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Featured Historical Photos


Arcadia History Room Featured Historical Picture


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Photograph courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library.  ID#474  (Feb-Mar 2021)

WILLIAM PARKER LYON ROCKS AT THE PONY EXPRESS MUSEUM

Have you ever seen an adult-sized rocking horse? In this 1940s photograph, owner, curator and millionaire William Parker Lyon is shown on one just outside the main entrance of his Pony Express Museum, a museum dedicated to the pioneers who rode the Pony Express. The museum came to Arcadia in 1935, to a 6-acre lot on Huntington Drive at Colorado Place. Its address was 130 W. Huntington Drive. William Parker Lyon had amassed a fascinating collection of old west relics, including a bullet-scarred frontier saloon, a fully-equipped Wells Fargo and Company office, stagecoaches, guns, chamber pots, horseshoes, rare postage stamps, and gold dust scales. He even operated a narrow gauge locomotive on a 240-foot long railroad that was built by a Union Pacific crew. Admission was 25-cents. Lyon died in 1949 and in 1955, the museum collection was sold to Harrah’s of Reno, Nevada, and then later to firearms collector Greg Martin. Sadly, the collection would stay intact only until 1986, when it was auctioned off by Butterfield and Butterfield.

After the Pony Express Museum ended its stay in 1955, the site was occupied by the Flamingo Hotel/Ramada (1955-c.1984). Then it reopened as Santa Anita Inn on February 8, 1986. Le Meridien, part of the Marriott hotel chain, broke ground in June 2018 and will be opening this year.

If you are interested in Arcadia’s rich history, visit either the Arcadia History Room located at the Arcadia Public Library or the Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage. The Arcadia History Room is shown by appointment only. Call 626-821-5569 for more information on the Library’s collection or 626-574-5440 for more information about the Museum’s collection.

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Published: February 09, 2021