September 26, 2022, 10:32 pm

Rick Thomas

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 | Heritage Lost: South Pasadena’s Orange Tree City Seal and Orange Blossom...

The city of South Pasadena was founded in 1888 during the agricultural citrus boom in Southern California. The area was once abundant with orange groves and the sweet scent of orange blossoms. Today, the official...

Throwback Thursday | The Fight

This week’s feature concludes our look back at our city’s unique 125-year history at the “crossroads” of a myriad of competing public transportation and community interests. Described as a modern-day Mayberry and Norman Rockwell painting...

Throwback Thursday | The Arroyo Seco Parkway

The Arroyo Seco Parkway was opened on December 30, 1940, becoming the first freeway in America west of the Mississippi. It became a vital link between downtown L.A. and Pasadena and a gateway transportation...

Throwback Thursday | South Pasadena: A Transportation Corridor

By the 1920s, South Pasadena had become a major transportation corridor between Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. South Pasadena had five separate rail routes crossing the city: electric car tracks on Mission...

Throwback Thursday | The Rise of Personal Motorized Mobility

At the turn of the century, gasoline-powered motors fit easily into beefed-up frames of bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. And within a decade, motorized bicycles (motorcycles) and horseless carriages (automobiles) were all the rage. Pictured above,...

Throwback Thursday | California Cycleway in 1900

During the late 1800s, Horace M. Dobbins was listening to the crazed bicycle public. When Dobbins started the California Cycleway Company in 1897, he planned to build the region’s first elevated wooden-planked cycleway exclusively...

Throwback Thursday | Bicycle Crazy Pasadena 120 Years Ago

In 1898, hundreds of bicycles paraded down Colorado Boulevard in a show of force to impress city officials and planners that road improvements and more places to ride were urgently needed. Bicycle enthusiasts would often...

Throwback Thursday | Former First Lady Garfield Dies Here 100 Years Ago This Month

After a disgruntled office seeker assassinated President James A. Garfield, Lucretia Garfield was forever known as the “widow of the martyred President.” Her popularity grew to legendary status while she was alive, many referring...

Throwback Thursday | When Dr. Sun Yat-sen Visited South Pasadena

South Pasadena resident Charles Beach Boothe code-named “Red Dragon,” in effect, was treasurer of a revolution raising over 9 million dollars for the cause. In 1910 he received official documents making him a secret...

Throwback Thursday | South Pasadena’s First Fighters Were Tree Huggers

Before South Pas residents were known as “freeway fighters,” they earned their chops fighting the city to protect its trees. On August 18, 1950, South Pasadena citizens made national headlines when they created a...
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