The mission of the Arcadia Historical Society is to preserve, protect, interpret and promote community interest in the history of the City of Arcadia and its immediate environs. In recognition of this purpose, the Society will sustain an all-inclusive membership, provide strong leadership and create and maintain a fiscally sound financial plan that will allow support of the Society’s established goals. Our vision is to educate, inform and involve the local community in the preservation and celebration of our city’s historical heritage.
The Society holds four general membership meetings each year; in November, January, March, and May. A program of historical interest is the highlight of these meetings. At the Annual Meeting, members in good standing are eligible to vote for the Board of Directors. Members receive Caminos (a quarterly newsletter. Read our latest issue here) invitations to Museum exhibitions, receptions, and Arcadia Historical Society program. Between newsletters, look for news, announcements, and reflections, or share your thoughts and information of historical interest on our blog.
Royalty Comes To Arcadia
Dining At Prince Erik’s Home
In 1924 J. Edgar Hoover is appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), later changed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In 1924 the Indian Citizenship Act passed on June 2nd which confers citizenship on all Native Americans born within the United States.
In 1924 Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin and Irvine Berlin continue to dominate the music industry and Rhapsody in Blue is played for the very first time.
In 1924 the First ever Winter Olympic games are held in Chamonix, France. Johnny Weissmuller wins three gold medals at the Paris Summer Olympics.
In 1924 Vladimir Lenin dies and Joseph Stalin begins his bid for leadership.
In 1924 there’s a Hoof and Mouth epidemic in California.
In 1924, Prince Erik and his wife, Lois Frances Booth, granddaughter of Canadian lumber baron John Booth, built a two story home on eight acres of land in South Arcadia to raise chickens and blue-blood dogs. Prince Erik tended to eschew formality and enjoyed doing things himself. During his four year stay in Arcadia, Prince Erik purportedly owned 6,000 chickens and painted all his hen house louvers Danish royal blue.
On October 23 the Arcadia Historical Society welcomed over sixty people to Prince Erik’s house for an entertaining evening followed by a delicious catered dinner. Society President Gene Glasco introduced some of the guests in attendance recognizing current Arcadia Mayor and past Society President John Wuo, council members Tom Beck and his wife Gerry, Sho Tay and his wife Sherry, Director of Library and Museum Services Mary Beth Hayes, former mayors Floretta Lauber, Jim Helms and Sheng Chang, Julie Harris, granddaughter of noted Arcadia musician and composer Tony Antista, her husband Joey and grandson Justin and E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin’s great, great, great granddaughter Margaux Vierra and her husband Ricardo. After a brief financial report from Treasurer Gil Stromsoe, Society board member actors played a repertoire of notable 1920 era people who greet Prince Erik and share local news (and their gossip) while he paints a picket fence in his front yard.
Come and dine with us at Prince Erik’s house this Thursday, October 23. Only $30.00 for a gourmet dinner and interesting live Program performed by the “History Lives Theater Group”.
Arcadia Presbyterian Church Celebrates 100 Years in Arcadia
On Sunday, October 5, 2014 The Arcadia Historical Society enjoyed a glorious morning celebrating with congregation, Arcadia Presbyterian Church’s 100 year anniversary. APC was established May 22, 1914 and was the ONLY CHURCH in Arcadia for 21 years. Through hardship and challenge it has survived and thrived through 10 decades of growth and is now a multi-cultural community who share with one another in their spiritual journey to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. It was my honor today to present a certificate from the Arcadia Historical Society to Lead Pastor Jim Conner recognizing Arcadia Presbyterian Church’s landmark event.
Donate To Police Car
History Revived at Society General Meeting and Dinner
The Arcadia Historical Society Board of Directors tested their thespian prowess on an audience of happy society members, guests and VIPs at their General Meeting and Dinner last May 29, 2014. Personages from Arcadia’s early beginnings were portrayed by Society board members in short monologues presented ala “theatre in-the-round” with characters in costume. “Lucky” Baldwin, was played by the inimitable Scott Hettrick, with Gail Marshall reviving Baldwin’s daughter Anita, while Beth Costanza was an impressive Clara Baldwin, Beverly Street played Flora McCoy, Gil Stromsoe stood in for Hiram Unruh, Char Wong as Mary Rubidoux-Arcadia’s first teacher, Carol Libby as Claire Charles, and a charismatic William Parker Lyon who established the the Pony Express Museum in 1935, was acted out by Gene Glasco. Over 75 people enjoyed a wonderful dinner followed by presentations of star shaped candy bowls to past Society presidents and City Council members Sho Tay and Tom Beck. It was a fun evening and fitting venue, as the Arcadia Woman’s Club is celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year which the Society emphasized in their meeting’s opening remarks and recognized later with a beautifully decorated Woman’s Club Centennial cake for dessert.
