When Anglo settlers came to Pasadena, CA in the second half of 1800, they needed a name for the area they lived in.
The area which was known as ‘Rancho Del Don Pascual’ when owned by Manuel Garfias of Mexico and prior to the American annexation, was purchased by Benjamin Wilson (‘Don Benito’) who established a Vineyard property.
In 1873, Dr. Daniel M. Berry, who sought a healing climate for his asthmatic patients, visited the area. Berry, who was an asthmatic himself, spent his best three nights here and decided to raise funds to transfer his patients: he founded the Southern California Orange and Citrus Growers Association and sold the stock. He purchased the area along the Arroyo Seco and on January 31, 1874, the Indiana Colony was incorporated. Wilson added 2,000 acres of then useless highland property, part of which would become Altadena.
Prior to 1890, the mail was delivered to the Indiana Colony via Los Angeles. If the Colony wanted to receive their mail directly, they needed their own name.
To obtain a new name for their area, the town fathers put up three proposals to vote. The first one was ‘Indianola’, the second one ‘Granada’ in reminiscence of its Mexican heritage. The third name proposal came from a man called Dr. Thomas Elliot who asked the Minnesota Chippewa Native Americans for ideas. Even though this tribe had no connection to Southern California, their proposal was successful: All the four names that were entered, “Crown of the Valley,” “Key of the Valley,” “Valley of the Valley,” and “Hill of the Valley” ended in “pa-sa-de-na” meaning “of the valley”. The euphonious name was put up for vote and accepted. In 1886, Pasadena became the second incorporated municipality after Los Angeles.
In 1892 a man called John H. Burnett of Galveston, Texas, came to visit. When he returned home, he plotted a new town along two bayous with similar vegetation as in Pasadena, and he named it Pasadena, Texas after our California City. There are now seven towns in the US with Pasadena in their name!
So yes, Pasadena, California… we came first!
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We agree with some but not all of this top ten list. Perhaps we will do our own Top Ten in another post. These restaurants are another reason why Pasadena is a great place to be.
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