From the Library’s Collections

Ostrich Farms: An Early Southern California Tourist Destination

Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, ignited a fashion trend when she accessorized headpieces and hats with beautiful dyed ostrich feathers. Ostrich feathers quickly became a flamboyant accessory for hats, headpieces, trim on dresses or jackets, along with colorful boas. More than a century after Marie Antoinette was led to the guillotine, ostrich feathers were… Read More »

Founding Sherman Library & Gardens

Sherman Library & Gardens’ origins can be traced to one day in April 1914. On that day, Moses Hazeltine Sherman approached Arnold Haskell,  a young man working as a clerk at the reception desk of the Mission Inn in Riverside, with a job offer.  Years later Haskell recalled, “The General [Sherman] came in and he… Read More »

M. H. Sherman, Arnold Haskell, and the Hollywood Sign

What does the Hollywood sign have to do with Sherman Library & Gardens?  Quite a lot, as it turns out.  The Hollywood sign started out as the Hollywoodland sign, an advertising gimmick designed to attract buyers to a new luxury housing subdivision: Hollywoodland.  Dubbed “the supreme achievement in community building,” the subdivision land was owned… Read More »

Supermarkets come to Newport Beach

From the start of World War II through the early 1960s California’s population increased dramatically, making it the most populous state by 1962.  Like California as a whole, Newport Beach  grew faster than any point its history, from 4,438 residents in 1940 to 26,564 in 1960.  The influx of new residents also meant an increased… Read More »

Merle’s Drive-in

Merle’s Drive-in at MacArthur and Coast Highway, May 9th, 1952. Beckner Collection, Sherman Library. Merle’s Coffee shop opened in 1951 at the corner of Coast Highway and MacArthur Blvd., a space now occupied by the Corona del Mar Plaza. Merle’s, which billed itself as a drive-in, offered a typical menu of coffee shop staples.  In… Read More »

Kay Finch: Corona del Mar Artist

For more than twenty years, the ceramicist Kay Finch produced artful porcelain figurines in a studio near the corner of Coast Highway and Hazel Ave.  Kay, along with her staff, created whimsical figurines glazed in pastel colors.    She employed a meticulous, multiple-step process, which included multiple firings and hand decorating. She was best known… Read More »

The Novelty Architecture of Los Angeles

Betsy Ann Ice Cream, unidentified location in Los Angeles, ca. 1930. W. C. Sawyer Collection. In the 1920s, Los Angeles was booming.  Flush with water from the Owen Valley, affordable land, a growing network of roads, and a burgeoning film industry, the city rapidly expanded. One of the changes that took place was the emergence… Read More »

Have You Ever Eaten Pie Plant Pie?

With the “stay-at-home” orders in place, many families find themselves cooking more than usual.  To help you in your cooking, Sherman Library is sharing recipes from the 1890 Riverside Cook Book.   The All Saints’ Guild of Riverside compiled this cookbook,  under the supervision of Mrs. Fessenden. The “Ladies of Riverside” contributed their “Tried and Approved… Read More »