Throwback Thursday | Winter Paradise

“The Raymond is the winter home of people who want the best – it’s the finest located hotel in the world.” – Walter Raymond

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | City of South Pasadena with The Raymond in the background (1893)

Walter Raymond claimed his resort hotel is the finest located resort in the world. He was right!

The South Pasadena grand hotel featured cactus gardens on the grounds for their unique aesthetic. Prickly cactus blooms with large-stem flowers does not exist on the east coast or the Midwest. Picking oranges in the grooves that surround the hotel during winter also appealed to hotel guests, especially knowing family and friends were buried in snow back home.

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond resort hotel, South Pasadena (1891)
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond resort hotel, South Pasadena (1895)

In 1895 (Easter Sunday), a massive fire leveled the South Pasadena grand resort hotel.

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The second Raymond hotel featured flower gardens and a golf course. Both landscaping strategies took advantage of the mild winters of South Pasadena.

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Postcard – The Raymond resort hotel, South Pasadena (1911)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Booklet (inside cover) – The Raymond resort hotel, South Pasadena (1906)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Magazine advertisement – The Raymond resort hotel, South Pasadena (1911)

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.