Monday, April 22, 2019

Rick Thomas

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Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.

Throwback Thursday | Burn! Burn! Burn!: The Raymond Hotel’s Historical Firestorm

On Easter Sunday in 1895 (124 years ago this week), South Pasadena’s Raymond hotel went up in flames. It was the most massive single-structure fire in San Gabriel Valley history. The “spark” that ignited the...

Throwback Thursday | Wood! Wood! Wood!

The Raymond required massive amounts of lumber and a small army of skilled craftsmen to complete the final construction phase. Wood was a plentiful natural resource during the late 1800s. The mill operations of the...

Throwback Thursday | Henry Dreyfuss: Designer for Humanity

The celebrated American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss maintained his primary residence and west coast design studio in South Pasadena. Dreyfuss gave the world the Hoover vacuum cleaner, Bell telephone, Honeywell thermostat, John Deere Model A...

Throwback Thursday | Murals Celebrate South Pasadena’s Rich Heritage

South Pasadena is a small city with a storied past. Several owners of commercial property – rental housing and retail establishments – have commissioned artists to paint murals that celebrate its rich cultural heritage. These...

Throwback Thursday | South Pasadena Feathers of Stage and Screen

South Pasadena’s Cawston Ostrich Farm (1896-1935) was world famous for several reasons: selling feathers direct to consumers at wholesale prices (mail order and retail), major Southern California tourist attraction, and home of the world’s...

Throwback Thursday | Picnics in the Arroyo

“How about a picnic in the arroyo?” You don’t hear that much anymore. But 100 years ago, the naturally wooded and sometimes flowing stream bed was a popular destination for family gatherings. Family picnics in...

Thousands of Butterflies Take to the Skies

With the break in the onslaught of recent storms, monarch butteries and painted ladies are taking full advantage of the warm sun. The black-veined orange butteries are filling South Pasadena skies by the thousands. If...

Throwback Thursday | Home of the World’s Largest Bird: Cawston Ostrich Farm

Edwin Cawston courted the early-20th-century public's fascination with exotic foreign creatures when he began raising ostriches, for more than the use of their feathers in the clothing industry. When Cawston brought the enormous, flightless, African...

Throwback Thursday | The Wonders of Busch Gardens

Imagine a place where the sun shines year round. The air is dry. And the sandy, smooth-stoned wash seems dryer still, most of the time. Magnificent rugged mountains rise above the arroyo in the...

Throwback Thursday | Then Came Motorized Bicycles

During the late 1800s, bicycles were all the rage. That changed seemingly overnight with the advent of the gasoline-powered motor. Over 100 Pasadena residents rode their bicycles down Colorado Street to demonstrate for more cycle-friendly...