History Buff


Mystery History No. 32

Mystery History No. 32

Where are we? What’s happening? In the 1923 photo, right, a couple looks at a brand new car that would be raffled off for 50¢ a ticket during a Pasadena Elks Lodge carnival at the then-vast Tournament Park. I don’t know the make or model of the car. Anybody? The carnival included rides, a sideshow… [...]

A Class Act

A Class Act

  Back in June, I wrote an article for the Pasadena Weekly on my great-uncle, Helmuth Hormann, who taught theater history at the famous Pasadena Playhouse drama school from 1949 until 1967. Helmuth, or “Tutti,” as my family knew him, died in 2001, at the age of 92, leaving behind a life of deep creativity, [...]

75 South Grand Avenue: 1896-1949

75 South Grand Avenue: 1896-1949

Before they married, Eva Scott Muse and Adalbert Fenyes had decided to settle down in California. If there were choices at the time, their list might have included: Egypt, where they had met and where the Doctor practiced medicine at the Helouan Hotel near Cairo; Hungary, the Doctor’s birthplace and where the couple would marry; [...]

Mystery History No. 31

Mystery History No. 31

Where are we? And what’s happening? I stumped everyone this week. See what happens when you don’t see an exhibition at Pasadena Museum of History?I shot this photo straight from the wall in the north gallery, where the exhibition Crown City Jubilee celebrated institutions in Pasadena’s history. One section was about schools and included the photo below. The [...]

Scenes of the Region

Scenes of the Region

This isn’t a “proper” history article. Rather we’re advocating an event that illustrates representations of our immediate, current world, which are recordings for history. The Pasadena Museum of History invited hundreds of representational artists to create works “featuring scenes of the greater San Gabriel Valley.” The creative results of this invitation may be viewed at the [...]

Limited Use, Discard Thereafter: Finding Pasadena’s Past in Old Receipts

Limited Use, Discard Thereafter: Finding Pasadena’s Past in Old Receipts

Rarely do I save grocery receipts. As soon as possible, I shred and recycle those slick strips of white thermal paper that some magical tabulating machine generated with a click and a whir and a generic, “ Thank you. Please visit our website at….” These seemingly bland records of purchase are nonetheless bits of true [...]

Mystery History No. 30

Mystery History No. 30

Where are we? What’s happening? In this 1930 photo, right, a delivery man poses with an American Austin coupe in front of the Royal Laundry complex at 443 S. Raymond Ave. at Bellevue Street.         Here is the original photo before I retouched it (badly) and cropped it:   Established in 1910 just down [...]

When South Pasadena Was For Whites Only

When South Pasadena Was For Whites Only

“In South Pasadena, restrictive racial covenants, denying persons not of the Caucasian race the right to live within its municipal boundaries, are a matter of official policy. […] Of course, persons not of Caucasian ancestry will not be completely barred from residence in South Pasadena. The restrictive covenants specify that non-Caucasians may reside in the [...]

Come Home Instantly! Part 3

Come Home Instantly! Part 3

In Part 2 of “Come Home Instantly!,” Eva and Adalbert Fenyes, our traveling Pasadenans, sailed home from Europe just days before a succession of political and military threats and ultimatums kindled the world’s Great War. Fortunately for the Fenyeses, they arrived safely in New York on July 29, 1914, the day after Austria-Hungary declared war on [...]

Even More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

Even More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

In Pasadena, faded signs serve as emblems of the past. You see them on buildings, sidewalks, and rooftops—the enigmatic reminders of a time gone by. They may consist of a disembodied sentence fragment, a single word, or even a few mysterious letters. Standing in dissonant contrast to their surroundings, they add to the quirk and character of [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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