Throwback Thursday | The Day TR Came to Town

President Theodore Roosevelt visits South Pasadena’s Raymond Hotel and the former first lady Lucretia Garfield

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | Arch of welcome for President Roosevelt, Pasadena (1903)

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.

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | President Theodore Roosevelt at The Raymond, South Pasadena (1903)
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | President Theodore Roosevelt at The Raymond, South Pasadena (1903)

Roosevelt accepted an invitation to tour California only after confirming a visit to see the former first lady Lucretia Garfield (widow of slain President James Garfield).

PHOTO: South Pasadena Public Library | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Garfield House on Flag Day, South Pasadena

Note: Lucretia “Crete” Garfield commissioned Charles and Henry Green to design a chalet style craftsman bungalow which still stands at 1001 Buena Vista Street. Garfield spent her winters in South Pasadena until her death at home 100 years ago this year.

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | President Theodore Roosevelt addresses the crowd at Wilson High School, Pasadena (1903)

President Roosevelt finished the day with a rousing speech at Wilson High School in Pasadena. Roses were laid at his feet as he approached the elevated platform where he shared the stage with a stuffed grizzly bear.

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | Roosevelt at the podium, Pasadena (1903)

President Roosevelt remarked, “I have been traveling through what is literally a garden of the Lord with His majestic mountains in sight.”

Over a century later, little has changed in that regard.

Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas

 

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.

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