Frasher Real Photo Postcard: Hotel Lebec Coffee Shop and Lebec Richfield Service, 1940s.
California, US 99. LEBEC COFFEE SHOP AND SERVICE a good place to stop and relax when Traveling over the Scenic Ridge Route U.S. Hwy. 99 KERN COUNTY CALIFORNIA.
Frasher's Fotos Inc. was Burton Frasher Sr. and his wife, Josephine, who opened a photographic studio in La Verne in 1914 and moved it in 1920 to Pomona. Burton Frasher
traveled the Southwest — including Death Valley, Mt. Whitney and various places in Arizona and New Mexico in the days before good roads —
shooting photographs for real photo postcards, which he sold through various national distributors. The business was active until his death in 1955.
According to Ridge Route
historian Harrison Scott:
The Lebec Hotel was built in 1921 by Thomas O'Brien, a saloon keeper from
Bakersfield, and Cliff Durant, an automobile manufacturer and airplane instructor from Oakland.
The hotel was built to resemble a French chateau. It was a playland for Hollywood executives and
stars in its heyday. Clark Gable and his actress wife Carole Lombard, as well as gangster Benny
"Bugsy" Siegel, frequented the Lebec Hotel.
Shortly after the hotel opened, Durant apparently tired of his investment and sold his interest to Foster
Curry, son of the concessionaire at Yosemite, in 1922. Curry and his wife brought a series of lawsuits against
O'Brien to rescind the sale, alleging that O'Brien
had improperly instituted a foreclosure on Curry's note.
Somehow O'Brien managed to gain control of the hotel as a result of an in-court
settlement with Curry.
Over the years the hotel fell into disrepair. It was officially closed on November 13, 1968
in response to health department charges concerning its
substandard water system and dilapidated condition. The hotel went into receivership and was
acquired by the Tejon Ranch Co., which torched the
hotel and demolished the remains on April 27, 1971, two weeks after acquiring the property.