Inside the Henry and Arabella Huntington Mansion at the San Marino Ranch

by Nancy Armitage

         

Huntington Mansion at San Marino Ranch in Southern California. Owned by Mr. & Mrs. Henry E. & Arabella Huntington. Which became the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA Photo credit: Nancy Armitage

Who lived at the Huntington Mansion at the San Marino Ranch, (by Pasadena, CA) ? Henry E. Huntington did from: 1910-27 & Arabella D. Huntington did also from (1913 to 1924 until she died). There nicknames were “Belle & Edwards” and they loved to entertain in this house. Technically, the Huntingtons only spent about 4-5 months a year at the Ranch; sometimes longer. The rest of the year, the Huntingtons spent in 3 mansions & estates in New York, also at Chateau Beauregard by Paris in the summer & home to New York City in Autumntime for the holidays.

Mr. Henry E. Huntington Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Mr. Henry “Edwards” Huntington  

B. Feb. 27, 1850 BP. Oneonta, NY D. May 23, 1927 DP. Philadelphia, PA

Buried: San Marino Ranch, CA (Huntington Library San Marino, CA).

In 1903, Henry E. Huntington purchased the property – San Marino Ranch by Pasadena, CA. He was married to his 1st wife at the time, Mary Alice Huntington. “Edwards” (HEH) & MaryAlice lived on Jackson Street in San Francisco with 3 their daughters (Elizabeth, Clara, & Marion, & one son, Howard Huntington). Mary Alice & her daughters refused to move down to Southern California. In 1906, Edwards & MaryAlice Huntington got divorced.

In May of 1910, Henry E. Huntington moved into his Huntington Mansion on the San Marino Ranch. He brought with him a small servant staff of a Housekeeper, Cook, Chauffeur, Night Watchman, & Laundress. In 1913, Henry E. Huntington married Arabella D. Huntington (widow of Collis P. Huntington). Document: HEH Coll. MS 1/F/17 uncat (Huntington Land & Improvement Co.) & HEH Collection MS 4/1-10 (Mr. H. E. Huntington Bill Record -1910) Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Mrs. Henry E. Huntington (Arabella “Belle” D. Huntington) (she lived on the Ranch from 1913-1924)

B. June 1, 1850 B.P: Mobile, Alabama 

D. September 16, 1924 she died in her Huntington Mansion located at No. 2 East 57th Street NYC, NY. This date of her birth B. June 1, 1850 (written on Huntington Mausoleum in San Marino, CA at the Huntington Library. Arabella/Archer letter confirms her age: Letter to Archer M. Huntington from Arabella D. Huntington when she was 70 yrs. old on her birthday- letter dated June 1, 1920 “today is my birthday”. Document: located at the Hispanic Museum, NYC. She lived at the San Marino Ranch from 1913-1924 a portion of the year.

Mrs. Henry E. Huntington “Arabella” (from 1913-1924) formerly Mrs. Collis P. Huntington (from 1884-1913). Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Henry Huntington’s son, Howard E. Huntington (B.1876), was also listed as living with his father, on the San Marino Ranch in the early 1900’s. Technically, the “Oak Knoll” area was on the San Marino Ranch. I am not sure when Howard Huntington bought his home on Hillhurst house in Oak Knoll, Pasadena. Document: Social Register/ Blue Book Los Angeles CA. We know that Howard E. Huntington as a bachelor lived with Mr. H. E. Huntington at the Jonathan Club (“Huntington Building” at Main St. & 6th St. at the time) in Downtown Los Angeles, CA 

One of the Huntington’s front door to the Terrace, overlooking the San Gabriel Valley, CA Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

H. E. Huntington’s Mansion Inventory/Physical Rooms (SMR):

(Over 40 Rooms total)

The “Porte Cochere” added to the north side of the Huntington Mansion; which is now the Huntington Library. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Porte Cochere – (in French defined is “Carriage Porch”; a covered carriage porch for horse & buggy or the Huntington’s automobiles). It is north facing and the formal entrance for Mr. & Mrs. Huntington. Where their limousines would drop them off & they could enter their home in the shade; if it was raining or hot & sunny, they had protection.

