Throwback Thursday | The Royal Raymond

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | | 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 boosters hyped this part of the San Gabriel Valley as a “paradise on Earth.” Walter Raymond chose Bacon Hill (now Raymond Hill) to take full advantage of the picturesque view of the mountains, surrounding vineyards, fruit orchards, and pastoral lands.

The spectacular 200-room resort hotel dominated the landscape for miles in all directions and gave its village-like host city of South Pasadena a sense of pride that continues to this day.

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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.