Harry C. Fryman rose to prominence through his work in the Los Angeles hospitality industry, first as a bellboy, then as hotel manager, and finally as owner of Hotel Hayward. The Harry Fryman Collection documents Hotel Hayward through press clippings, photographs, promotional ephemera, and a small number of financial documents. Correspondence, menus, and promotional ephemera document his time before Hotel Hayward at the Echo Mountain House at Mount Lowe, Palms Hotel, Hotel Vincent, and Brighton Beach Hotel at Terminal Island.
Parallel to his success at Hotel Hayward, Fryman managed and invested in a number of real estate ventures in the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Fryman Ranch, located in the area near Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive, was often rented as a location for silent films. Photographs that depict filming in the Fryman Ranch area include production stills for The Tower of Lies (1925), Annie Laurie (1927), The Enemy (1927), The Cossacks (1928), and an unidentified western. Actors include Bill Haines, Lillian Gish, Ralph Forbes, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, Nils Asther, and Lon Chaney.
In the late 1930s Fryman began developing land in the area of Fryman Ranch, subdividing the property into Briarcliff Manor and Briarcrest. Beverly Crest Realty Company managed the subdivision comprised of land formerly owned by the Lankershim Ranch, Land and Water Company, and originally part of the Spanish Rancho Mission de San Fernando. Newspaper advertisements billed Briarcliff Manor as the “Beverly Hills of the Valley,” and a number of prominent film production and local community members purchased lots and built homes in the real estate development. Photographs and newspaper advertisements document the development of Briarcliff real estate.
Collection materials were removed from a scrapbook assembled posthumously, and the loose original thematic and chronological order was echoed in this arrangement.