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Special Collections

The Altadena Historical Society maintains special collections of these individuals and organizations. Some, but not all, are digitized.

Marie Adamson
Community activist Marie Adamson collected and organized thousands of newspaper clippings, as well as numerous photos, pamphlets, and maps into labeled binders for easy reference. Subjects include material concerning Altadena: houses, writers, history, elementary school, people, Mt. Lowe and Senior Center.

The complete archives of Tim Rutt’s popular website.

Altadena Chamber of Commerce
Chamber documents and records dating back as far as the 1920s.

Paul Ayers
Images, documents, and other information about Mount Lowe, Owen and Jason Brown, cabin life in the old Arroyo Seco of a century ago, maps of historic hiking trails above Altadena, restoration efforts at the Rubio Canyon wash, and more.

Don Chaput
Photocopies of articles from newspapers in the Los Angeles area dating from 1878 to 1999, searchable through an excel database.

Christmas Tree Lane Association
Photos, documents, clippings, and memorabilia from one hundred years of Santa Rosa Avenue’s Christmas Tree Lane.

Elizabeth Edwards
The mainly original material includes several hundred items (photos, deeds, letters, documents, diaries, business ledgers, diplomas, etc.) pertaining to the Crank, Brigden, Whitaker, and Galbreth families who built homes and businesses in Altadena (and in what is now Pasadena) starting in the 1870s.

Astrid Ellersieck
Preservationist, community activist, and expert on Southern California architecture. Clippings, artifacts, memorabilia, and photographs, mostly related to the preservation of Altadena landmarks and the many architectural gems she helped save.

Flora Foskett
Family album plus letters written to her fiancé during visits to Pasadena in the 1890s. After her husband died, she lived in Altadena until she died in 1998.

L. T. Gotchy
Mid-century photographer and collector. Artifacts, photographs, ephemera, folklore, books, and unpublished material about Altadena, Mount Lowe, and related railroad topics.

Betty and Herb Herr
An incomplete collection of Tournament of Roses parade memorabilia, 1913 – 1985.

F. W. Kellogg
California newspaper publisher F. W. Kellogg married Florence Scripps on May 8, 1890 and was a member of the prominent philanthropic family who founded the Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Scripps College. More than 200 pieces of family correspondence were written between 1889 and 1908.

James King
Two family albums depicting scenes from across the United States, including Southern California, taken in 1898–99. Donated by Robert K. Blinn and his wife Dorothy.

La Vina
An incomplete collection of legal papers documenting the controversies surrounding the creation of La Vina residential development in northwest Altadena.

Virginia Lance
Fifteen notebooks of newspaper clippings and ephemera on Altadena’s Old-Fashioned Days, The Barber Pole men’s store, and Altadena real estate collected by the owner of the Barber Pole.

The Mount Lowe Railway
One of our areas of specialization. We’ve assembled a significant amount of information on this once-famous railroad and resort and its founder, Thaddeus Lowe. The collection includes documents, images, maps, collectables, books, newspaper clippings, articles, and more. Thanks to a generous grant from Southern California Edison, we created a digital history of Mount Lowe.

The Peterson Family
Three photo albums from Edwin D. Peterson, former owner of Villa Sarah, East Palm Street, Altadena.

Leon Ricks
Three volumes of slides showing Altadena’s Lake Avenue and surrounding streets, taken from 1961 – 2005.

The Scripps Home
A significant collection of administrative files, events and programs, photographs, publications, and news clippings, including scrapbooks created by residents, was donated when the Scripps Home closed.

Charles Seims
Historian and author of two books including Mt. Lowe, Railway in the Clouds (1976). Memorabilia and extensive reference material he used for his books.

Theatre Americana
Scripts, programs, advertising, and administrative papers documenting the history and performances of Theatre Americana during its active years.

Trent Steele
Four boxes of photographs and ephemera on Mount Lowe collected by teacher and local historian, Trent Steele.

William Webster
Combination of Webster’s Pharmacy and Chamber of Commerce documents beginning in the mid-1920s from Webster’s Community Pharmacy’s former owner.

Oscar Werner
A noted architect who designed hundreds of homes, apartment buildings, offices, schools, and other buildings. Examples of his work, written material, drawings, photos, and books. Documentation of Pasadena’s mostly unsuccessful effort to annex Altadena.