History Buff


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 […]

Beaches: Watercolors and Sketches by Eva Fenyes

Beaches: Watercolors and Sketches by Eva Fenyes

Over the past three months, Michelle Turner, Collections Manager at Pasadena Museum of History, presented a progressive exhibit of beach art, which she posted on the museum’s Facebook Page.  Each Wednesday between Memorial Day and Labor Day she selected and introduced one of Eva Fenyes’ sketches by way of social media.  This did reach a […]

Ghost Theaters on Colorado Blvd. (Part 3)

Ghost Theaters on Colorado Blvd. (Part 3)

It’s been awhile since we last looked at Colorado Boulevard’s “ghost theaters”—marquees and other relics along the street; skeletal reminders of Pasadena’s once-glorious picture palaces. In part 3 of our ongoing series, we examine the stories behind three more of these vanished movie houses. Tower Theater (1930-1952) – 114 E. Colorado Blvd. A parking lot […]

FDR: Speech, Worship, Want, Fear

FDR: Speech, Worship, Want, Fear

“Freedom from Want” is one in a series of Four Freedoms oil paintings created in 1943 by Norman Rockwell and made famous when they were printed in the Saturday Evening Post that same year. He was inspired to paint the series based on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s State of the Union speech on Jan. 6, 1941, one month after the U.S. entered […]

Mystery History No. 21

Mystery History No. 21

Where are we? And what’s happening? These photos were shot in July 1978. The photo to the right shows boxing trainer and coach Canto Robledo very animated as his gives advice and (below) shouts instructions to his fighter in the ring.           Canto Robledo was born in 1913 in Tyron, New […]

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