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HUNTINGTON SPECIAL EXHIBITION MARKS SAN MARINO’S CENTENNIAL

January 04, 2013

“Cultivating California: Founding Families of the San Marino Ranch” follows the Wilson, Shorb, and Patton Families from 1854 to 1904
Feb. 16–May 13, 2013, Library, West Hall

 

George S. Patton Jr., Ruth Patton, George S. Patton Sr., and Annie Patton on the porch of the Lake Vineyard house, ca. 1901. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

George S. Patton Jr., Ruth Patton, George S. Patton Sr., and Annie Patton on the porch of

the Lake Vineyard house, ca. 1901. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and 

Botanical Gardens.

 


IMAGES     •     RELATED EVENTS     •     CONTACTS

 

Jan. 4, 2013

SAN MARINO, Calif.— The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is mounting a special exhibition, “Cultivating California: Founding Families of the San Marino Ranch” (on view Feb. 16 through May 13 in the West Hall of the Library), timed to correspond with the centennial year of the city of San Marino, Calif.

 

With more than 75 historical items drawn from The Huntington’s collections and those of the San Marino Historical Society and the Pasadena Museum of History, the exhibition tells the story of the Wilson, Shorb, and Patton families, who helped transform a region of one-time Spanish land grants into an agricultural paradise between the years 1854 and 1904. Rare family photographs, letters, legal documents, maps, and artifacts will be on display.

 

“Although it was Henry E. Huntington and several neighboring landowners who worked to incorporate the city of San Marino, in fact the Wilson, Shorb, and Patton families farmed the land and played key roles in the history of the region before Huntington’s arrival in the early 1900s,” says Jennifer Allan Goldman, institutional archivist at The Huntington and curator of the exhibition.

 

The exhibition begins with Benjamin Davis Wilson (1811–1878), the second mayor of Los Angeles and an early transplant to the tranquil San Gabriel Valley. He named his homestead Lake Vineyard, appropriate given that his land included a lake as well as citrus groves and commercial vineyards (The site occupied the present day location of San Marino’s popular Lacy Park). When Wilson’s daughter Maria Jesus (“Sue”) married James De Barth Shorb (1842–1896), Wilson gave her the adjoining property to the east, the present-day site of The Huntington. “Cultivating California” includes more than a dozen photographs of the surrounding landscape, including some by acclaimed photographer Carleton E. Watkins.

 

Shortly after his marriage, Shorb started to manage his father-in-law’s commercial and agricultural properties, growing Wilson’s small existing winery into the large San Gabriel Wine Co. He named his ranch San Marino, after the Maryland plantation on which he was raised. In a large Victorian house on the edge of a bluff (where the Huntington Art Gallery now stands), the Shorbs raised their own family, as depicted in several touching photographs in the exhibition, and hosted a number of guests, including Henry Huntington. But overextension on business ventures and a costly struggle with agricultural pests eventually led Shorb deeply into debt. A contentious court battle followed his death, shown in the exhibition by selections from the reams of legal documents it generated.

 

In 1900 the San Marino Ranch and other Shorb properties were ordered sold. The court had put the properties under the receivership of lawyer and neighbor George Smith Patton (1856–1927), the husband of Sue’s youngest sister, Ruth. Patton had been elected district attorney of Los Angeles at age 30, but health problems forced him to give up his practice, so in 1888 he moved his family to Lake Vineyard, where he could oversee the Wilson properties and assist with Shorb’s businesses. Patton’s son, George Jr., was known around Lake Vineyard as “Georgie,” but he is best known today as the general who led U.S. troops during World War II.

 

In 1903, Henry Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch, which Patton continued to manage until he hired William Hertrich as ranch superintendent in 1905. Huntington and Patton remained neighbors and close friends for more than 20 years and were two of the major influences behind the move to incorporate San Marino as its own jurisdiction in 1913.

“Cultivating California: Founding Families of the San Marino Ranch” is supported in memory of James De Barth Shorb by Barbara Vucanovich, Grant and Susan Anderson, Reynolds and Rebecca Cafferata, and Treat and Patricia Cafferata. This exhibition is also made possible by the Robert F. Erburu Exhibition Endowment.


