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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mystery History -- Solved!

I stumped everyone this week, which means the next Mystery History photo will be easier to identify.

In the 1923 photo above, a couple looks at a brand new car that would be raffled off for 50¢ a ticket during a Pasadena Elks Lodge carnival at the then-vast Tournament Park.

I don't know the make or model of the car. Anybody?

The carnival included rides, a sideshow...

...a trained chimp named Consul the Wonder...

...bathing beauties...

...and pony cart rides.

Tournament Park was simply called the Town Lot until the City of Pasadena changed the name in 1900 in commemoration of Tournament of Roses activities that took place there until the Rose Bowl Stadium opened in 1922.

Those New Year's Day activities, attended by thousands, included the famous chariot races... football (this is the 1902 Michigan vs. Stanford game)...

...and the parade (this one was in 1893).

The park was donated a few years later to Caltech by the City of Pasadena. Caltech soon expanded its campus south, across the street on California Boulevard, to include a track stadium, baseball stadium and more, which gobbled up most of the acreage at Tournament Park. It is now a small neighborhood park.

Back to that carnival that started this post, here is the iconic Elks Lodge on Colorado Boulevard in 1936...

...and in more recent times:

 Photo credits: Pasadena Public Library, Huntington Library, Chris and Kevin.


  1. Thank you for another interesting history lesson. I didn't know there were such fun things happening there. The land was given to the City as a public park by Benjamin Wilson, but there's not much left. Still, if anyone wants to take a look at Torunament Park, it's still open to the public. Access is from Wilson (with free parking) or from California (with expensive parking.)

  2. Thanks, Ann, I always love these posts. I've been to the park and it is indeed tiny. You could probably get a chariot in there but you couldn't race it more than a few feet. Still, it's a sweet little spot for remembrance.

  3. Ahhh. I thought it might be a post-parade display at Victory Park (is that the same as Tournament Park?) Great stump, Ann!