he frequently made to the Los Angeles and even New York French language newspapers.

Mr. Blondeau married at New Orleans on May 1, 1870, Marie Lousteau, who was born on December 25, 1852, and resided in Hollywood until her death at an advanced age. Mrs. Blondeau was one of Hollywood’s most highly esteemed matrons, known for her kind and charitable qualities. Well into her seventies, she took an active interest in the affairs of the day, and was known as an unusually capable business woman.

Mr. and Mrs. Blondeau had one child: Louise B. Crum, the widow of Dr. Robert L. Crum, who was a prominent physician and surgeon in Los Angeles. Mrs. Crum, a 1906 graduate of Hollywood High School, had four children: Mary Louise, Renee, Robert, and James, all born in the city of Los Angeles. 


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