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
IMAGES • RELATED EVENTS • CONTACTS
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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. 1894. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
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.
Carleton E. Watkins, View at Lake Vineyard, San Gabriel, California, ca.
1880. 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
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.
Preschool Series: One Hundred Years Ago.
Feb. 6, 13, 20 & 27 (Wednesdays) 10 a.m.–noon
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:
Taste of Art: Cultivating California
March 3 (Sunday) 9 a.m–12:30 p.m.
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.
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.
Wine Class and Lecture: Cultivating California
March 20 (Wednesday) 5-7:30 p.m.
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
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:
Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Turner-Lowe, 626-405-2147, email@example.com
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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.
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.