March 27, 2015 - Today we went to check out "Lucky" Baldwin's honeymoon cottage in Arcadia, CA. The cottage is just one small portion of this 127 acre site known as the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The Arboretum sits on the remaining portion of the original Rancho Santa Anita, one of several Mexican land grants in Southern California. The site's modern history began in 1875 when Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin purchased Rancho Santa Anita and constructed its buildings and grounds, and the grounds are extensive.
This is a Cape Chestnut tree from South Africa.
There are peacocks everywhere, Lucky imported them from India.
This is a cycad tree, called a "living fossil" since they've been around for about 300 million years, even before dinosaurs.
Lucky Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage was constructed in 1885-86, probably as a honeymoon gift for his fourth wife, sixteen year old Lillie Bennett (he was 56 at the time). Baldwin was a businessman, an investor, and a real estate speculator during the second half of the 19th century. If the cottage looks familiar, it's because it was used in the opening credits of the television show "Fantasy Island."
The veranda follows the entire perimeter of the cottage and is paved in marble.
There are only four rooms in the cottage, all with very high ceilings. Some of the doors are nine feet tall.
That's a portrait of Lucky in the center of the picture.
This is the tile floor in the entry way. Our "booties" are showing.
Designed by architect Albert A. Bennett (Lillie's father), as was the Queen Anne Cottage, the Baldwin Coach Barn is an equally ornate example of Victorian extravagance. Alternating slats of interior cedar and redwood paneling and original iron grillwork, cast by Savage and Son of San Francisco in 1879, contribute to the feeling of opulence.
Designed by noted landscape architect Edward Huntsmen Trout, the Rose Garden features heritage varieties amid elegant pergolas and arbors, all in a setting of citrus and swaying Mexican fan palms.
Before the 10:00 AM tour we had breakfast at Norm's to carry us through the day. Since we spent most of our time looking at the cottage and the coach barn, we'll have to come back to explore all of various gardens here. It was a wonderful adventure.
"Da plane boss, da plane!"
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