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Riding the Birds in South Pas

Aug 12, 2013
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The South Pasadena Public Library staff has spent years digitalizing historical photos of this small town, south of big sister Pasadena, which are now on view to the public at Online Archive California. Perusing a few of the pics, we came across the picture to the right…

The Cawston Ostrich Farm was located in the Arroyo Seco Valley of South Pasadena—decorative pyramids were erected to reflect the animals’ native Africa.

The breeding farm covered nine acres and was opened in 1886 by Edwin Cawston. Shipping 50 birds via ship from South Africa to Galveston, Texas, Cawston traveled with the ostriches that had to endure “a treacherous train journey” to South Pasadena. Only 18 of the original 50 animals having survived.

From this original crew, Cawston was able to build his herd to over 100. The farm became a tourist stop and visitors were able to ride the ostriches, “be taken for ostrich drawn carriage rides,” and to purchase ostrich feathered hats, capes and fans from the store on the premises; the nearby factory also selling and shipping products around the world. (Source: South Pasadena Public Library and Wikipedia)

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Image courtesy of image-archeology.com

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Quartette at the Cawston Ostrich Farm, 1899

Quartette at the Cawston Ostrich Farm, 1899

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Thanks to the South Pasadena Public Library and Image-Archeology.com.

 

 

 

 




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