Throwback Thursday | Wood! Wood! Wood!

In 1886, The Raymond is constructed using bricks and lots and lots of wood!

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond during construction (1885)

The Raymond required massive amounts of lumber and a small army of skilled craftsmen to complete the final construction phase.

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Lumber is piled high awaiting shipment to the growing Pacific coastal cities (1884)
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | San Pedro Lumber Co. delivers wood beams, boards, and siding for construction of The Raymond (1885)

Wood was a plentiful natural resource during the late 1800s. The mill operations of the Great Northwest supplied a steady flow of lumber to California port cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond during construction (1885)
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond during construction (1885)
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond’s main entrance during construction (1885)
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond’s main entrance after completion (1886)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | The Raymond soon after construction (1888)

The Raymond has a palace-like presence on its South Pasadena hilltop. It appears to rise from a mythical land where legends are born, and happy endings come true.

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | Cover magazine: The Measure of Man and Woman (1959)

The above Sanborn Map of The Raymond is dated October 1894 – it was prepared and submitted as a public record to identify countermeasures in case of fire and assess insurance liability. The map shows the location of eleven fire hydrants with hoses that reach 50 feet in length, and three watchmen making regular rounds of the property (two stationed inside the hotel and one walking the grounds). Unfortunately, within a few months of making this map, it would be rendered useless.

Next week’s Throwback Thursday marks the 124th anniversary of the historic Raymond hotel fire occurring on Easter Sunday in 1895.

Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas

 

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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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