By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
In the more than 20 years I’ve lived in Los Angeles no visiting friend or relative has reported disappointment in driving excursions I’ve taken them on in the Southland. Nearly all of those impromptu tours have involved destinations such as Hollywood, Malibu and Santa Monica, and areas in and adjacent to Beverly Hills. As I navigate the traffic clogged streets of LA, driving past a former residence of a Hollywood movie star usually satisfies their interests, and I’m happy to oblige. While there is a desire to see more of places like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, or maybe even Sunset Boulevard, I like to make a special stop in the rare occasion the person visiting has a background in chiropractic. What may appear like a noncelebrity stop on the edges of Koreatown is in actuality a historical chiropractic location.
Even richer in history is that the photo above is from a 1953 August edition of a publication put out by the California Chiropractic Association (CCA). That was around the time when the Cleveland family purchased the Ratledge School of Chiropractic, originally founded in 1908, and relocated to Los Angeles in 1911.
It’s more about the journey and discovery rather than the photograph of an address label, so when some chiropractic friend wants me to show them Hollywood, it’s not far off the trail back home to make a detour down Western Avenue and pass by this historic chiropractic address. Freeways in LA are too crowded anyway and those visiting may as well enjoy some culture and lessons in local history, especially when that history includes influentials in chiropractic.
For many chiropractors practicing in the United States, we are not limited to visiting locations in Los Angeles and Davenport, Iowa. There were schools of chiropractic in Cedar Rapids, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Grand Rapids, Wichita, Newark, San Diego, Hamilton Ontario, and many others. For those of you with an itch to know a little bit more about your town’s own chiropractic history, I think it would be neat to find out if there existed any chiropractic colleges near you, some go as far back into the days of the early 1900s.
Even now we have chiropractic histories related to our most modern educational facilities. I recently noticed it was nine years ago this month that Dr. Sid Williams spoke at the dedication of a new chiropractic campus for Life West in Hayward California. Dr. Williams reported being pleased and privileged to be a part of the momentous occasion, which was attended by many chiropractic presidents and other leaders throughout the world of chiropractic. It’s been a year less than a decade and I found I had forgotten the former location of that same institution (it was in San Lorenzo).
I recall chiropractor Herbert Reaver telling us stories of chiropractic history during an ICA conference in the late 1990s. He stressed the importance of remembering where we came from. Consider taking some time out of your busy life to research the history of chiropractic in your community. Maybe there’s a former chiropractic school address located nearby, or perhaps you can find the address of the first chiropractor that set up shop in your town or city.
Lets be thankful and honor those that came before us, and provide motivating stories for those yet to come.
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