One hundred years may not seem like a long time for a house to be around, but Wrigley Mansion in Pasadena has packed a lot of history into that century. On Sunday, the Tournament of Roses celebrated the anniversary of its completion with a Sunday Summer Social event for invited guests.
The mansion on Millionaire’s Row on South Orange Grove has been home to only three families in its 100 years: the George Stimson family, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. and his family, and the Tournament of Roses. In his welcoming remarks, 2014 Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins emphasized that the mansion is more than just a place to house offices and hold meetings.
“There are many houses in the country that are 100 years old or older, but only one that’s home to so much magic, and that’s Tournament House,” he said. The estate, which was gifted to the City of Pasadena in 1959 after Mrs. Wrigley’s death in memory of her love for the parade, is the place where dreams come true, where months of planning culminate on Jan. 1 in the magic that is the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
For photos and a brief history of Tournament House, read “Tournament House opens for public tours” in this column.
That the Tournament of Roses is a kind of extended family was reflected in the people in attendance. The second longest tenured living queen, Sally Stanton Rubsamen (1941), was there, along with many subsequent queens and princesses. Margaret Huntley Main (1940), who wrote the aptly titled A Rose Queen Is Forever, lives out of town and could not make it. The two women founded the Queen’s Club in 1949 to bring the new queen and former queens together.
Former Tournament of Roses presidents attended, along with current president Jenkins and the 2015 president Rich Chinen, and many volunteers to show people around the house.
The Tournament of Roses Heritage Committee, which provides docents for Tournament House tours and plans events, hosted the party. Roberta Hagopian, dressed in attire to match the period, was the event captain. William Wrigley, Jr. and his wife Ada, portrayed by actors, were at the front door to greet visitors and music was provided by the Art Deco Band on the terrace. Refreshments were served inside and in the gazebo area on a gorgeous Southern California day, the kind in which it seems always afternoon.
Tournament House, is open for docent-led tours every Thursday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. through Aug. 29, when the house is filled with planning meetings for the Jan. 1 events. Reservations are not necessary, but tours do begin promptly. The mansion is located at 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 449-4100 for more information.
The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game is “Dreams Come True.” The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter, with the high points being the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.
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