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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Arcadia in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Reid-Baldwin Adobe

History Lives Here

 
 
Reid-Baldwin Adobe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 21, 2020
1. Reid-Baldwin Adobe Marker
Inscription.  
The home place of Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin, founder and first Mayor of the City of Arcadia, was this relatively simple adobe house, though during Baldwin's occupation (1875-1909) it was the larger and more inviting structure seen in the images below. Baldwin was a wealthy man in 1875, an entrepreneur whose success in San Francisco hotel and brick-making businesses extended with great "luck" into Nevada's Comstock Lode millions. Today's Arboretum is the heart of Baldwin's first southern California land purchase, the historic Rancho Santa Anita. Within a few short years, Lucky Baldwin would acquire adjoining ranches that increased his holdings to some 46,000 acres in the San Gabriel Valley alone. Vineyards, orchards and fields of hay and grain covered the landscape, but the home site next to Baldwin Lake was a botanic showplace with elegant guest accommodations just a stone's throw away from his personal adobe residence.

Baldwin reported that he found an "adobe hut" on the Santa Anita property when he made his initial purchase, and early on he decided to make it his home. The "hut" was an L-shaped, 8-room, all
Reid-Baldwin Adobe and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 21, 2020
2. Reid-Baldwin Adobe and Marker
The adobe is being restored.
adobe structure that likely dated back to 1854 when owner Joseph Rowe reportedly "re-built" an earlier, simpler structure that may have been constructed by first owner Hugo Reid.

The foundations of the current adobe house date back to at least 1854, and historically significant amounts of original building materials remain. An inventory completed after Baldwin's 1909 death identifies each of the eight rooms and thus provides the most compelling storyline of its use during his significant years of occupation. Baldwin's personal living quarters were, of course, included, but so too was a parlor, dining room, kitchen, pantries and servants quarters. Under Baldwin's supervision, a wood frame wing replaced Rowe's adobe wing that ran parallel to the lake. This wing and its original foundations remained through early Arboretum years, but the surface structure was demolished in the late 1950's as efforts were directed at stabilizing the adobe portion of the compound. Today, with renewed and more precisely engineered stabilization, and with historic preservation experts guiding the process, the Adobe is receiving the care it deserves.
 
Erected by Arcadia Historical Society. (Marker Number 368.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture
Reid-Baldwin Adobe image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 21, 2020
3. Reid-Baldwin Adobe
ArchitectureParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks series list.
 
Location. 34° 8.443′ N, 118° 3.202′ W. Marker is in Arcadia, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker can be reached from Baldwin Avenue 0.3 miles south of Interstate 210, on the right when traveling south. Located in the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, open daily 9-5. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia CA 91007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Queen Anne Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Anita Depot (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden (approx. ¼ mile away); Santa Anita During World War II (approx. 0.4 miles away); Seabiscuit (approx. half a mile away); Chamber of Commerce Building (approx. 0.8 miles away); Elias J. Baldwin (approx. 0.8 miles away); Arcadia County Park (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arcadia.
 
Regarding Reid-Baldwin Adobe.
Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
4. Marker Detail
Eva Scott Fenyes watercolor painting of L-shaped Baldwin Adobe (1915). Wood frame wing on left; adobe wing in background.
This is California Historical Landmark No. 368, Reid-Baldwin Adobe.
California Historical Landmark Statement of Significance: Hugo Reid, a Scotsman, petitioned the government of Mexico to grant him Rancho Santa Anita. His claim strengthened by his marriage to Victoria, a native Indian of the San Gabriel Mission, he received the grant on April 16, 1841. Immediately upon filing his petition, Reid took possession of the land, started to farm and plant vineyards, and built the first house - the Hugo Reid Adobe. In 1875, Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin purchased the rancho, increasing his total ownership of California lands to 40,000 acres, and in 1879 added a wooden wing to the Reid adobe. Both Reid and Baldwin were actively involved in the early development and growth of southern California.
 
Also see . . .  The Arboretum. (Submitted on July 23, 2020.)
 
Adobe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, 2015
5. Adobe Marker
Researchers now believe the Reid family never lived here.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 23, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 62 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 23, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   4. submitted on July 24, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   5. submitted on July 23, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 27, 2021