The H. E. Huntington Large Library in Huntington Mansion on the San Marino Ranch, later to become the Huntington Library CA. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

The Huntington’s “Large Library”: (Colors: Green & Golds) H. E. Huntington built this room originally for all his rare books & manuscripts. While in Paris, Mrs. Arabella Huntington & Sir Joseph Duveen (art dealer) bought 4 huge French Boucher Tapestries in the early 1900’s, they were French elegant rugs made in 1755,which would become wall hangings for the Large Library. At that point, all Mr. Huntington plans for his library at the mansion changed; because he trusted Duveen & Mrs. Huntington’s taste. Eventually, Mr. Huntington had a Library Building (1919) built on the Ranch. When Mr. Huntington bought a set of books, it was a important collection of valuable books usually with a theme, like botanical or ephemera about President George Washington.

In 1913, Mr. Henry “Edwards Huntington married Mrs. Arabella “Belle” Yarrington Worsham Huntington (Mrs. Collis P. Huntington). Arabella Huntington arrived at the San Marino technically on ranch first in April of 1913, in Los Angeles, CA. It was to perform the legal marriage at the Los Angeles Courthouse; evidence is in Mr. H. E. Huntington papers of receipts of Mrs. Huntington buying hats & fine china in Los Angeles. Then, they got married again in the summer of 1913, in the American Church in Paris, France. 

In 1919, Mr. Huntington’s book collection was getting so large, he had to build a Large “Library Building” to house it. The Large Library in the mansion was also called “Family Room”. This was the room where Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington (Arabella or “Belle” would formally “receive” all their visitors & guests). Everyone was formally “announced” to Mr. & Mrs. Henry Huntington by the 1st Butler, Angus McGillivray or their Butler, Alfonso Gomez. Alfonso stated in his interview years later, that even the Huntington’s grandchildren were announced! Document: HEH Coll. MS19/1-18 uncat (Alfonso Gomez interviews)

The Large Library in Huntington Mansion on San Marino Ranch; which became the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

In the 1920’s, researchers have found out exactly how this room was actually decorated at the time of the Huntingtons. The Large Library was decorated in the Louis XV French style in green & golds. There was 3 elegant Louis XV French tables: 2 tables were 6 ft. long with leather tops, & one with brass ornaments, & the 3rd table was oval table with carved legs & brass ornamental sides. Also, 2 large Louis XVI Bureau Tables: one in Amaranthus wood by P. Garnier & the other with ormolu mount representing “The Nile”. Also, an Oak Library Table that was 8 ft. long with leather top & carved legs; this one was great for Mr. Huntington to lay out maps & large documents to review. He loved maps. On the floor, a Oriental Isfahan Persian rug 13 ft. x 5 ft. (16th Century) in this grandest of rooms. There was a green satin sofa & many French style chairs, 1 carved English Charles II Revolving chair, & 6 green & gilt chairs with 18 other carved oak chairs covered in green satin [Damask with a satin finish] fabric. 

A Steinway Concert Grand Piano for their musical pleasure in the Large Library.

For musical entertainment in the Large Library, the Huntingtons owned a Steinway Concert Grand Piano; they also had a 8-tube Radiola 30” Superhetrodyne Radio in mahogany case. The fireplace mantle was decorated with 2 Blue Grosbleu Louis XIV Lion head vases, & 1 Louis XV Clock with Philibert’s & 2 marble groups, (Venus & Cupid) with 1 tapestry fireplace screen. Also, 1 pair tall Chinese vases on carved Teakwood stands 3 ½ ft. tall. Covering the windows 6 pairs heavy green damask satin finish curtains.

The Huntington enjoyed many games & activities in the Large Library, also. There was his rare books to choose from, maps, scrapbooks, & current magazines to read. There was 103 genealogical books & pamphlets to peruse. Mr. Huntington loved dominos at home & he joined tournaments at his downtown club, “California Club” in downtown Los Angeles. He also loved jigsaw puzzles per his sister, Carrie Holladay.

Often Mr. & Mrs. Huntington played bridge with friends after dinner.

