About Merrit Huntley Adamson
Birth: Nov. 2, 1888 Death: Jan. 7, 1949
Dairy Farmer. Adamson was a lawyer who went to work as Superintendant of the 13,000 acre Malibu Ranch in Los Angeles County. He met and married the owner's daughter, Rhoda Rindge, in 1915. He established the Adohr ("Rhoda" spelled backward) Stock Farms, which became the world's largest milk producer. He and his wife built the Adamson House in 1928, now a Museum owned by the state of california. (bio by: Scott Groll)
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) Glendale Los Angeles County California, USA Plot: Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Ascension, Crypt 10291Merritt Huntley Adamson came late to the Malibu scene. He was descended from pioneers who came west in Conestoga wagons, to Oregon. The family moved to the Arizona Territory, where his father, John Quincy Adamson, was elected to the Arizona Territorial Legislature. Merritt was born in 1888, in Los Angeles. As a young man, he took charge of the family sheep ranch in Arizona, after his father died. There, he became a "blood brother" of the Havasupai tribe, and in college was nicknamed "Great Chief White Smoke," or simply "Smoke Adamson." At the University of Southern California, he became captain of the last rugby football team, there. He graduated from USC Law School, passed the bar, and went to work as Superintendent of the Malibu Ranch. There he met and married Rhoda Agatha Rindge, May K. Rindge's daughter, in 1915. Merritt Adamson's forte was farming, and he established the Adohr ("Rhoda" spelled backward) Stock Farms, which became a very large milk producer--possibly the world's largest. Adamson achieved many business and civic honors--too many to relate. He died in 1949, and Rhoda took over the stock farm, other family investments, and the Adamson House.
The house, designed by a well-known architect, Stiles Clements, was constructed beginning in 1929, occupied by the Adamsons during the summer, beginning in 1930, and lived in all year beginning in 1937. One special feature of the two-story house is the elevator, which was installed specifically for Mrs. Adamson in 1958. She died in 1962.
In 1968, the State purchased the property. In 1971, the president of Pepperdine University moved in, as part of an effort to maintain the house until it could be properly restored and shown to the public as an historic unit. The Malibu Lagoon Interpretive Association was formed in 1981, and they carefully planned for the opening of the house as a museum, in 1983.