Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mystery History -- Solved!

I stumped everybody this week.

In the photo above, golfers Wayne Griggs (left) and Gil Gentry play through despite a runaway car that had landed on the rim of a sand trap at Carmelita Park on Nov. 19, 1951.

Pasadena Star-News Nov. 20, 1951:
Golfers yelled "Fore!" for a runaway automobile at the Carmelita Park Pitch and Putt course yesterday.

The car belonged to Mrs. Jane Cheeseman, 77, of 150 South Oak Knoll Avenue who left it in the parking lot while she worked in the Red Cross building.

Somehow the car slipped its brakes and rolled 100 yards downhill into the eighth fairway where three golfers were carefully studying their approach shots. They scattered just in time and the car wound up in the sand trap, police reported.
Carmelita began as a huge private property owned by Dr. Ezra Carr and his wife Jeanne (more about that fascinating history here)

After the City of Pasadena took ownership of the land in 1941, the Carmelita Pitch and Putt course was established at the northeast corner of Colorado and Orange Grove boulevards.

Here are a couple of photos of the course, sans runaway cars:

Lofty plans originally calling for an extensive city park complete with a large, multifaceted cultural complex never came to fruition.

Today the property is owned by the City of Pasadena and leased by the Norton Simon Museum.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and USC.


Jean Spitzer said...


MG said...

Hold on now, the Norton Simon Museum is a multfaceted cultural complex!
Et aussi, my Uncle Charlie said that turf was called the Pinch Your Butt Carmelita course. YOU ARE WRONG x2 buckle my shoe. 3, 4 shut the door! He should know, he's Italian.

Bellis said...

I would never have guessed there was a golf course on that land! Though I hope they didn't cut down any trees and shrubs planted by John Muir. Knowing he was there, I will now look at the trees around the Norton Simon with reverence.

Many thanks for this, Ann.

pasadenapio said...

I agree, Jean!

MG, I like that name better.

Petrea said...

This is why I don't golf. The hazards.