In 1958, a fire destroyed the old Cockatoo. Then, the razing of the entire building finally occurred in 2005. Imagine seeing the Cockatoo Inn destroyed twice. That’s exactly what former Hawthorne resident Jim Dally saw as a child, then later as an adult. According to John Baker’s Cougartown site, Jim stated in 2005:

Recently, I parked on Acacia Avenue near the Cockatoo Inn that is being torn down. I remembered when I helped out with the valet parking service and stood where it’s no longer safe to stand. But, many, many years before this huge brick edifice was constructed, the original Lococo’s Inn was under scrutiny. Or so it seemed from all the talk about it that I heard as a kid.

One morning in 1958

One foggy morning ‘the news’ was that Lococo’s had burned. Well, being what? Seven or eight years old I mounted our family’s shared bicycle and rode over to the site. It was foggy–couldn’t see more than 25 feet (but, I could hear many cars). I came around the place and could smell the soot. I rode to Imperial and then towards the ruins. As I approached, I could hear two men talking. I got close enough to see that it was Lococo himself and possibly his brother standing at the electrical box on the side of the building. As soon as they saw me… ‘silence.’ Since I had heard that these guys were ‘mobsters’ I didn’t stay and talk with them. Most people thought that the fire was deliberately set. After seeing the guys in that setting, I did too. I hope the Lynn Brooks’ home comes out OK after the tear down is complete (moneywise).

This was simply one person’s recollection. Recently, however, we DID find evidence of two men standing in the rubble that morning. It may not have been what Jim thought. Seeing the Cockatoo Inn destroyed twice is not something most who are still living have experienced. Here’s an image Jim submitted of the building in 2005:

Sadness for sure. When places that brought us happiness or stood as pillars in our communities fall, a little piece of us falls, too. Thanks to Jim for his story.

Admin note: This memory came from the late John Baker’s Cougartown site. John was an alumnus of Hawthorne High and did a masterful job of capturing and preserving memories of Hawthorne back in the day. As a reminder, does not edit (for meaning) nor endorse the content of these posts.

Do you have a photograph or memory of the visiting the Cockatoo Inn that you’d like to share? Send it to!