History Buff


Mystery History No. 35

Mystery History No. 35

Where are we? What’s happening? In this Aug. 28, 1966, photo, federal agents from the Internal Revenue Service attach a special lock system to the door of the Pasadena Playhouse office due to nonpayment of $31,000 in taxes. Locks were also placed on the doors of the main theater and all attached structures. The Pasadena […]

The Offices of Adalbert Fenyes, M. D.

The Offices of Adalbert Fenyes, M. D.

Near the turn of the twentieth century, on April 26, 1902, Adalbert Fenyes leased from his wife Eva Scott Fenyes the four rooms on the second floor of the Wetherby & Kayser building in Pasadena, California. He agreed to pay $30 a month for rent beginning October 1st, plus “all water and artificial light used […]

Unexpected Roots

Unexpected Roots

Roberta Martínez shares intimate stories of Pasadena’s earliest days through the romance, marriage, and works of Arturo Bandini and Helen Elliott Bandini; legacies of Old California and women’s identity and roles; and connections with the Valley Hunt Club, Greene and Greene, Charles Lummis, and even the Manhattan Project. Helen Elliott came to California from Indianapolis […]

Civil War Medicine

Civil War Medicine

As a result of massive casualties during the American Civil War, a sea of hospital tents sprung up around Washington D.C. Walt Whitman called them “grim clusters.” Grim might be too tame of a word. At the start of the war in 1861, the “ways” of medicine was just coming out of what’s called the […]

Mystery History No. 34

Mystery History No. 34

Where are we? What’s happening? In this 1886 photo, right, All Saints Church is decorated for Christmas services.     Here’s a more modern look at All Saints at Christmas:     All Saints was founded in 1883, the first Episcopal parish in Pasadena. Members who had begun meeting in a private home three years […]

How a Former Isolation Hospital Became a Public Library

How a Former Isolation Hospital Became a Public Library

You can read about infectious diseases at the Allendale Branch Library, but you won’t contract one – I promise. Still, it’s a little unnerving that Pasadena’s smallest branch library was once used as a contagion ward for deadly illnesses, including smallpox. Built in 1923, the building began life as the Pasadena Isolation Hospital, became a research […]

When Johnny Came Marching West

When Johnny Came Marching West

On April 9, 2015 local churches, schools and public buildings can partake in a national observance. A nationwide commemoration of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Confederate Army—150 years ago—will be observed on Thursday.¹ Locations with bells will ring them for four minutes beginning at 3:15 p.m. EST—one minute for each year of the […]

Moments in Time

Moments in Time

Last week I went to see Pasadena Museum of History’s companion exhibits Pasadena Pursuit and Mystery History for the third time. Fascinating historical facts, artifacts, and photographs fill two galleries. Fun, informative, and interactive! The curator of Pasadena Pursuit, Dan McLaughlin, set up a kiosk in the North Gallery where you can search Pasadena Public […]

Courage and Cowardice in San Marino

Courage and Cowardice in San Marino

  It was such a frightful torrent of abuse that it made her physically ill – sick enough that she had to retire from her job as a math teacher at Huntington Middle School in San Marino. “Filthy Jew – drop dead,” threatened one anonymous late-night phone call. “Jew, get out of San Marino,” read […]

Historic Interviews

Historic Interviews

He owned a barber shop. She was the first Black manicurist to work on white customers. He is Mr. LeRoy Mims. She is Mrs. Leona Lee. Both are Pasadena residents. The Pasadena Museum of History interviewed over two dozen African-American residents back in 1984. Not only did these interviews provide the content for the documentary […]

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