Bridge of Sighs
4 weeks ago
. . .I soon saw Pasadena in the distance, but went to the wrong end of town before discovering my proper landing place. . .I did a few spiral glides for [the crowd] and then made a nice landing at about 4:04 o’clock. They gave me a royal welcome, congratulating me on all sides. I was escorted to a waiting motor car and driven around the track a few times, and they made me stand up so every one could see me. They had enveloped me in the American flag and they made a great hullabaloo. There were at least 20,000 persons there. They are certainly the most hospitable people that I have met and I hope I will be able to stay at Pasadena for quite a while. . .
Spiraling downward from dizzy heights above, the greatest aviator in the world, who by sheer force of will and nerves of steel, had accomplished the impossible, stepped out from among his frail fabric of wood, wires and canvas to be wrapped in the American flag by Mrs. R. D. Davis, wife of the president of the Board of Trade, and Miss Irene Grosse.
Thousands swarmed on the field to pay tribute to Rodgers. He was encompassed by battalions of the sweetest, fairest women in the land, the elite of all that is beautiful in Pasadena, conquered by a brave man and mighty pleased with the conqueror.
Never once during this charge of beauteous femininity did the nerve of the aviator desert him, although once or twice he manifested some concern at the intentions of the sea of faces before him. There was but one single escape, however, over the same path which brought him there, but his motor had gone dead and he evinced no desire to remount into a region made impossible of pursuit by the stern rule of Sir Isaac Newton. Hence he remained and stood the test with the same iron nerve that characterized his transcontinental voyage.
...Instead of gazing into clear sky dotted only by fleecy clouds, the spectators will have an aeroplane crossing and recrossing their path and rose petals will rain down upon them.
...Aviator Rodgers is to make two flights in the forenoon before the parade. Each time he will fly from Tournament Park to a point over Orange Grove and back.
...the whistle of the first locomotive to enter the good town echoed in every household and sounded its new note of progress. The citizens hurried with one accord down Colorado Street to view the iron horse, the first to enter, and bid it a merry welcome. Morris W. Reeder, who died in 1917 at Lamanda Park, held the throttle and enjoyed himself sounding the shrill jubilation loud and often, until the most distant and most inattentive must know that something unusual was afoot—as indeed it was.Here’s an 1885 photo of the train making its way from Los Angeles north to Pasadena along the same route as the present-day Metro Gold Line:
The growing colony was quite satisfied with a stage for a time, it was safe and it was picturesque; but better and quicker service was hoped for. To Stanley P. Jewett, a young engineer, there came the idea of a railroad communication between Los Angeles and the fertile valley of the San Gabriel; tapping its settlements and growing with them—that was the expectation. Jewett lived in the Indiana Colony, where he had come in 1879, and had pondered much over this idea.Jewett tried to get L.A. bankers to invest in his plan – including James Filmore Crank* who lived on a ranch in these parts called Fair Oaks – but the deal fell apart and the bankers walked away. Except one.
A public meeting was called by the exercised people, who passed very urgent resolutions voicing the loudly expressed sentiment declaring “the importance of bringing the locomotives to our very doors, etc,,” all of which is somewhat different than some of the expressions now heard, which declare that this road is a menace upon our streets and must be removed!A committee made up of Indiana Colony leaders who have streets named after them today – including J.P. Woodbury and James Craig – worked with Jewett to maneuver through legal mazes and other complicated matters.