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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, [...]

Christmas Greetings from Dr. & Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes

Christmas Greetings from Dr. & Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes

Hearty Christmas Greetings!  However…before I present a selection of Dr. & Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes’ historic holiday greeting cards, I am going to comment on a curious phenomenon.  So often when I mention the names Fenyes, Fenyes Mansion, and Pasadena Museum of History, my listener dons a puzzled expression or gets a strange sleepy look in [...]

Kites, Wings, & Other Flying Things

Kites, Wings, & Other Flying Things

Non-italicized text courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History. Long before the Industrial Revolution made modern aerospace technology possible, early aspiration of flight began with the kite, an item that epitomizes the intersection of science and artistry. As weapons during war and as recreation during peacetime, they have inspired leaps of the imagination and humankind’s leap [...]

Eva Fenyes & Boadway Bros. Dept. Store

Eva Fenyes & Boadway Bros. Dept. Store

It was an enormous pit, a huge gaping excavation that threatened to undermine Cabrillo Place. The bungalows and shops teetered on the edge of a precipice, and the potential for collapse was undeniable. Wanting documentary evidence, Eva Fenyes methodically photographed the construction site and what seemed to her an impending disaster. East Colorado Street in [...]

More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

Spotting these faded reminders of merchants past can be more fun than a scavenger hunt. Someone either had the foresight to preserve them or the lack of funds to remove them. Either way, they remain an enticement to the architectural detective. As in our May 2011 feature, we take a look at four more “ghost signs” [...]

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 [...]

Mrs. Fenyes & the Movies (Part 4 of 4): The Egyptian Becomes the Uptown Theater

Mrs. Fenyes & the Movies (Part 4 of 4): The Egyptian Becomes the Uptown Theater

By Sheryl Peters, Pasadena Museum of History docent, researcher, and educator. When Warner’s Egyptian Theater closed its doors in 1935, Henry Warner, one time owner and then manager of the theater, was out of a job. Warner’s career in the movie business had begun in 1906, and he had personally witnessed its growth into an [...]

Pasadena’s Vegetarian Colony

Pasadena’s Vegetarian Colony

  (Photo via Brigham Yen) “I am starting a Botanic Garden on the foothills of the Sierra Madre,” wrote Dr. Victor B. Hall in a letter to magazine The Peacemaker in 1902. Long before vegetarian restaurants seemingly dotted every corner, members of the “Victor University of Vitaphysics” purchased a 40-acre tract in the Linda Vista [...]

Mission San Gabriel Arcángel

Mission San Gabriel Arcángel

This photo of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel is circa 1870. The dirt road was part of “El Camino Real” – the 600-mile California Mission Trail connecting the former Atla California’s 21 missions. The Moorish influence of the mission is evidenced by the Buttressed walls, vaulted roof, and fortress-like appearance. The walls are original and [...]

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 [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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