Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baldwin's Queen Anne Cottage

Los Angeles County, May 25, 1995

The Queen Anne Cottage and Hugo Reid Adobe both rest within the grounds of the : Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, and as a result, are among the few state landmarks that require money to see, in this case, it’s now $8 to enter. Though the grounds and programs offered within are wll worth the fee, if you’re simply going to visit the landmarks, it’s worth an attempt at the gate to get a free pass for the fifteen minutes or so it takes to see them…’s within the bylaws of the Office of Historic Preservation to do so.

Baldwin - 1903

Elias Jackson Baldwin's Queen Anne Cottage was constructed in 1885-86, probably as a honeymoon gift for his fourth wife, Lillie Bennett who was 16 at the time. "For a year after she married Baldwin (May, 1884), this little girl was queen of the ranch," - Los Angeles Times. Lillie's father was architect Albert A. Bennett, who designed the cottage. Lillie and E.J. separated in 1885, and the house was converted by its owner into a memorial to the third Mrs. Baldwin, Jennie Dexter, who had died in 1881.

The designation "Queen Anne" was added in later years in reference to its architectural style, and became the Santa Anita Ranch guest house. Cooking and dining facilities and Baldwin's personal quarters were located in a modernized 8-room version of the Hugo Reid adobe, found on the property at the time of purchase. Friends, relatives and business associates of Lucky Baldwin, including stars from the Baldwin Theater in San Francisco, enjoyed the ranch hospitality until E.J.'s death in 1909.

Lucky Baldwin generated most of his wealth through lucky mining investments (that's how he got his nickname). Baldwin accumulated landholdings of 63,000 acres in Southern California, where the communities of Arcadia and Monrovia are now located.

Baldwin's matrimonial ventures periodically created news sensations. He was married four times, the first three marriages ending in divorce. He was sued by four women for breach of promise of marriage. Anita Baldwin, one of his accusers who was later reported to be his niece, wounded him in the Baldwin Hotel with a pistol shot in 1883. About ten years later he was shot by Vinnie Ashley who was attempting to avenge his injured sister. His fourth wife and their daughter were at his side when he died at their Arcadia ranch. And they still called him ‘Lucky’.

NO. 367 E. J. BALDWIN'S QUEEN ANNE COTTAGE - Designed by A. A. Bennett for entertaining, the cottage was constructed by Elias Jackson ('Lucky') Baldwin in 1881. Since there was no kitchen, meals were served from the nearby adobe (built by Hugo Reid in 1839) where Baldwin actually lived. The building was restored and dedicated May 18,1954 as part of Los Angeles State and County Arboretum.
Location: Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, 301 N Baldwin, Arcadia
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: PASADENA
Google 34.141211,-118.053637

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