L to R: Gene Glasco as W. Parker Lyon, Carol Libby as Claire Charles, Scott Hettrick as Lucky Baldwin, Char Wong as Mary Rubidoux, Beth Costanza as Clara Baldwin, Gil Stromsoe as Hiram Unruh, Karen Hou as Flora McCoy, Margo Vierra, Lucky Baldwin’s 3x great granddaughter and Gail Marshal as Anita Baldwin.
Relic of Anita Baldwin Legacy Gets New Home At Arcadia City Hall
One of the largest and oldest of three beautiful oriental rugs that once graced the halls of Anita Baldwin’s famed Anokia estate has taken up new residency in the Mayor’s office at Arcadia City Hall. After some minor repairs and professional cleaning, the made in Afghanistan 8’ x 10’- hand knotted and one hundred percent hand spun on wool foundation rug which had been sheltered in local storage for many years, is now on display for anyone to see who visits the City Manager’s office. Baldwin’s charming rug joins an English provincial desk once part of Anita’s estate that was placed in the Mayor’s office a few years ago. The rug’s hexagon designed medallions run throughout the field and gives the luxurious carpet its distinctive look. Experts refer to the stylized design and pattern as “Bokara”, a famous type of handwoven carpet known throughout the Middle Eastern world.With a rusty ox blood background and almost same shade borders, this magnificent rug boasts at least a hundred years in age. It is In excellent condition, and according to the experts, the rug’s appraised value is around $3,000.00. It is widely known that Anita Baldwin took several trips abroad and it is thought this rug–along with the other two– were purchased by Anita on one of her trips to the Middle East. President Gene Glasco and the Arcadia Historical Society board of directors agreed that Anita’s rugs, whose father and founder of Arcadia, Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin, should be displayed for the public to enjoy. With an eye towards historic preservation, the City Manager’s office accepted the Society’s offer to display Baldwin’s rug in the Mayor’s office, which in turn has made it one of City Hall’s very unique rooms.
Walt Whitman once said, “A great city is that which has the greatest men and women”. The Arcadia Historical Society wishes to express their gratitude to the great men and women of Arcadia that have lived before us and we sincerely thank the ones that serve us now.
April Business Icon
Arcadia Assistance League Receives Business Icon Award
On Thursday, April 17, Arcadia Assistance League president Keppie Sullivan and incoming president Kay Kinsler were given a plaque from Arcadia Historical Society president and City Clerk Gene Glasco recognizing their organization as an Arcadia “Business Icon” at an early morning networking breakfast held in the Sunset Room at Santa Anita Golf Course. The plaque congratulates the Arcadia Assistance League in their “Business Icon” selection and award decided jointly by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and Arcadia Historical Society for their meritorious and charitable service to Arcadia and surrounding communities within the San Gabriel Valley.
The Arcadia Assistance League recently celebrated their 60th anniversary and continues to promote various fund raising activities in support of charitable causes that benefit underprivileged families and children. They are most notably known for “Operation School Bell”, an annual project that provides much needed clothing and school materials to impoverished children at the beginning of every school year. Funding for this initiative is made possible by sales proceeds from their Bargain Box Thrift Store outlet on Live Oak Avenue and donations from various private and corporate sectors. It is with great pleasure that we acknowledge and thank the Arcadia Assistance League for their altruism and support given to those less fortunate in need.
March Business Icon
The Arcadia Historical Society and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce honored Dr. William E. White as an Arcadia Business Icon on March 20 in the Sunset Room of the Santa Anita Golf Course at the Chamber’s monthly Networking Breakfast.
Society board directors Carol Libby and Scott Hettrick presented a certificate to White, who has treated three generations of families in the Arcadia and Sierra Madre area during the 48 years that he has practiced family medicine. He was Chief of Staff at Methodist Hospital in 1984, has been actively involved with the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team since the 1960s, and is a longtime resident of Arcadia. When Dr. White leaves his office he may hike the trails of our nearby canyons, (he is an authority on their history) go sailing, or lend a hand in another community project.
The Society and Chamber honor an Arcadia Business Icon each month at the breakfasts which are open to the public. Society members are encouraged to attend and to offer suggestions for future Business Icon honorees.
There They Go!
Arcadia Business Icon Honored
at September AHS/Chamber
September 19, 2013–Wells Fargo Bank- Baldwin Avenue branch, was heralded as a Arcadia’s September “Business Icon” in a joint presentation made by Arcadia Historical Society president Gene Glasco and Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Hettrick at an early morning breakfast in the Sunset Room at Santa Anita Golf Course. Wells Fargo is known for their devotion in portraying municipal histories on colorful murals in their banking facilities and Arcadia’s Baldwin branch is no exception. Located at 1200 S. Baldwin Avenue, a 20 by 5 foot mural of early Arcadia history is particularly noteworthy with abstracts such as a marble-pillared Arcadia City Hall, images of Arcadia’s founder Elias J. (“Lucky”) Baldwin, the Santa Anita Racetrack, the Pacific Electric Railway and many other notable impressions that make the Wells Fargo Baldwin branch panorama a fun and interesting place to visit. Wells Fargo Bank excels in personal and small business banking and is the largest retail mortgage lender in the United States as of Q3 2011, originating one out of every four home loans. The Arcadia Historical Society congratulates Wells Fargo Baldwin branch for their wonderful achievement as one of Arcadia’s Business Icons!
