October 22, 2020, 2:13 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 | Winter Paradise

The discovery of gold and later “black gold” (oil) drew large numbers prospectors and opportunity seekers to California. Locally, ranching and agriculture helped the economy grow during the late 1800s. The San Gabriel Valley soon...

Throwback Thursday | California Bound

In 1900, stories about the west were published and first-hand accounts were reported back to residents on the east coast, causing many to leave the safety of their homes for California. In the satirical...

Throwback Thursday | New Year’s Day 1892

On Tournament of Roses Day in South Pasadena, 1892, guests are seated in Thaddeus Lowe’s personal tallyho at the grand entrance of the Royal Raymond. The rose-laden tallyho is about to depart for a...

Throwback Thursday | Rose Bowl Edition

The first New Year’s Day football classic at the Rose Bowl was played in 1923. The Tournament selected the teams that year, Penn State and USC. The Hugo Bezdek-coached Penn State team arrived late...

Throwback Thursday | The Royal Raymond

In the 1880s wealthy visitors from the Midwest and East Coast stayed at The Royal Raymond in South Pasadena mostly to escape the harsh winter. The Boston-based travel agency Raymond and Whitcomb and local area...

Throwback Thursday | What? Real Snow in South Pasadena? The Year was 1949

On January 11, 1949, the palms along Stratford Avenue were flocked with the “real white stuff” (not movie magic). South Pasadena became a winter wonderland when a freak snowfall covered Los Angeles and San...

Throwback Thursday | El Centro School

The historic school site adjacent to the public library on El Centro Street is a vital property for achieving educational excellence in South Pasadena for over 130 years. The original Center Street School that...

Throwback Thursday | BABY!

To help promote South Pasadena’s new start-up business in the late 1800’s Edwin Cawston created a brand logo he named the “Cawston Baby.” In the photo, she is sitting with newly hatched baby ostriches....

Throwback Thursday | Thanksgiving Edition

Probably the first thing that comes to mind on Thanksgiving is the meal. For many families, the turkey is to Thanksgiving as the pine tree is to the winter holidays. A century ago in...

Throwback Thursday | The South Pasadenan

In 1893, George W. Glover founded South Pasadena’s first successful newspaper, South Pasadenan. He ran the paper for 15 years during the fledgling municipality’s formative years. Glover was a passionate tree lover, and on April...
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