There was Cribbage & Playing cards for (gin rummy or bridge or solitaire). The Huntington’s also liked to play Mah-Jongg. The portraits of “Edwards & Belle” H. E. Huntington & A.D. Huntington by Oswald Birley were just outside the large library. Document: HEH Coll HEH 38/6 uncat [Huntington Mansion inventory book] Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Fresh flowers were picked almost every day for the Huntington Mansion on the San Marino Ranch. From the lovely Huntington’s Rose Garden & Mrs. Huntington’s Flower Cutting Garden.

Small Office – Mr. Henry “Edwards” Huntington’s – “Small Library” was a room that represented some of the Huntington’s travels. It was decorated with a rich red flare with red satin damask curtains; maybe this was a nod to Huntington’s own Pacific Electric Company. Henry E. Huntington created a whole system of trains in Los Angeles County to Orange Co., the locals called the “Red Cars”. On the wooden parquet floor – they had 2 rugs, a beautiful Oriental rug “Kermanshah (Persian)” & a 50” x 30” Peruvian rug.

A Dragonfly Tiffany lamp is so beautiful (above). I am not sure what kind of Tiffany Lamp Mr. Huntington had, but this is one example.

Mr. Huntington elegant desk was a Louis XV 6 ft. long table with an electric Tiffany Lamp & 2 tapestry-carved arm chairs for guests. This room probably held the oldest item the Huntington’s owned: a long 16th Century German framed tapestry needlework (still there in 2019); on the mantle sat a French Banjo clock with thermometer. An Italian carved walnut cabinet with 3 glass sides held 2 bronzes, Centaur (modern) & an antique Madonna Plaque (15th Century) by Donatello, & a pair of carved Bellows sculptures. On the side table, sat Mr. H. E. Huntington’s plaster bust by sculptor: Troubetzkoy made in August of 1917. The Small Library had bathroom attached. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 (uncat) [Huntington Mansion Inventory List] –Huntington Library. San Marino, CA

The Huntington Grand Double Staircase. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

The Huntington Mansion Grand Staircase (SMR) the grand staircase was double wide & had a grand landing half way down the staircase. On this landing, one could look out the large picture window, & see the grand San Gabriel Mountains. To the north of the mansion was the “deer park”. The deer park had a large figurine statue garden (North Vista) looking on to the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. The Huntington butler, Alfonso Gomez tells a lovely story in his interviews about the Huntington’s staircase. In the evenings, the Huntingtons had formal dinners every night. Mr. Huntington dressed in fancy tux; Mrs. Huntington in a long beaded gown. Mrs. Huntington would walk down to the Grand Staircase landing & Mr. Huntington would come up & met her half way; then they would procede down the staircase together. Alfonso thought it was such a loving affectionate gesture. Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 19/1-(17) (Alfonso Gomez Interviews) the Huntington’s Head butler                                              

Elevator (SMR): located on the west side of the double wide Grand staircase. 

Henry & Arabella Huntington’s Formal Dining Room in the Huntington Mansion at the San Marino Ranch. The Dining Room room was once filled with all Romney portraits originally. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Huntington’s Green & Gold Dining Room (SMR):  In the late 1920’s, at the San Marino Ranch, the dining room was Green & Gold. Mrs. Huntington had the green curtains made of Italian damask fabric with green satin finishes. Note: Green is the perfect color for the Dining Room, because green goes with every season of the year. As a hostess, decorating for different luncheons & entertainment, this was a brillant idea. She was a entertainer and understanding the importants of making her tablescape the most beautiful. Also, Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Mansion at No. 2 E. 57th Street NYC also had a green Dining Room.                                           

At the San Marino Ranch, the Huntingtons had a round table that fit 6 luncheon or dinner guests. But Mrs. Huntington usually liked to entertain for 12 guests. The Dining Room Table could be expanded with wooden leaves for 12 -24 luncheon/dinner guests when needed. The Dining Room table was surrounded by Chippendale chairs with “Royal 2-tone green velvet” cushion; 30 chairs in all, in the dining room & hallways. We know in 1926, the Dining Room table was set for 24 dinner guests. It was a very important event for H. E. Huntington’s famous “Royal Dinner” in July of 1926. The crown Prince & Princess of Sweden were his houseguests and he wanted to have a special dinner for them and entertained them with events for the whole weekend. The Huntington’s if they had large “entertainments” and tea parties, there were several leaves to enlarge the table for entertaining.

