Burbank's Oldest Alumni


By Joyce Rudolph

(From an unknown 1978 newspaper)



Back in 1911, Amy Goodrich knew everybody in Burbank. That was quite easy since there were only 12 ranches here at that time.


A graduate from Burbank High School's class of 1911, Amy will be the grand marshal of the 70th Anniversary Celebration Parade this Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.


Still quite spry, Amy is looking forward to the ride down Glenoaks Boulevard where she'll be waving and "blowing kisses to all the city," she said.


"It's quite an honor to lead the parade," she said, "I'm all excited! Everyone here at the Pacific Manor says 'Here comes the queen' when I walk downstairs and I almost feel like one."


Born in Canton, Ohio, Amy came to Burbank with her parents, Jens C. and Amanda Oestergard in 1896.


"We came in a one-horse drawn spring wagon and the Los Angeles River was so high at that time it came up over the hub caps of the buggy," she said.


The Oestergard family lived on a ranch with 40 acres which spread from Providencia to Alameda and from Bel Aire, which was then 10th street, to the hill area. They also owned 80 acres of the hill area.


"Since there were no boys in the family," said Amy, "My father got me out in the fields to help pick watermelons, tomatoes, cantaloupes and summer squash."


The Burbank pioneer's sister Mary was born in their ranch home and Dr. Miller, the village doctor, delivered her. A 1917 BHS grad, Mary and her husband Alvah G. Hall now live in Laguna Hills Rossmore Leisure World.


Amy met her late husband Amel Goodrich during her high school years and they were engaged six months before she graduated. She and Amel were married on .June 20, 1911.


He was managing and renting a 54 acre ranch, where Sonora and Flower streets are now, and that's where the newlyweds spent the first eight months of their married life. In February 1912, the couple moved to a new ranch house on Olive Ave., (across from what is now the Joslyn Adult Center).


Amy remembers that the main Burbank Block or commercial section started at Olive Avenue and branched to Orange Grove then down San Fernando. There was a mercantile store that sold items from cheese to horsecollars. Next to that was a bakery, the first in Burbank, and a butcher shop. There was also a dry goods shop that sold items like material or cloth.


The couple moved two more times before owning five rentals on Glenoaks Boulevard in 1963.


"It was so busy and noisy there, we sold it and bought a home on Fairmount Road." she said.


There Amy landscaped the yard and had a rose garden containing 56 different kinds of roses. The couple lived there until 1971.


"After my husband took so sick, we moved into an apartment," she said, "After my husband's death I moved to a tri-plex on Fifth Street. I came to Pacific Manor in July of 1975 and have lived here since."


The long-time Burbank resident is still active in local clubs including the "Fun After Forty" dancing club at the Joslyn Center, The Fleur De Lis club, (66 year member) and the recently established Burbank Historical Society.


She is also a life member of the Burbank Woman's Club and a long-time member of the First Methodist Church which she has attended since she was five years old.


"I remember when the church was on San Fernando and Angeleno," she said, "For a Halloween trick, the school boys used to remove parts from the resident's buggies, climb up, I donít know how, on the copola and hang the buggie parts from it. When the people would get up the next morning, they'd have to go all over town looking for their buggie parts."


The active resident used to work at many area companies including the Pacific Telephone Company, the Gas Company, as a PBX operator, .and from 1942-47, she worked as an engineer part lister for Lockheed Aircraft.


From the early 1920's to 1938, her husband worked as a steam engineer for the Burbank Cannery.


Among her travels, Amy remembers the boat tour she and Amel took to Alaska for their 25th wedding anniversary in 1936. In 1953 they traveled to Canada and Lake Louise then came back to the United States and Montana.


Another of her favorite trips was to Europe during 1954. They visited 13 countries including her father's farm-home town, Vielberg, Jutlan, in Denmark. He was born there in 1856. He left there when he was 19 years old and arrived in the United States with 50 cents in his pocket.


"Which was quite something, since he went ahead and became a landowner of so much land in Burbank," she said.


"Another of my favorite trips was to Hawaii in 1976," she said, "I liked all the flowers and everybody was so happy over there and they treated you like a queen."



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