Category Archives: History

Real Roses, Real Estate

mtapmovieblog 6b 1898 ParadeNote the sunny skies. Note the empty land. Note, if you will, the “Pasadena Real Estate” sign in the lower right corner of this 1898 Rose Parade picture.

The Tournament of Roses Parade was originally a come-on, in a way–a sales pitch to those out east suffering the winter cold. “Here in Pasadena,” the parade seems to say, “we’re warm on New Year’s Day! We even have roses growing in such profusion we cover our wagons with them!”

The pitch worked. People came. Pasadena still has open spaces and mountain trails, but the land you see in this picture is most definitely developed now.

These days those easterners have warmer homes and heated transportation. Yet the Tournament still calls, “Come to Pasadena!”

MTAP wants to know: Is the picture facing north or east?

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Gone By

1918 maryland

The Rancho Santa Anita entry for 1918 was designed by Anita Baldwin to reflect her involvement with the Red Star Society, a forerunner of the ASPCA.

Miss Baldwin was a daughter of Elias “Lucky” Baldwin, an early San Gabriel Valley landholder and pioneer. Baldwin was known and loved not only for his wealth, but for his respectful treatment of his workers. You’ll find his name or that of his Santa Anita Ranch referenced in the Santa Anita Racetrack, Baldwin Avenue, Lucky Baldwin’s pub and more.

Pasadena history buffs will know the building in the background: it’s the Maryland Hotel, which suffered a serious fire in 1914 but was rebuilt immediately. Here’s a photo of the hotel from a similar angle, sans parade float.

The hotel was in operation until the late 1940’s. Over the years the building went through many changes and parts were torn down or relocated. What remains today is a condominium building that was added onto the hotel in the late 1920’s. It sits in a plaza across Euclid Avenue from Pasadena’s City Hall.

MTAP wants to know: Have you designed a float? Do you have memories of the Maryland Hotel? Share them here!

To Roy, or Not to Roy?

mtapmovieblog 1b Altadena 1908
This 1908 Tournament of Roses float really floats! Or at least it appears to.

Perhaps reflecting the nation’s fascination with the birth of flight, this dirigible’s controlled flight along the parade route might also pay tribute to Roy Knabenshue. Knabenshue was a famous dirigible pilot oin the early 20th century. In 1905 he won a flying race from Los Angeles to Pasadena. In 1909, he even launched his dirigible from Pasadena’s Tournament Park.

Roy was born in Ohio in 1875, and in 1905 he became the first person to pilot a dirigible over New York City. In 1909, he settled in southern California’s mild climate to establish his own flight company. When airplanes began to take over from “airships” as early as 1910, the Wright Brothers hired Roy to organize flight exhibitions for the new pilots the Wrights were training.

Later in life Mr. Knabenshue settled in Temple City. Did he attend the Tournament of Roses Parade in those days? One never knows. It wasn’t as easy to get from TC to Pasadena in those days as it is now. He died in Temple City in 1960.

Whether or not this Tournament float is a tribute to Roy is hard to say. What do you think? Do you know? Share your thoughts (fact, fiction, links!) in the comments.

MTAP wants to know: do we pronounce the K in Knabenshue?