Baldwin Ranch Era
Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin (1828-1909) purchased Rancho Santa Anita in 1875 and immediately set to work transforming its rich soils and natural water resources into a combination of productive agricultural enterprise and showcase estate garden. Baldwin deepened the natural lake basin on the property, lined it with a cap-stoned granite boulder wall, and imported specimen trees and plants from around the world to compliment his signature Adobe home and adjoining Victorian guest cottage. Today, the Cottage and its adjoining lake and landscape are deservedly recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
Vintage postcard view of Lake, Cottage and Boathouse, ca. 1900. Prior to 1906, the entire back of a postcard was for address only, so messages had to be squeezed into whatever front space was available
Baldwin Lake prior to dredging, 1878. The spit of land where the rowboat is ashore would become the site of the Baldwin Cottage
Baldwin irrigation weir at Lake outflow, ca. 1910. Baldwin Lake provided controlled irrigation for orchards and vineyards to the east and south of the Home Place
Film and TV
The Arboretum's popularity as a Hollywood film location is legendary, a phenomenon predating the Arboretum itself. Historic structures had long dotted the landscape, most dating to the glory days of owner Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin’s Santa Anita Ranch. Starting in 1937, Baldwin Lake and surrounding acreage provided scenic backdrop with the ability to substitute for everything from the jungles of Africa to the South Seas, the Far East to the Wild West. The Arboretum’s 127 acres has added a touch of realism to hundreds of motion pictures, television specials, series episodes, commercials, even music videos over the past seven plus decades.
Location scout and first Arboretum Executive Secretary, Lee Wray Turner, on the set of Tarzan's Peril (1951). With Mrs. Turner are director Byron Haskin and star Lex Barker.
Tarzan and the Huntress (1946) with Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, Brenda Joyce as Jane and Johnny Sheffield as Boy