Pasadena Museum of History


470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena

A museum and research library/archives focusing on the history of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena Museum of History presents a wide-ranging schedule of exhibitions, lectures, programs, and workshops throughout the year as well as tours of historic Fenyes Mansion and the Finnish Folk Art Museum.


  • View the current exhibitions: Crossing the Atlantic Quilt by Quilt which features more than 30 quilts on display for the first time ever; and Strings Attached: Tradition Meets Contemporary Woven Art which highlights the work of the Bobbinwinders Guild of the San Gabriel Valley who combine modern and historical techniques of weaving and design.
  • For MOTA Day’s “Hidden in Plain Sight” exhibit, the Museum encourages guests to find the Jennie Clapp Culver four-post bed. In 1873, the bed (already 100 years old) travelled across the country with the family of Pasadena pioneer, William T. Clapp.  The Clapp family purchased 60 acres on the south side of California Street, running from Fair Oaks Avenue to the Arroyo. After his house was completed in 1874, William Clapp offered up his downstairs bedroom for use as a classroom for Pasadena’s first school. His 18 year old daughter, Jennie Clapp, was the schoolteacher.  Soon after, the residents raised $300 towards building a simple schoolhouse under the shade of an oak tree on the Clapp property.

JennieClappBed Photo by Aaron Gil

  • Families can participate in hands-on craft activities; additionally Bobbinwinders Guild members, weavers, sewers and spinners will be on the grounds showing their craftwork.
  • Mini-Tours of Fenyes Mansion. Visitors can tour the historic residence. The 1906 Beaux Arts Fenyes Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the few remaining grand homes on Pasadena’s “Millionaire’s Row. Docents in select rooms will share information about the original period furnishings, family heirlooms, and the unique California plein air art collection that enhance this architectural jewel.
  • Tours of Finnish Folk Art Museum. Members of the Finlandia Foundation will welcome guests to the museum which is furnished in the style of a 19th century Finnish farmhouse. This unique exhibition provides a fascinating glimpse into Finland’s tradition and culture and reminds visitors that the Fenyes Mansion once served as the Finnish Consulate.
  • The Kona Ice Truck will be in the parking lot selling cold treats to visitors.

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