Huntington Dining Room table with 2 tall silver (4 candle) candlesticks & fancy silver “epergne” for fruit, assorted nuts. & sweets. The epergne was such a beautiful way to show off the Huntington’s ranch orange & exotic fruits.

There was 9 ft. x 11 ft. Oriental Rug (Isfahan silk – Persian worth $15,000.00 in 1927). The portrait paintings of George Romney hung on the walls, about 9 of them. There were 2 green marble-topped side tables with carved legs of women, under the paintings. Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 38/6 [Huntington Mansion inventory book] at the Huntington Library San Marino, CA; photo in Art of Wealth & Huntington Coll. photos, pictured in Hertrich’s Personal Recollections book.

Mrs. Huntington favored 12 guests at her table for luncheons & dinners. Mrs. Huntington also favored elegant French “Maria Antoinette” chandeliers. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

I found this important & detailed information from a large inventory book of the H. E. Huntington’s Mansion at the San Marino Ranch. This inventory book was thick & listed everything at the Huntington Mansion, but sadly not a lot of details (porcelain plates pattern, etc). There was no date on inventory book, but I assume it was made by the curators at the time of Mr. H. E. Huntington death (1927). Some items were inherited by Mr. Huntington’s 3 daughters because his son Howard died in 1922 & also Archer Huntington. Items were listed with a “E” for Estate; & some things went to the Huntington Library, listed with a “L” for Library. All paintings stayed at the Huntington Mansion & any table or desk that was located under a painting was to stay at the Huntington Library also. (look at HEH Bio File Blog for details). Archer Huntington most likely inherited & received household items of his mothers after she died in 1924.   

The Henry E. Huntington’s Dining Room. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Daily Meals in the H. E. Huntington Dining Room Schedule (SMR)

Early morning: “Breakfast trays” to all houseguests (ordered the night before with the Butler); Breakfast tray to Mrs. Arabella Huntington & guests with “tea & toast” & a stunning rose or flowers from her lovely garden.

8:00 AM Mr. H. E. Huntington’s or Early Breakfast – [if Mr. Huntington had an appointment in downtown LA, he took breakfast early] Document: HEH Coll. HEH 19 1-18 uncat (Alfonso Gomez interviews -Head butler at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

9:00 AM Arabella & H. E. “Edwards” Huntington’s & Houseguest’s Breakfast in the Dining Room

1:00-2:00 PM Formal Luncheon – (4-course is highly likely: Seafood Cocktail or Fruit Cocktail or Salad, Soup, Entrée with Vegetable, & a Dessert) – served by 2 Huntington Footmen & 2 Butlers like Royalty. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 uncat (Leslie Huntington Brehm affidavit) at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

2:00-3:30 PM “Tea & a chat” with Belle in the Small Drawing Room; Leslie Huntington (Howards’s wife) and Arabella or Belle were quite close. Leslie stated that the she and Belle “Almost Daily” after luncheon in the Dining Room. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 uncat (Leslie Huntington Brehm affidavit) at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Dinner at 7:00 PM Sharp – 9:00 Dinner (Formal dinner) served like Royalty; by dressed Butlers & Footmen with gloves.

9-10 PM After-Dinner Coffee & Bonbons & Entertainment or Bridge Document: HEH Coll. MS19/1-18 (uncat) Alfonso Gomez interviews

Gilded age dinners & luncheons with gold and white plates, sterling silver flatware, & fancy colored wine glasses. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage at the Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena,CA.

The Huntingtons would usually have formal multi-course dinners with 6-8 courses – sometimes these dinners took 2 hours. There would be a break in the middle of dinner with a festive Roman Punch. When Mr. Huntington was questioned by Duveen about dinner being at 7:00 Sharp. Henry “Edwards Huntington replied, “our cook has made us a lovely meal that she has hot & ready to go at 7:00 pm, so I want to honor & respect the people that prepare our meals”. Doc: HEH Coll MS letter to HEH from Duveen about schedule & meal time; Alfonso interviews. 

