Mystery History No. 8

Jan 20, 2013

Mystery History-1Where are we? And what’s happening?

In the May 18, 1961, Don Juan Benavides entertains two rootin’ tootin’ cowpokes in front of Pasadena City Hall during the kickoff to the city’s week-long 75th anniversary celebration.

Here are some photos and excerpts from the Los Angeles Times (sorry for the quality—they’re photocopies, not from negatives).

Mrs. J. Robert Paine, left, of the Shakespeare Club and Mrs. Don C. McMillan, wife of Pasadena’s city manager, show off their 1886-era costumes:

75th I

A schedule of events for the celebration is as follows:

Wednesday: Kick-off Breakfast, 7 to 9:30 a.m.; costume contest during breakfast featuring clothes of 1874, 7 to 8:30 a.m., sponsored by the Shakespeare Club and Shakespeare Club Juniors.

Open house at City Hall, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., displays showing operation of city government; free transportation for tour of Civil Defense Center, 1 to 4 p.m., also for tours of power plant, 1 to 8 p.m.; Pasadena City College Oratorical Contest finals, 3:30 p.m., council chambers, sponsored by Women’s Civic League of Pasadena.

Barbershop Harmony Show, 8:20 p.m., Civic Auditorium; square dancing, 8:30 p.m., City Hall Plaza.

John Walmagott (left), Mayor C. Lewis Edwards and William R. Thompson admire a 1913 car that will be entered into the horseless carriage parade:

75th III

Thursday: Open house, same exhibits and trips as previous day; Kiwanis luncheon, noon, Masonic Temple, honoring citizens who resided in area during year of incorporation.

Mormon Choir of Southern California, 8:30 p.m., Civic Auditorium.

Friday: YMCA open house, commemorating 75th birthday of that organization, all day and evening. Boys Club of Pasadena open house, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: Open house at the new home of the Tournament of Roses Assn., the former Wrigley family estate, 2 to 5 p.m.

Wanda Anderson, the reigning Miss Crown City, sits atop the city’s vintage 1909 Seagrave engine. (To this day the engine is housed at the Pasadena Fire Museum at the Station 31. Stop by and see it and the other treasures some time!)

75th IV

May 22: State and County Day, open house displays at plaza, Board of Equalization Building and County Courts.

Horseless carriage parade 11 a.m. from Bullocks parking lot, north on Lake Avenue to Colorado Boulevard, west to Garfield Avenue, north to City Hall. Presentation of resolutions from county and state marking the occasion.

Luncheon at Huntington Sheraton Hotel for public officials, 12:30 p.m. Richard Nevins, member of the State Board of Equalization, will represent the state and Supervisor Warren M. Dorn will represent the county.

May 23: Industrial Show, 1 to 10 p.m., Pasadena Civic Auditorium, sponsored by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

May 24: Industrial Show, same hours; Pasadena Symphony Orchestra concert, 8:30 p.m., Civic Auditorium.

Throughout the celebration the Santa Fe Railroad will display two old engines, the Death Valley Scotty engine and a wood-burning engine of 1880, at their yards on Arroyo Parkway near the station.

The history of Pasadena will be shown with photographs and historical documents at Bullock’s Pasadena Monday to May 22. The mementos are the property of the Pasadena Historical Society.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and USC.

Ann Erdman

Ann Erdman is happily retired after decades of loyal service to the City of Pasadena as the Public Information Officer. Her blog can be found at

2 Responses for “Mystery History No. 8”

  1. Ann Erdman says:

    A day or so after I posted this on my blog, Cathy Hany, director of communications for Pasadena Public Library, told me the woman on the far right in the light-colored suit is her mother. She had never seen the photo before and was grateful for it!

  2. Mandy Stephen says:

    What photo is Cathy Hany referring to? That’s MY mother in the first pic, the pic of the 75th Anniversary of Pasadena. She’s holding my brother, and that’s me and my friend Pam dressed as cowgirls.



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