History Buff


Mystery History No. 15

Mystery History No. 15

Where are we? And what’s happening? In this 1986 photo, children climb the Ant Wall at the original location of Kidspace Children’s Museum inside the McKinley School gymnasium where they were located for 20 years. In a move that was somewhat controversial at the time, Kidspace relocated in 2004 to the former Fannie E. Morrison Horticultural Center, which they spent five years [...]

Mystery History No. 14

Mystery History No. 14

Where are we? And, what’s happening? In this January 1990 photo, a U.S. Department of Agriculture technician in protective gear passes a gardener on Coronet Avenue in Pasadena, one of many areas where malathion was sprayed to exterminate medflies. It was sprayed in neighborhoods where fruit trees are common. Beginning in February 1990, our community became a test case for [...]

Beetling, Building, and Painting with Eva & Adalbert Fenyes

Beetling, Building, and Painting with Eva & Adalbert Fenyes

A lot was happening that spring in 1906.  To begin with, Eva and Adalbert Fenyes were on a railway journey across the United States and Canada.  In early May, the Los Angeles Times announced their pending departure. “They will leave Pasadena Wednesday or Thursday and will first travel in the Southwest. From New Orleans they [...]

Mystery History No. 13

Mystery History No. 13

Where are we? And what’s happening? In this 1915 photo, Charlie Murray, Vivian Edwards, and cast stand in front of the Old Mill at Pasadena’s Busch Gardens in the Arroyo Seco for a scene in the film Hogan’s Aristocratic Dream. The Old Mill still stands, although it is now on private property. Mack Sennett brought [...]

Mystery History No. 12

Mystery History No. 12

What is this? Where are we? In this 1910 photo, a float passes by during the Shriners Electric Parade, which took place in Pasadena that year because the annual Shriners National Conclave was here. Other years, it was everywhere from New York to L.A. Thousands of incandescent bulbs were used to outline the designs of [...]

Watercolor Sketches

Watercolor Sketches

Watercolor Sketches by Eva Scott Fenyes (1849-1930) — Early 1906 In early 1906 in Pasadena, California, Eva Scott Fenyes was planning her second Orange Grove Avenue mansion; and, being a woman who immersed herself in her building projects, she stayed close to home where she could oversee the design of her new domestic vision. For [...]

When City Hall Was a Hole in the Ground

When City Hall Was a Hole in the Ground

          Here are historic photos from the mid-1920s when our beloved Pasadena City Hall was under construction. Before the digging began: Parking Day or Nite (but not for much longer!): When the land was still being cleared:   They’re off and running: All Saints Church peeking over the palms: Note all [...]

Mystery History No.11

Mystery History No.11

Where are we? What’s happening? In this 1934 photo, demolition of the Horace Mann building at Pasadena High School is in full swing where Pasadena City College stands today. There were orange groves and the old Grant School at the 18-acre stie when construction of the PHS campus began, and the campus began to take [...]

When Garfield Promenade Was Cabrillo Place

When Garfield Promenade Was Cabrillo Place

Stand at the intersection of Garfield Avenue and East Colorado Boulevard. Now face south looking into the Paseo Colorado toward the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The shopping lane before you, which leads to a sunny plaza and proceeds to an impressively wide Green Street crosswalk, is the Garfield Promenade. In the early 20th century this relatively [...]

The Bordeaux That Nearly Was

The Bordeaux That Nearly Was

When we think of California wine today, we think of Napa, Sonoma and the Santa Ynez Valley, but from the 1850s until the 1880s, the San Gabriel Valley was by far the largest wine-producing region in the state. Rows of grapes once stretched for thousands of acres in what is now Pasadena, South Pasadena, San [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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