We have redesigned our Monrovia Airport "Flying Field" exhibit by providing more pictures and artifacts. Come by and read about the history of the airport and its connection to the McDonald's Restaurant of today and the Laurel and Hardy of yesterday!
Stop by to see our new doll exhibit! The Museum has an extensive doll collection that once belonged to Lucia Cromwell who was a teacher at Mayflower Elementary School in Monrovia, California from 1926-1962. During this time, she collected well over 600 dolls from around the world that she used as visual aids to teach her students about history and the diversity of various world cultures. Our display showcases twelve of the presidential dolls with their wives and also the dolls highlighted in the Doll Tales book sold in our Gift Shop.
On Monday, August 21, 2017, thirteen members from the Historic Preservation Volunteer Team from the Los Angeles County Arboretum came for a private tour of the Museum. Board Members ili Lobaco and Pam Barkas served as docents. The group took time out between visiting the two Museum wings to witness the solar eclipse. The group was very impressed with the collection that the Museum has and are looking forward to visiting again.
New Exhibit - Millinery Store
Stop by to see our newest exhibit in the East wing of the Museum. Our Millinery Store showcases our collection of vintage hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, shoes and more!
On April 30, 2017, the Monrovia Historical Museum (MHM) together with the Monrovia Historical Society, held an event at the MHM to discuss the former Monrovia Airport that was once located parallel to Shamrock Avenue and south of Huntington Drive. At the airport, pilots practiced their craft, students learned to fly, and passengers went for rides - along with the occasional movie being filmed.
History lovers and flying enthusiasts relived the aviation years of “Monrovia’s Flying Field” with chats with and stories from experts in the history of the Flying Field. There were photographs of historic planes and videos of the Flying Field in action. In addition, there were photos of the McDonald Brother's first hamburger stand which was once at the Monrovia Airport. Special guests included Tom Blackburn, son of the airport owner, Al Blackburn, and Gary Boen, airport historian and collector of more than 1,000 photos and papers on the airport.
Did you know that before the golden statue named Oscar was first given to motion pictures in 1929, there was a film studio in Monrovia? Called the Monrovia Feature Film Company, it was started in the fall of 1915. Confidence was high that the venture would be a success and the many investors purchased 154 acres in the foothills of Monrovia on which to build studios, dining halls, dressing rooms, and administration buildings. The studio also used local houses and hired Monrovia citizens as actors and extras. The first film, named "The Argonauts of '49" was about early California settlers, as was the second film "A Daughter of the Dons."
Here is a photo of the first Pacific Electric car in Monrovia--March 1, 1903.
Earlier, the city fathers had awarded a contract for the Olive Street Railway in 1901, the fare to Los Angeles not to exceed 25 cents. This system was superseded by the Big Red Cars of the Pacific Electric Railway.
To get ready for this future, the city council passed an ordinance to prohibit expectoration in public buildings, sideways, and the floor of street railways.
There's a display about the Big Red Cars at the Monrovia Historical Museum and you can even ring a trolley bell! The museum,l at 742 E. Lemon, is open Thursdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. #mymonrovia
messages from current board members
"My Friend Kris Mariconda"
I met Kris about seven years ago when I joined the Monrovia Historical Museum staff. Since that time I have had many wonderful meetings and encounters with Kris in that regard. She always laughed at my jokes!
There was a day when a city worker was concerned because he had spotted what appeared to him to be dog "leavings" on the roof. We where accused of bringing our dogs to work and putting them on the roof during our stay. of course we wouldn't do that, as a matter of fact, none of us have dogs. But between Kris and I, we milked that joke for weeks!
Kris was always a big help when the Museum had events, and was never too busy to get her hands dirty. Of course she knew everyone! I don't know how many hundreds of people she introduced me to over the years. She was our "in" to the schools and School District. I will miss taking the Museum's donated cash and checks to her at the District. Kris always took the time to talk with me about the future of the Museum or just about topics of the day. I know she had much work to do, but she was never short or in a hurry. And I stole many great ideas from her for the Museum as well.
Kris was the one of the original members that built the Museum and the foundation upon which we continued the work. Kris is a great loss to the museum, to the community, and I miss miss my friend and colleague.
Mark Still, Curator of Exhibits
Monrovia Historical Museum