Throwback Thursday | Dinner at The Raymond

San Gabriel Valley’s first resort hotel in South Pasadena featured a Grand Dining Hall offering the most exquisite cuisine for guests of particular taste

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond’s Grand Dining Hall, South Pasadena (1889)

Walter Raymond’s hotel staff was recruited every season from the grand resort hotels of the Northeast (closed during the winter). His son Arthur Raymond wrote in his unpublished autobiography, “The guests, mostly New Englanders, delighted in the imported ambiance.”

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond’s central building extension which housed the Grand Dining Hall, South Pasadena (1888)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond floor plan (First Story) showing the location of the Grand Dining Hall

The opulent dining hall extended 95 feet in length with a 19-foot high ceiling. A separate dining room for children is at the back behind closed doors next to the kitchen.

Note: While the City of South Pasadena passed an ordinance prohibiting the purchase and consumption of alcohol within city boundaries, The Raymond was the exception.

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PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Stereoview card of Raymond dining hall, South Pasadena (1889)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Silverware from The Raymond, South Pasadena (1886-1895, 1901-1933)

The silverware pictured above is from the two hotels that once graced Raymond Hill. The spoon and knife on the left (second hotel 1901-1933). The spoon and cake knife on the right (first hotel 1886-1895).

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond dinner menu, South Pasadena (1922)

Pictured above is the dinner menu from The Raymond on Sunday, January 15, 1922. Notice the extensive offerings and variety of cuisine at the hotel.

Imagine sitting down for dinner in the Grand Dining Hall at The Raymond. This evening you’ll be served by a highly-trained and experienced staff having a spirited conversation with the Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie. On the menu: roast ribs of beef, Yorkshire pudding, and coffee. Oh, and your favorite, a couple of Raymond Special ripe olives!

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond’s Grand Dining Hall, South Pasadena (1888)

Throwback Thursday is written and produced by 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.