History Buff


Citizens Police Academy

Citizens Police Academy

In this 1935 photo, Sgt. Bailey supervises firearms instruction with two female employees (not sworn officers) of the Pasadena Police Department at the firing range in Eaton Canyon. Last Wednesday the Citizens Police Academy class spent the day at the same location. A few things have changed since then: The firing range is indoors now Women aren’t [...]

The Story Behind the Painting

The Story Behind the Painting

The model sits comfortably on an old tree stump in a forest glade. Her head is slightly tilted and she gazes directly at the painter. Her costume is styled in the tradition of Oaxaca, Mexico, and she wears huaraches on her feet. On her lap she holds a piece of pottery, a vase or a [...]

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 2)

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 2)

“The Lamanda Park of my time doesn’t exist any longer. The stage is still there, but the players and scenery long gone, so to speak.” – Jody Lorin, 78 Lamanda Park may not be a familiar name to many. Today it’s an ill-defined part of East Pasadena, bisected by Route 66 and hemmed in to [...]

Mystery History No. 27

Mystery History No. 27

Where are we? What’s happening? In the photo (right), Andrew Carnegie, center, walks arm-in-arm with George Ellery Hale, right, outside Mount Wilson Observatory during Carnegie’s week-long visit in 1910 to see what his money had made possible. Carnegie was a self-made, wealthy industrialist who founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington (now called Carnegie Institution for Science), which funded the Mount [...]

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 1)

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 1)

“It did not take me all these 50 years to decide on the best place to live. Southern California is best, and to me there is no place which can compare with Lamanda Park.” – Iva Engle, interviewed by the Pasadena Star-News, 1927 East of Old Town, west of Arcadia, somewhere along good old Route [...]

In Her Words

In Her Words

“There are a troop of female bull-fighters in our hotel, very nice decent women—modest & quiet & gentle…I asked permission of one of the bull-fighters to take her photo. She was very obliging & took me to her room & showed me her magnificent costumes made in Spain, also the smallish sword with which she [...]

Mystery History No. 26

Mystery History No. 26

In the photo to the right, on May 12, 1958, shoppers wait outside the J.W. Robinson Department Store at 777 E. Colorado Blvd. on opening day.         People were lined up around the block: Here is the 175,000-square-foot store under construction earlier that year: The ribbon-cutting: left to right are Carter McDonald, [...]

That Guiltiest Feeling

That Guiltiest Feeling

On July 29, 1925, at 3 a.m., Eva Fenyes, unable to sleep, was quietly engaged in a rather pleasant indulgence that was sweeping the country. She was solving a crossword puzzle. Cruciverbalist, a word that would not be coined until the 1970s, would have described Eva Fenyes perfectly. She had books full of crossword puzzles, [...]

Dark Side of the ’70s: The Darth Vader Building

Dark Side of the ’70s: The Darth Vader Building

The Plaza Centre building at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard looks like “the future” as imagined by a 1970s dystopian sci-fi film. No wonder it’s been dubbed the “Darth Vader Building.” Conceived in 1975 and finished in 1979, it was the brainchild of the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency (PRA), Wolff-Sesnon Development Company, and actor Wayne Rogers, best known [...]

Painting in the Garden

Painting in the Garden

Fenyes Mansion has kept a long tradition of inviting guests to paint outdoors in its grounds. In the early twentieth century, Eva Scott Fenyes welcomed artists to her gardens where she too joined the en plein-air gatherings, sketching alongside Benjamin C. Brown, Richard E. Miller, and Channel Pickering Townsley. In the early twenty first century, [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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