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The Scene of Many Pleasant Gatherings

Before there was a Wrigley Mansion, what is now the Tournament House Rose Garden, was the site of two equally notable residences.

BY: Kirk Myers, Assistant Archivist Pasadena Museum of History

 

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The Rose Garden on South Orange Grove and Arbor Street is a beautiful complement to the Tournament House, the former home of Mr. and Mrs. William Wrigley, Jr. from 1914 to 1958. Although it now appears to be an original feature of the design by G. Lawrence Stimson, it was once a significant site in the history of early Pasadena in its own right.

It was here in early March, 1874, that Colonel Jabez Banbury finished building the third house in the settlement that later became Pasadena, shortly after the division of land on January 27, 1874 .

A Pasadena Star-News article in 1924 reported that “the Banbury house was the center of a great deal of the social life of the early colony…Colonel and Mrs. Banbury were noted
for their hospitality, and the old house was the scene of many pleasant gatherings of friends and neighbors.”

The Banburys sold the home in 1882 to Mr. and Mrs. I.M. Hill, who opened up Arbor Street, naming it after the cypress arbor planted by Colonel Banbury. In January, 1895, Henry C. Durand of Chicago purchased the Hill home place, and soon began constructing a “handsome residence” that the Pasadena Daily Evening Star predicted “will be one of the ornaments of the avenue.”

The home was later sold to Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Barnum. Mrs. Barnum’s first husband was J.W. Robinson, founder of the department store.

After purchasing the Stimson home in 1914, William Wrigley acquired the Barnum estate in September, 1915. Wrigley was now one of the largest landholders on the avenue, controlling all of the approximate 4.5 acres between Lockhaven and Arbor. The Durand-Barnum home was demolished and replaced with the current gardens. As part of the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses, it is still “the scene of many pleasant gatherings.”

The Pasadena Museum of History is located at the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and Walnut Street (470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena 91103); free parking in the Museum lot. The Research Library and Archives are open to the public free of charge Thurs.-Sun., 1 p.m.-4 p.m. For additional information, please visit www.pasadenahistory.org or 626.577.1660, ext. 10.

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