Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Mystery History -- Solved!
Chris Brandow wins with his 4:02 p.m. Tuesday guess "busch gardens, maintaining the gnome decorations down in the arroyo."
In the 1933 photo above, an artist touches up sculptures of gnomes at the 30-acre Busch Gardens in Pasadena's Arroyo Seco.
Gnomes were featured at several locations on the property, including the Snow White exhibit shown in this colorized postcard...
...and gnomes fishing at the Mystic Hut:
Busch Gardens included 14 miles of pathways, 100,000 plants and shrubs, rare birds and more than 100 brightly painted sculptures imported from Germany, including Little Red Riding Hood.
Other popular spots at Busch Gardens included the Old Mill:
But the sheer scope and majesty of Busch Gardens was the ultimate draw.
Adolphus Busch, president of the Anheuser Busch Brewing Association, came by train to Pasadena from St. Louis with his wife Lilly in 1904 and just weeks after arriving bought property on Orange Grove Avenue, which would come to be called Millionaires Row, overlooking the Arroyo Seco. The Busches built their winter home there, called Ivy Wall:
It had a sloping back lawn that went down into the Arroyo Seco.
Here are Adolphus and Lilly (center woman in black dress) at Busch Gardens:
There's so much more to the Busch Gardens story than can be told here on my little blog, so I'll point you in the direction of additional information.
The Pasadena Museum of History hosted a very important exhibition in 2005 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opening of Busch Gardens.
A series of very good descriptions of Busch Gardens and dozens of photo images can also be found here.
Pasadena Daily Photo blogger Petrea has posted about remnants of Busch Gardens, such as this one.
Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and Pasadena Museum of History.