Showing posts with label Our history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Our history. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Al-ham-bra and Hillary's Ma

I asked about Hillary's vaunted San Gabriel Valley roots, and an Elizabeth commented:

Hillary's mother attended Alhambra High School. She spoke at the homecoming game several years back, maybe 1998 or 1999.

Ye ole Wikipedia supports Elizabeth; anyone else want to verify this?

I agree with SGVT City editor Edward Barrera on this one; hopefully Hillary won't start trying to speak with an Alhambra accent anytime soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Don of the Foothill Cities

It's not much, but Duarte gets so precious little media coverage, it merits attention. According to the Star-News, a statue of Andres Avelino Duarte will be revealed to the public this Saturday across from City Hall.

Who? Well, besides giving his name to the city he founded just east of Monrovia, Duarte originally held more than 7,000 acres of land in the San Gabriel Valley, including the cities of Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Duarte, Irwindale and Monrovia, as the Star-News notes. The city website has the historical dirt on Duarte:

Andres Duarte was born at Mission San Juan Capistrano, in Alta California in November 1805. He joined the Mexican army at age 16, and was eventually assigned to Mission San Gabriel responsible for monitoring the outer lands of the Mission. In his early thirties he was transferred to the Mission San Gabriel garrison and assigned to protect the Mission property from San Gabriel to San Bernardino. It was then that he grew fond of the area adjacent to the Rio Azusa, now known as the San Gabriel River, along the foothills of the mountains.

After hanging up his weapons, Duarte was on the receiving end of a generous grant from Governor Juan Alvarado, and the rest is history. The bronze statue will be officially unveiled at 1pm, on Saturday.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More Saturday Diversions

Interesting article in the Arcadia Weekly by Phyllis Chapman, Sierra Madre Historian, calling health seeker Nathaniel Carter the "town founder" of Sierra Madre. I'm wondering how he got along with the founder of Monrovia and Arcadia, Elias "Lucky" Baldwin. See this post for a rundown of his straight-from-the-tabloids life.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My Girlfriend's Kitchen and Azusa Love-History

Anissa V. Rivera dishes out some Azusa history (of love, ranches, and Linda Rondstadt relatives) and the scoop on an interesting new business in Glendora.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Local Boy Makes Good; Does Steroids; Disappears

Did you know that Mark "McGwire was born in Pomona, grew up in Claremont and went to high school in La Verne"?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lucky Baldwin

If you enjoy beer, live in the San Gabriel Valley, and have never been to Lucky Baldwin's British pub in Old Town Pasadena, you can thank me now for giving you a pleasant surprise. Not surprisingly, the Pasadena Star recently gave their Sierra Madre location (the Delirium Cafe) a positive review.

What caught my eye in the review, however, was the story of the bar's namesake: Elias "Lucky" Baldwin, 1828-1909. The man's colorful life story leaps off the page as one of those characters that could only have existed in the old west—born in Ohio, he takes an arduous journey westward and makes his fortune a few times over, buys up thousands of acres of land, becomes a living legend, and spends the last part of his life in debt largely due to expensive, well-known tastes in horses and women.

Picture lifted from here:
This is the sort of bio in which even the footnotes are interesting. He was already rich when he "decided to go off to India on a tiger hunt with some British acquaintances. On his return from India in 1867 he stopped in Japan and recruited a team of acrobatic jugglers to return to New York with him. The group opened in New York and was a smash hit. After New York the group went on to play other locations across the country ending their US tour in San Francisco at which time Baldwin sold the act to William S. Gilbert who took it to Europe for another successful tour." Alrighty then.

He owned large portions of the San Gabriel Valley, shaping much of the landscape that we live in today: he built the Santa Anita racetrack (he was a pioneer of American horse racing) and was responsible for the existence of Arcadia and Monrovia (he was Arcadia's first mayor).

And we haven't even explained why they called him "Lucky" yet. If I had the time, reading his biography while having a few pints would be a pleasant way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. Years after his death, Google's all-seeing eye spies 63,300 references to his name.