Tuesday, June 18, 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 | The Day TR Came to Town

On May 8, 1903, after a short address at Pomona College that morning, President Theodore Roosevelt traveled to South Pasadena for lunch at The Raymond. Roosevelt accepted an invitation to tour California only after confirming...

Throwback Thursday | Before “The Bridge”

During the late 1800s, the banks of the Arroyo Seco and surrounding area is primarily an agricultural community of fruit growers. In the above photo, the road cut in the background descends into the arroyo...

Throwback Thursday | South Pasadena’s Groundbreaking Motorcycle Officers

According to the South Pasadena Police Department, the department purchased two Thor motorcycles in 1909 to help deal with speeding motorists. The first two motorcycle officers, Frank Higgins (who later became police chief) and...

Throwback Thursday | Wham-O Crazy South Pas

The slingshot was manufactured in South Pasadena by Wham-O. The Wham-O freestyle Frisbee also had historical roots here. The co-inventor of the pro model Frisbee, “Steady” Ed Headrick, was born and grew up in South...

Throwback Thursday | Kaldi’s: The City’s First Bank and So Much More

The South Pasadena building located on the corner of Center Street and Diamond Avenue was originally built as the city’s first bank in 1904. On opening day, the bank Vice President Edwin Cawston deposited...

Throwback Thursday | Film and TV Stars of South Pasadena

Over the last half-century, South Pasadena’s small-town charm has made it a favorite Hollywood backlot for film, TV, and commercial photo shoots. Ray Bradbury produced his plays at James and Lissa Reynolds’ Fremont Centre Theater....

Throwback Thursday | Historic Bridge at Devil’s Gate

The narrow passage in the upper Arroyo Seco was referred to as Devil’s Gate by early Pasadena residents because the profile of a devil’s face appears on the cliff at the right. In the photograph...

Throwback Thursday | The Great Hiking Era

During the first half of the 20th century, the local mountains were alive with hikers, health and adventure seekers – much like today. The contemporary writer and local historian, John W. Robinson refers to...

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...