Jessica Ortiz-Assistant Vice President/Store Manager, Wells Fargo Bank, Baldwin branch receiving joint Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and Arcadia Historical Society “Business Icon” award from Arcadia Historical Society President, Gene Glasco (left) and CEO Scott Hettrick, Arcadia Chamber of Commerce (right).
Arcadia Business Icon Honored at August AHS/Chamber Breakfast
Frank Perini, owner of Perini’s Hair Plus (formerly Frank’s Barber Shop) for 50 years was officially recognized in a joint presentation by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and the Arcadia Historical Society as an Arcadia “business icon” at the Chamber’s early morning networking breakfast Thursday, August 22, held at the Santa Anita Golf Course Sunset Room. An attractive plaque was presented to Perini in by Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Hettrick, and Arcadia Historical Society president Gene Glasco, in recognition of Perini’s five-plus decades of continuous operation at 73 East Foothill Boulevard. Gene and many of his friends were frequent customers of Frank’s Barber Shop, dating back to the mid nineteen-fifties.
Hats Off to Carol Libby
May 30, 2013
Right to Left- Society members “Barb” Kovacic, Arcadia City Councilman Gary Kovacic, Carol Libby, and Society President/Arcadia City Clerk pose in front of large decorated cake before serving to 84+ people at the Arboretum’s Peacock Cafe. Carol Libby receives beautiful plaque and recognition from Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO, Scott Hettrick during a special presentation honoring Carol for her decades long volunteer involvement in the community.
What a beautiful– and chock full of surprises–gift basket Julie Harris put together for Carol’s special day! Awesome!
See what you missed, and keep watch for our next auction date!
Lucky now stands tall in the Arcadia City Rose Garden!
Accolades for the Society
This Certificate of Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Judy Chu was presented to the Arcadia Historical Society at the Baldwin statue and “History Lives Here” Marker dedication held on Tuesday, April 16. The new Marker, adjacent to the Lucky Baldwin statue, is the tenth in a series of Markers that populate many historic sites within the City of Arcadia’s boundaries and is an informative and fitting tribute to Arcadia’s founder, Elias J. (Lucky) Baldwin. The Baldwin Marker was produced by Arcadia Historical Society Board member Sandy Snider who, along with Marker Committee Chairman Scott Hettrick, is responsible for seeking out historical places of interest for past and future installation of signage relating to Arcadia’s rich and storied history.
AHS Board Members in Our Community!
Congratulations to our Board members, Carol Libby and Sandy Snider on their wonderful exhibition at the library. For full coverage, check out this article on Board member Scott Hettrick’s Arcadia’s Best site!
“Chronicles of Arcadia” Unveiled in Author’s Back Yard
It was a warm afternoon in Carol Libby’s resplendent backyard, but that didn’t stop an enthusiastic crowd of sixty plus Arcadia history buffs who turned out last Sunday, August 12 to pick up a copy of Libby’s latest book, “Chronicles of Arcadia”. Th “Chronicles of Arcadia” is a compilation of pictures, anecdotal stories, and historical fact documenting the early influences of the Baldwin era from Arcadia’s infancy to contemporary times. In addition to noteworthy contributions from various community individuals, the “Chronicles of Arcadia” includes a collection of articles gleaned from the files of the Arcadia historical Society and past issues of its newsletter, the “Caminos”. Guests at this gala affair were treated to hors d oeurves, cool drinks, and a light buffet of beef dip sandwiches and cold salads. This interesting collection of articles and memories will be a great addition to your library or coffee table and make a perfect gift for the upcoming holidays. Copies can be purchased for $20.00 plus $5.00 postage on our Gift Shop page: Purchase Chronicles of Arcadia » To purchase by check or money order, send to: P.O. Box 661332, Arcadia, CA 91066-1332 or E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org General Meeting of the Arcadia Historical Society open to all members and guests followed by a presentation regarding the “Thoroughbred Walk of Champions”, another exciting community initiative of the Arcadia Historical Society. “Champion” committee members Gail Marshall, Beth Costanza and Sandy Snider will provide an interesting retrospective and detailed description of the “Walk of Champions” from inception to installation of the beautiful bronze sidewalk plaques that will beautify Huntington Drive and adjoining streets. Refreshments will be served.