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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Alvarado Neighbors: 408 B

The front door of Unit 408 faced west and the apartment had three windows with which someone may have witnessed what occurred at William Taylor’s place.
Philip Forve and his bride, Frances Van Tilburg Forve moved into their bungalow right after their wedding in the summer of 1921. Philip grew up in a house at the corner of Westlake and Maryland, which is directly to the south of Alvarado Court. Philip was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and spent his childhood living with his parents, Phillip Sr. and Louise Stegmaier Forve, and his maternal grandfather, Charles Stegmaier. Philip's grandfather Charles, born during 1821 in Germany was the founder of a brewery in Wilkes-Barre bearing his name. The Stegmaier Gold Medal brewery was quite successful that at one point it was one of the largest in Pennsylvania. When Charles died in Los Angeles during the summer of 1906, his estate was estimated to be worth $4 million.
Philip worked as a salesman and later a vice-president of his father, Philip Sr.’s gas and electric supply company on the 2nd floor of the Pettebone Building at 5th and Broadway. Philip married Frances Van Tilburg. The daughter of an oil company president.
Philip assumed the 408 B apartment after Fred Fischback, his wife Ethel and mother-in-law Mary Lindsey, left for Hobart Avenue. Fred was a Romanian born movie director who was involved in the huge star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle/Virginia Rappe case. Fatty was tried three times for the murder of model and actress Virginia with the first two trials finishing in hung juries. The third trial resulted in Fatty’s acquittal with a written apology from the jury. The case was quite sensational and Fatty’s career was effectively destroyed by the sensationalism brought forth by the effort of newspapers to crucify him in the press. Virginia Rappe was a troubled actress who had been invited to the party in San Francisco, where she died, by Fred Fischback, at the suggestion of Ira Fortlouis, a dress salesman.
Fred Fischback married Ethel Lindsay in 1919. Ethel started her career as an actress in 1915 with the stage name of Ethel Lynn(e). She was born in Texas and remained by Fred’s side until his death in 1925.

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