Lucky Baldwin’s Paradise offers free entry on June 20

With so much to see at the Arboretum, make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes for a self-guided walking tour. With 127-acres to see, self-guided tours can take you anywhere from an hour to three hours, depending on your interests and time.



Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin is almost forgotten in the grand scheme of things at the LA Arboretum.   Only 127 acres are left in Arcadia from a 63,000 acre estate he amassed by 1880.

Luck Baldwin

A tough man living in tough times he had the ability to make things happen.  A man who should be studied by anyone who wants to go into business for themselves.  He was a consummate entrepreneur, and seemed to have the Midas touch.  Everything he put his hands and mind to seemed to turn to gold, thus the nickname “Lucky Baldwin.

Part of his legacy is the L.A. Arboretum and is an interesting place to explore.2017 05 16_LA Arboretum_1638_1

Many times you’re greeted by Peacocks who roam the grounds freely.


Many movies and TV shows were filmed here such as “Tarzan” starring Johnny Weissmuller and Fantasy Island in which the Queen Anne cottage was used in all the opening scenes.

2017 05 16_LA Arboretum_1687_edited-1Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage was constructed in 1885-86, probably as a honeymoon gift for his fourth wife, sixteen- year-old Lillie Bennett.

“For a year after she married Baldwin (May, 1884), this little girl was queen of the ranch,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. Lillie’s father, architect Albert A. Bennett, designed the cottage, but the honeymooners apparently never enjoyed its beauty.

Lillie and E.J. separated in 1885, and the fanciful house was converted by its owner into a memorial to the third Mrs. Baldwin, Jennie Dexter, who had died in 1881. A stained glass portrait of Jennie stood welcome in the front door and an almost life-size oil painting of her was hung in the Cottage parlor. Both items remain today.

Walking through the many gardens is an enjoyable journey.


On leaving stop into the gift shop.

2017 05 16_LA Arboretum_1704_edited-1

Maybe you can find a little bit of the Lucky Baldwin paradise to take home.

Santa Anita Depot Tours

Tours are held Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 10am-4pm and Sundays from 1-4pm.

Visitors can tour the inside of this historical treasure with a knowledgeable docent and learn about what this depot was like when it was operational.

Santa Anita Depot


In 1970, an abandoned train station was moved from its original location a quarter mile north of the Arboretum and restored to look as it was first constructed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1890. A typical half-passenger, half- freight depot with living quarters upstairs for the agent and family, the Santa Anita Depot was an active local station stop for both Baldwin Ranch and nearby Sierra Madre residents.

Described in the local Sierra Madre newspaper in August, 1890, as “an elaborate two-story depot built with one hundred thousand bricks from the nearby E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin brick yard”, the Santa Anita Depot cost an estimated $5,000 to construct.

Main Grounds are open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., closing at 5 p.m. Peacock Café is open Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Garden & Gift Shop is open daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (626) 447- 8751.

Parking is free. The Arboretum has two parking lots. Our main lot is adjacent to the entrance of the garden. Our second lot is located south of the front lawn and is known as the south lot.

The Arboretum is located just south of I-210, Foothill Freeway at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, across from the Santa Anita Race Track.



Photos by Craig Lowe


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