Putting the Silver in Silver Lake

silverlake_sign.jpgLos Angeles City Nerd throws down the authority on the proper name for Silver Lake. Folks, it’s TWO WORDS, not one word. May the ghost of Herman Silver smite you otherwise.

People who contract it into one word are clearly newbie hipster gentrifiers who are not to be trusted. As a geography snob, misuses like this are a completely irrational hot button issue with me.

Still unsolved (so far) is the name origin for Silver Dry Lake – the basin just northeast of Baker. I suspect that it’s related to the long defunct Silver King mine, but during the era (1900 – 1940) when the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad was operating there was a small town on the line called Silver Lake. Only a few foundations and a cemetery are left, but on older road maps you still might see a “Silver Lake” listed there.

Dead Car - Silver Dry LakeI had no idea that folks had found meteorites at the desert Silver Lake. Best I was ever able to do was this wreckage of an indeterminate-looking car embedded in the playa.


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One Response to Putting the Silver in Silver Lake

  1. Jody says:

    Almost immediately after moving into my summer sublet in Silver Lake, I checked out the Wikipedia entry for it, which spelled it out as two words and mentioned Herman Silver’s connection to the area. And later, when I saw all the Los Angeles bloggers’ surprised reactions to LA City Nerd’s post, I laughed — c’mon people, don’t you know your own town?

    That said, I’ve spelled it wrong on purpose a couple of times because I saw other people doing it and I thought that writing it the correct way would get me nailed as an LA newbie.

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