In the 1890’s, Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s hosted dinners a little later at 8:00 pm in her San Francisco mansion. I found an invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Burke Holladays from Collis P. Huntington & Arabella.Arabella’s formal invitation dinner started at 7:30. The invitation was for 7:30 pm which made dinner at 8:00 pm. Document: HEH Coll. HEH Box 199-200 (HEH private papers) invitation from Collis P. Huntington & Arabella D. Huntington to Burke & Carrie Holladay-their neice.    

9:00-10:00pm After-Dinner Entertainments for Mr. and Mrs. Edwards & Arabella Huntington at the San Marino Ranch could vary. They might be musicale trio, lecture, or a reading. Often, depending if they had house guests, etc. Sometimes, “Edwards” would read a meaningful passage from a book from his library. The Huntingtons might host a piano recital, listen to a radio program, have music, play cards, or bridge. Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 38/6 uncat (Leslie Huntington affidavit- in the 1920’s, Leslie had luncheon & tea with Arabella almost daily); HEH Coll. MS 38/6 (Wills & Affidavits)  [I found information from Henry Huntington typed-up schedule for events for “Royal Dinner” in 1926, that special night all guest and the Huntingtons went to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. After-dinner entertainment was at 9:00 PM-10;00PM which means dinner started at 7:00 PM that evening, also.]  

This Festive Punch (above) is served in English Mason’s “Mandalay Blue” (footed) punch bowl; in cobalt blue, white & rust. The Huntingtons were partial to Roman Punch. Often, they served punch or sorbet in between a formal multi-course dinner.

The Huntington’s “Large Drawing Room” (SMR): this special room was where the painting: “The Blue Boy” by Gainsborough was located. The painting actually hung on the north-west wall of the Large Drawing Room. Both “The Blue Boy” & “Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse” paintings both arrived at the Huntington’s Mansion at the same time. On the San Marino Ranch on Tuesday, March 21, 1922 Joseph Duveen delivered “The Blue Boy” and “Mrs. Siddons” himself. It was a very happy day for Edwards & Belle Huntington, they were most proud of purchasing “The Blue Boy”. Pinkie was purchased by HEH after Belle died. The next day, on Wed. March 22, 1922 “the Blue Boy” was actually hung in the Large Drawing Room. This room was often used for afternoon tea. Doc. HEH Coll. HEH MS 10968 (Burke’s Journal) Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Mr. & Mrs. Henry E. Huntington’s Large Drawing Room with Gainsborough’s “The Blue Boy” painting. Art & photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Alfonso Gomez, the Head Butler, stated a interesting fact in his interviews: When Henry Huntington was leaving the Huntington Mansion on the Ranch, Mr. Huntington would salute “The Blue Boy”. He was so very tickled to have this important work of art in his English collection of paintings at his beloved San Marino Ranch. Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 10968 (Burke Journals); HEH Coll. MS 19/1- (17-18) uncat Alfonzo Gomez interviews at the Huntington Library San Marino CA. Historical Note: Duveen & these famous paintings took a couple of stops on the trip home. From England to NYC to San Marino Ranch. One of the art exhibition that “Blue Boy” was in was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A humorous letter sent from Duveen to Henry Huntington stated that HEH’s “boy” is safe & sound; ready for the ride home.                                                

The Huntington’s Small Drawing Room. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Small Drawing Room (SMR): The reason why there was two Drawing Rooms is because this room was originally called the “Breakfast Room” on architect Myron Hunt’s blueprints. The Huntingtons wanted all meals to be taken in their elegant Dining Room. So, the Breakfast Room became this “Small Drawing Room”. It became a lovely intimate room that Mrs. Huntington would take tea with one or two friends or maybe a cup of coffee with Mr. Huntington in the morning. When Mr. & Mrs. Huntington were “‘in residence” at the Ranch, Leslie Huntington came over “nearly daily” to have luncheon; after luncheon Mrs. Huntington & Leslie would have tea in the Small Drawing Room for tea & a chat. Document: Myron Hunt’s Blueprint of Mr. H. E. Huntington’s residence at the SMR – Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Both Mr. & Mrs. Huntington enjoyed afternoon tea very much. At the time was called “At-Homes”, tea reception” or “5 o’clock Tea”. Mrs. Huntington served tea, scones, tea sandwiches, biscuits, tea cake with Virginia Peanuts, & Jordan Almonds. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

