In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we will honor four “famous firsts” in South Pasadena history. They are quite remarkable concerning the relative small size of our city.
Major Resort Hotel
In 1886, The Royal Raymond was the first major resort hotel in the San Gabriel Valley.
After a devastating fire razed The Royal Raymond, the hotel was rebuilt and reopened in 1901. A 9-hole golf course was installed making it the only resort hotel in Southern California with golf links on its grounds.
Ostrich Farm and Mail Order
The Cawston Ostrich Farm was the largest ostrich farm in America and the most successful mail order business of its kind in the world. Edwin Cawston boasted during the holidays that he received more orders by mail for ostrich feathers than Santa received letters at the North Pole.
Solar Power Experiment
In 1901, The Solar Power Motor at the ostrich farm was the world’s first successful solar power experiment for commercial use. Its 1,788 mirrors powered a steam engine which pumped water from a well at the ostrich farm.
Passenger Air Service
In 1913, Roy Knabenshue piloted a dirigible becoming the first passenger air service in America. Roy took paying customers from The Raymond hotel grounds on regular flights over the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles.
THROWBACK THURSDAY IS WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY RICK THOMAS