Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mystery History -- Solved

"JM in Pasadena" wins with his 7:48 a.m. Tuesday guess "It appears to be the Arroyo and the Rose Bowl is under construction." JM, you didn't include contact info, so please e-mail me at or call me at 744-4755 and I'll tell you about the fabulous prize!

In the photo above, workers (human and equine) are doing grading in 1920 in the Arroyo Seco in preparation for construction of the Rose Bowl Stadium.

The City of Pasadena had purchased the 10-acre piece of land in 1897.

Meanwhile, the first post-parade football game was played in 1902 in Tournament Park, pitting Stanford against Michigan. Michigan won 49-0.

With such a bitter loss for the west coast, football in Pasadena was replaced by chariot races for several years as the main post-parade sporting event.

(That's Throop University on the right, which would later become Caltech.)

Football returned as the main post-parade attraction in 1916. Every New Year's Day there was a football game in Tournament Park, but the crowds soon outgrew the park's capacity.

Meanwhile, the Tournament of Roses Association got busy raising the $272,000 needed to build the stadium, including the sale of 10-year subscription tickets for $100 each.

The name "Rose Bowl" was conceived for the stadium by Harlan W. Hall, a local reporter who was also the press agent for the Tournament of Roses Association.

Here's construction in progress in April 1922.

The first Rose Bowl Game -- UCLA vs. USC -- was played on Oct. 28, 1922.

Here's Jim Crowley, one of the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, carrying the ball against Stanford in 1925. Notre Dame won 27-10.

The stadium originally was a horseshoe shape. This aerial shot was taken in 1926.

The stadium was designed by Myron Hunt, who also designed Pasadena Central Library, Huntington Library and Occidental College.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and the Rose Bowl Stadium for the photographs.

Please note that Mystery History will be on hiatus for the next two Tuesdays because I'll be out of town (but I'll keep blogging to let you know my whereabouts!).


Cafe Pasadena said...

I kinda new that but didn't want to say since others b4 me had already taken that answer. So, I had to think up sumthing 2 de contrary.

A de PIO, you are just a vast treasure house of insider InFo!

Margaret said...

Very fun. I knew he was right. I say bring back the chariot races!

JCK said...

Oh, I love these! These old photos are treasures.

Petrea said...

Fab, fab, fab! Chariot races, really? That's too amazing. Can we get to know what JM's prize is going to be?

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

Congratulations JM! BTW, I just received the fabulous prize I won in the previous Mystery History (rubbing it in). It's a miniature of our city hall. I LOVE it. (The PIO let me choose)

Thanks PIO!

I'll stuff it with breadcrumbs and scan it.

PS. Just so you know there were no light up plastic red roses offered as a choice. I was sort of shocked SHOCKED by that.