“Coat Room” (1st floor): This room was decorated in red with a pair of red damask like red satin finish curtains. On the floor, an Oriental rug 12 ft. x 6 ft. The Coat Room had several tables: one was Chinese Chippendale 40” x 72” & a Spanish walnut table with gilded base 36” x 30”, 1 beautiful bronze relief by Alexandre Charpentier of Mother nursing her child (in the Library building downstairs now). This is one of my favorite pieces at the Huntington Library. The Huntingtons could open up the windows of the Coat Room & the music drift out of their electric Victrola (Victor Talking Machine Co.) It was in a mahogany finished case for their 1920’s records. Also, they had a hat & coat tree in Vienna Bentwood & a chair of Vienna Bentwood with a white porcelain umbrella tree. Document: Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 38/6 [Huntington Mansion inventory book] Huntington Library, San Marino CA

Back Staircase was for the Huntington’s house servants; leading to the basement, the Huntington extensive wine cellar, & cook’s pantry with jams & jellies. The back staircase was located at the northeast portion of the house by the kitchen & the elevator. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 Huntington inventory book Huntington Library, San Marino, CA                                                

McMonnies lovely sculpture of mother & child; the Huntington’s Loggia. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Loggia (SMR) in sunny southern California “the loggia” was an outside room for the Huntingtons. It was a covered lanai, or large elegant square veranda with a red tiled floor. The Huntington’s used it often to entertain guests for afternoon tea with lovely cool breezes on a warm day. It was covered for shade; often Henry “Edwards”Huntington enjoyed playing cards with his neighbor & good friend, Mr. Geo. Patton Sr. (he was also San Marino’s first mayor). Document: HEH Coll. MS 19/1-18 (uncat) [Alfonso Gomez tapes – 1st Butler to Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Huntington] at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA Book: H.E.Huntington a Biography, by Thorpe.

2nd Floor – H. E. & Arabella Huntington Mansion (SMR): 

Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Dressing Rooms or “Boudoir”: was a set of four (4)  rooms (just above the Loggia) next north of Mr. Huntington’s bedroom. The rooms were Mrs. Huntington large Wardrobe Room, a Sitting Room (3 French doors opened to the French fragrant Rooftop Garden), with Mrs. Huntington’s Bathroom, & Mrs. Huntington’s Bedroom. Document: Myron Hunt Blueprint (I learned about this room from the Construction Co. manager that renovated the mansion (2008). 

Mrs. Huntington’s Sitting Room (2nd Floor): (ADH Boudoir used to have 3 huge sets of French Doors. Through these French Doors was a lovely Fragrant French Rooftop Garden especially made for Mrs. Huntington. This garden had yellow acacia trees & French roses & French lavender, bay tree, & rose topiaries on the roof of the Loggia. Document: Hertrichs Book & HEH Coll. HEH 8/9 (San Marino ranch papers) Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Mr. Huntington’s Bedroom with bathroom: (2nd Floor) was located at the south–east corner of the Huntington Mansion. His amazing views were Mt. Wilson, to the east Mt. Baldy, & to the South-the whole San Gabriel Valley. On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean & Santa Catalina Island!

Mr. Huntington’s Sitting Room (2nd Floor): located next to Mr. Huntington’s Bedroom on the south side; decorated with French theme of colors: Black, white, gold, & red, very elegant with all his favorite things about the room Document: on a guards map on the 2nd floor all these rooms were listed.

The mint green tile floor of the Small Aviary (upstairs) in the Huntington Mansion; now the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. A gorgeous view of the San Gabriel Valley; on a clear day one can see the Pacific Ocean! Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Small Aviary (Upstairs) with a mint green floor housed 3 favorite Huntington birds: “Buster” the nautical speaking Amazon green parrot (who also could imitate Mrs. Huntington’s voice perfectly), white Australian cockatoo with a yellow crest, & a Black Indian Mynah bird. (caged in Mrs. Huntington sitting room [Small Drawing Room] per Mr. Hertrich’s book: The Huntington Botanical Gardens .