Images

 

B. D. Wilson & Co. Burgundy label, ca. 1868. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   George Patton, Jr., holding vineyard grapes, ca. 1890. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
B. D. Wilson & Co. Burgundy label, ca. 1868. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   George Patton, Jr., holding vineyard grapes, ca. 1890. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

South porch of Shorb house, after 1888. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Parlor of first Lake Vineyard house, ca. 1880. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
South porch of Shorb house, after 1888. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Parlor of first Lake Vineyard house, ca. 1880. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Members of the Shorb family, including James De Barth Shorb and Maria de Jesus “Sue” Shorb on the east porch of Shorb house, ca. 1882. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Agreement for Press Colony near Ramona on San Gabriel Wine Company letterhead, including signature of Thomas Nast, 1888. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Members of the Shorb family, including James De Barth Shorb and Maria de Jesus “Sue” Shorb on the east porch of Shorb house, ca. 1882. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Agreement for Press Colony near Ramona on San Gabriel Wine Company letterhead, including signature of Thomas Nast, 1888. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Shorb-White wedding party. Back row: Campbell, Lulu Glassel Shorb, Susan Glassel Patton, Ruth Childs, Ramona Shorb, Sue Shorb. Middle row: Edith, Ynez, Stephen White, James Shorb, Ethel. Front row: James De Barth Shorb, Jr., Shorb Neale [?], Norbert, Bernardo, Donald, Anne Patton [?], William Banning, James Tiernan [?], 1894. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Shorb children in a buggy. Front (L-R): J. Campbell, Edith. Back (L-R): Ethel, Donald, Ramona, ca.1885. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Shorb-White wedding party. 1894. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Shorb children in a buggy. Front (L-R): J. Campbell, Edith. Back (L-R): Ethel, Donald, Ramona, ca.1885. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Henry Hancock, map of Cuati, 1854. Watercolor on paper. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Carlton E. Watkins, View at Lake Vineyard, San Gabriel, California, ca. 1880. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Henry Hancock, map of Cuati, 1854. Watercolor on paper. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   Carleton E. Watkins, View at Lake Vineyard, San Gabriel, California, ca. 1880. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Carlton E. Watkins, members of the B. D. Wilson and Shorb families at Lake Vineyard home, San Gabriel, California, ca. 1875. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Carleton E. Watkins, members of the B. D. Wilson and Shorb families at Lake Vineyard home, San Gabriel, California, ca. 1875. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Carlton E. Watkins, View from Lake Vineyard, B.D. Wilson’s San Gabriel, California, showing Shorb house, ca. 1880. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Carleton E. Watkins, View from Lake Vineyard, B.D. Wilson’s San Gabriel, California, showing Shorb house, ca. 1880. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Wilson’s Lake near Pasadena, date unknown. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   San Gabriel Wine Company bottles, ca. 1883. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Wilson’s Lake near Pasadena, date unknown. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.   San Gabriel Wine Company bottles, ca. 1883. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

 


Related Events


Preschool Series: One Hundred Years Ago.  
Feb. 6, 13, 20 & 27 (Wednesdays) 10 a.m.–noon
Join the centennial celebration as the class explores what life was like growing up a century ago. Led by instructor Laura Moede, each class will feature art projects, stories, and more. Fee includes one accompanying adult. Ages 3–4. Members: $85. Non-Members: $95.  Registration: 626-405-2128.

Taste of Art: Cultivating California
March 3 (Sunday) 9 a.m–12:30 p.m.
Before The Huntington was a lavish home and museum it was an agricultural ranch run by some of the who's-who of Los Angeles. Join chef and art educator Maite Gomez-Rejon and celebrate the City of San Marino's centennial by viewing the exhibition and preparing a seasonal California meal. Members: $85. Non Members: $95. Registration: 626-405-2128.

Curator Tour: Founding Families
March 13 (Wednesday) 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Join curator Jennifer Allan Goldman for a private tour of the exhibition and gain insights into the early years of the Huntington property through the papers and photographs of the Wilson, Shorb, and Patton families drawn from The Huntington’s collections. Members: $15. Non Members: $20. Registration: 626-405-2128.

Wine Class and Lecture: Cultivating California
March 20 (Wednesday) 5-7:30 p.m.
Join Jennifer Allan Goldman, curator of the exhibition, as she discusses the early years of The Huntington, which was once a rural agricultural property and a prominent vineyard. Following the lecture, participants will taste California wines with Brad Owen from the Art Institute of California. Members: $85. Non Members: $95. Registration: 626-405-2128.

Children’s Workshop: Founding Families Cooking Class
April 14 (Sunday) 9:30 am–12:30 pm
How did San Marino get its name? And who lived here before Mr. Huntington? Step back in time as we learn the history of The Huntington with chef Ernest Miller. Participants will explore the exhibition before cooking up some tasty treats inspired by the ranch. Ages 7–12. Fee includes one accompanying adult. Members: $30. Non-Members: $35. Registration: 626-405-2128.


Contacts

Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, tpage@huntington.org

Susan Turner-Lowe, 626-405-2147, sturner@huntington.org

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About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research
and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about
The Huntington can be found online at huntington.org.

Visitor information
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, Calif., 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Admission on weekdays: $20 adults, $15 seniors (65+), $12 students (ages 12–18 or with full-time student I.D.), $8 youth (ages 5–11), free for children under 5. Group rate, $11 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission on weekends: $23 adults, $18 seniors, $13 students, $8 youth, free for children under 5. Group rate, $14 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission is free to all visitors on the first Thursday of each month with advance tickets. Information: 626-405-2100 or huntington.org.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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