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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

I'm calling a tie between Wonder Wanda, who specified the Old Mill at Busch Gardens and some sort of movie-making, and Barbara Field, who was spot-on with the name of the movie.
In the 1915 photo above, Charlie Murray, Vivan Edwards and cast stand in front of the Old Mill at Pasadena's Busch Gardens in the Arroyo Seco for a scene in the film "Hogan's Aristocratic Dream."

The Old Mill still stands, although it is now on private property.

Mack Sennett brought cast and crew to the location for production of the film short.

Here's an excerpt from the book "Mack Sennett's Fun Factory" by Brent Walker:

Tramp Hogan, with his bum "valet" Dunn, dreams he is living the life of royalty in an 18th century setting but is awakened by farmer Haye's pitchfork.

In addition to the Old Mill, the film's locations included the Grecian pergola. . .

. . .arroyo fountain. . .

 . . .and rustic bridge.

I haven't found a clip online of Hogan's Aristocratic Dream. I hope it's not lost to the ages!

Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of History and Pasadena Public Library.


  1. Congrats to the winners!

    A year or two ago, Bellis, Karin and I went on a Pasadena Heritage-sponsored tour of Busch Garden sites still extant on the west side of town. The Grecian pergola, I believe, still exists on private property but you can't see it from the street. Unless I've got the wrong item, in which case you can see part of it behind a fence. We saw something that looks like parts of that rustic bridge in a front yard, but I don't know if it's the same thing.

    And of course we saw the old mill. The owner was very friendly and accommodating. We didn't go inside, but it was charming to stand on the landing and explore the grounds.

  2. Petrea, the pergola (designed by Frederick Roehrig, architect of Castle Green) does indeed still exist as part of a private home on South Arroyo Boulevard (on the west side), although the openings between the pillars has been filled in. If you look for the curving wall north of Garden Drive, you can still spot it. The Bridge is on Busch Gardens Drive, but you have to walk a little ways onto private property to see it. The Mill is rumored to have been an actual working mill, being used in the early years to grind meal for the sheep and fowl at the Gardens.

  3. That was a fun trip round the remains of Busch Gardens, wasn't it? We were able to walk around inside the pergola area, I think. It looked like a great place for entertaining.n

    I had no idea they were filming movies like this as early as 1915. Any photos of filming Gone with the Wind, Ann?

  4. I had no idea the old mill was still standing. I'm probably going to go peeking over walls now.

  5. I grew up next to the Old Mill House. I love the picture of the old stone bridge which was on our property. I spent many afternoons pretending I was a princess on that bridge! There were also many stone lined walking paths. It was a magical place to grow up. I hope the current owners kept all of the historic charm in tact!