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.

All images courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library, unless otherwise noted. 



On December 10, 1959, the Arcadia Tribune ran a story featuring long-time bus driver Ralph Atkinson. Ralph Atkinson knew what it took to be a good driver. He had been working for the Arcadia Unified School District for 8 years by 1959, when he celebrated a career milestone -- his 40th year of accident-free bus driving. What was his secret to getting 600 Arcadia students to school safely every day? He avoided accidents by never challenging another driver for the right of way and never speeding up the bus for impatient drivers behind him. These were certainly timeless safety guidelines.

 This 1924 photo above shows a close view of a school bus across which is painted: Arcadia City School. At the side near front of the bus is a man wearing a business suit (not Ralph Atkinson) adjusting a louvered window. At left is a girl named Jean Hutchinson, wearing a beret, about to get on the bus. This picture was taken on Bonita Street near her home. (ID#823. Aug-Sep 2019)


 Al Yarter’s Arcadia Shoe Shop

Shoemaker Al Yarter in front of shops he built on the 300 block of North First Avenue, Arcadia, California, in 1923. His family lived in the house between the grocery store and the Arcadia Shoe Shop. According to Mr. Yarter’s grandson Pat Carlin, Mr. Yarter bought the land from Anita Baldwin for a stated price. Later, he was told by an agent that because the lot was within the lighting district, he would need to pay an additional amount. When Mr. Yarter spoke directly to Anita Baldwin about this, she said it had been her mistake and that he would need to only pay the originally agreed upon amount. ID 461(Jun-Jul 2019)



Pony Express Museum



W. Parker Lyon's Pony Express Museum is long gone from the land where Le Meridien Hotel is going up now, in 2019, but the museum, which opened March 31, 1935, was a huge attraction that rivaled Santa Anita Park, across the street. After Lyon died in 1949, his son kept the museum open for a few years, then closed its doors in 1953 or 1954. By 1955, much of the collection had been sold to Harrah’s. The Pony Express Museum specialized in Old West relics. Shown here is one room of the museum that exhibited horse harnesses, horseshoes, and spurs, with women’s dresses in the display cases, and a kerosene lamp atop, c. 1940s.

The museum’s address was 130 W. Huntington Drive. The Flamingo Ramada Hotel and Santa Anita Inn have also occupied this address.

 ID 461(Apr-May2019)






 It was the Summer of Love in 1967 and young hippies were drawn to Arcadia for a love-in at Arcadia County Park, where they could openly express their ideals of love and unity.  A newspaper account of the event said it attracted young people from as far north as Santa Barbara and as far south as San Diego.  The young people in the foreground begin a dance in a circle. ID 1016 (Feb-Mar2019).



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