Author Archive


Mystery History No. 24

Mystery History No. 24

Where are we? What’s happening? In this 1883 photo, four women wait their turn in front of the Ferndale Gallery, Pasadena’s first photo studio (note the photographs on display). The business had been established the year before by George Weingarth, Pasadena’s first professional photographer. He was among the settlers who founded the Indiana Colony. In addition to portraits, [...]

Mystery History No. 23

Mystery History No. 23

Where are we? What’s happening? In the photo to the right, with throngs of people watching, a Pyrex telescope disc 200 inches in diameter, weighing 20 tons and made by the Corning Glass Company, is offloaded from a rail car in Lamanda Park on April 10, 1936, so it can be transported by truck to the optical lab at Caltech. Because the disc was so [...]

Ann Erdman’s Mystery History No. 22

Ann Erdman’s Mystery History No. 22

Where are we?   And what’s happening?   In this circa 1957 photo, actors take a break from their classes at the Pasadena Playhouse.     It all began when Gilmore Brown had a vision for a community theater in 1917. The Community Players offered performances in facilities throughout Pasadena. In 1924, the cornerstone was [...]

FDR: Speech, Worship, Want, Fear

FDR: Speech, Worship, Want, Fear

“Freedom from Want” is one in a series of Four Freedoms oil paintings created in 1943 by Norman Rockwell and made famous when they were printed in the Saturday Evening Post that same year. He was inspired to paint the series based on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s State of the Union speech on Jan. 6, 1941, one month after the U.S. entered [...]

Mystery History No. 21

Mystery History No. 21

Where are we? And what’s happening? These photos were shot in July 1978. The photo to the right shows boxing trainer and coach Canto Robledo very animated as his gives advice and (below) shouts instructions to his fighter in the ring.           Canto Robledo was born in 1913 in Tyron, New [...]

History Mystery No. 20

History Mystery No. 20

What’s this and where are we? In this undated photo, presumably shot in the late 1890s, a group on an outing stops at Devil’s Gate. There’s not much more than a puddle of water in the photo. Here’s the same location with much more water, probably shot in winter or spring.     Benjamin Eaton [...]

Mystery History No. 19

Mystery History No. 19

Where are we and what’s happening? In the photo to the right, an unidentified man waves farewell just before dawn on March 23, 1942, after being processed at the Rose Bowl Stadium for residency at the Manzanar internment camp. The stadium, Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia and the Fairplex in Pomona were among the processing centers and [...]

Mystery History No. 18

Mystery History No. 18

What’s happening here? With apologies for the morbidity, in the photo to the right, City of Pasadena public safety personnel look over the rubble left behind after a grandstand collapsed during the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 1926. Eight spectators died. It was a terrible tragedy that, thanks to resulting regulations for careful construction and inspection [...]

City Hall Historic Photos

City Hall Historic Photos

I think this must have been shot from the top of All Saints. That’s the St. Andrew’s Church tower in the background, mid-right. I’m not sure what the church is on the far right. Maybe Pasadena Congregational at the southeast corner of Los Robles and Walnut? Anybody have a better guess? No hard hats, no [...]

Mystery History No. 17: Apropos This Week

Mystery History No. 17: Apropos This Week

In this photo, ground is being excavated in 1923 for a new swimming pool — called a “plunge” — at Brookside Park to replace the original. In 1912 the City of Pasadena purchased 30 acres of land known as Sheep Corral Springs for the development of a park in the Arroyo Seco. For many years [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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