Featured Historical Pictures

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Arcadia History Room Featured Historical Pictures

If you’re interested in Arcadia’s rich history, visit either the Arcadia History Room 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 an appointment, or (626) 574-5440 for more information about the Museum’s collection.


 Arcadia High School Apache Marching Band Eisenhower Inauguration Parade 1957


To celebrate Dwight D. Eisenhower’s second term in office, Arcadia High School’s Apache Marching Band proudly participated in the splendor and spectacle of the Presidential Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue, in 1957. Vice President Richard Nixon, having met with the Apache Band, dubbed the group “Ambassadors of Arcadia.” The marching band was under the direction of Mr. Ray Bowman. The Capitol’s dome is seen in the background. Photo courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library.

(Oct-Nov 2018. ID#1107) 




This c. 1951 photo of the Westerner Inn shows a portion of the exterior of the guest accommodations and the swimming pool. The Westerner Inn was built at 161 Colorado Place in Arcadia, CA, in 1946, on a former cornfield. It was on Route 66, across from the Santa Anita Park Race Track, and the San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background. The Westerner Inn was sold in 1984.


Photo courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library. Aug-Sep2018 ID 423.





  Photo courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library, Jun-Jul2018. ID#1334

The Santa Anita Bowling Green Club was formed in June, 1937 with an initial membership of twenty men. Membership had been restricted to men until 1960, when four women were welcomed into the club. In 1969, Lilly Godfrey became the club’s first woman president. The Santa Anita Bowling Green Club and the bowling greens at Arcadia County Park still exist. If you want to try your hand at rolling a ball to hit a “jack,” contact the Arcadia County Park at 626-821-4619 for details. Nighttime bowling is also available.





Photograph courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library, Arcadia CA. Apr-May2018. ID#1276

U.S. Army Balloon School Ross Field Arcadia calisthenics

During World War I, the U.S. Army sent soldiers into the air in sausage-shaped, hydrogen-filled balloons, 95 feet in length. Their job was to observe enemy positions and report back to the artillery post. Long before the Los Angeles County golf course was built, the United States Army Balloon School (later known as Ross Field) was located on that site in Arcadia. The soldiers were trained to observe from a wicker basket attached to the balloon and to operate the balloon, which involved a 60-man crew on the ground tasked with hoisting, gas-bagging, rigging, and electrical duties. Over 300 men received training here, including the officers pictured above in calisthenics class, circa 1918.

Look for the anchor (and plaque) at Arcadia County Park that was originally used by the balloon school trainees to hold the enormous balloons in place.


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