A white cockatoo bird

5 Guest Rooms (2nd Floor of Huntington Mansion-SMR): one was labeled “Archer’s Room”, the Holladays (E. Burke & Carrie & children Helen & Collis Holladay) rooms (before they moved to Pasadena) they would have needed 2 or 3 rooms – one for Burke & Carrie (HEH’s sister) & another room for their son & daughter, Collis & Helen Holladay who stayed with the Huntingtons for 1 month at a time. Document: map of the guards at the Huntington Library. Historical note: There was a room named after Archer; it is likely that Archer Huntington came to his mother’s final funeral at the Ranch in December of 1924. There is also photo of Mrs. Archer Huntington (Anna) at the ranch in the Huntington archives.; Anna Huntington (famous NYC Sculptress) also gave Henry Huntington several sculptures; a pair of her dog sculptures that are placed in front of the Boone gallery, now. Maybe Mr. Huntington bought the dog from Anna Huntington.

Ornate gilded French furniture located upstairs. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Double Bathroom: probably Jack & Jill bathroom for the Holliday family (4 people), also 9 Bathrooms attached to all the Guest rooms & several Servants rooms (2nd Floor):

Guest’s Sitting Room: (2nd floor): a nice place to have a breakfast tray sent up with coffee in the morning. From the 2nd story window you can even see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day! Mr. & Mrs. Huntington “Belle & Edwards” expected their guests for breakfast at the Huntington’s Dining Room table. The smart guest would arrange the night before to have a staff member to bring the breakfast tray “coffee and toast” to come at a certain time in the morning.  

White peacocks used to roam grounds of the San Marino Ranch; this stunning painting is actually in Macy’s Pasadena (it used to be Bullock’s Pasadena). Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Miss Carrie Campbell’s Bedroom: was located on the west wing of the Huntington’s mansion. She was Arabella Huntington’s friend & private secretary. She traveled to all Huntington mansions: No. 2, TN, SF, CPK, Chat. B. & SMR. 

Mr. George Hapgood’s “Happy” Bedroom: (HEH’s private secretary) After Mr. Varnum was fired in 1915 for offending Mrs. Huntington; Mr. Hapgood was hired. Document: Hapgood’s room on a guard’s map on the 2nd floor all these rooms were listed.

In every closet in the Huntington Mansion were vases for the flowers from the gardens. Mrs. Huntington purchase 1 doz. vases at a time. A tradition of some hostesses: placing a vase of flowers at a “cover” (place setting). After the dinner, the guest would take the flowers & the pretty vase home with them. Photo credit: Nancy Armitage

 The Huntington’s Butler’s Pantry:

This room on the north side of the Huntington’s Dining Room was the Huntington Butler’s Pantry. It housed all of the Huntington plateware: 40+cabinets of fine bone china plateware & porcelain plateware, crystal glasses, & silver flatware. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage
A large silver tray for Gilded Age Entertainments. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage at the Huntington Library located upstairs.

The Huntington’s Butlers’ Pantry (SMR): The Butler’s Pantry in the Gilded Age really was the 1st Butler’s responsibility. The 1st Butler held the key to the most expensive items in the Huntington Mansion. The Butlers Pantry was filled with Mrs. Huntington’s favorite: Sterling silver, Crystal ware, & Fine Bone China & porcelain plates dinnerware. The 1st & 2nd Butler at the Huntington Mansion: Angus McGillivray was the 1st Butler; Alphonso Gomez 2nd Butler (eventually Alphonso was the 1st Butler & he was also Mr. Huntington’s Gentleman’s Valet). The Butlers carefully shined all the sterling silver pieces, & made the crystal sparkle on the Dining Room table. The Butlers served the Huntington’s their tea on the formal silver tray – silver tea set. The Butlers were also responsible for cleaning, washing, & putting all items away in the Butler’s Pantry. They served the Huntingtons their formal luncheons, afternoon tea, & formal dinners.

Mrs. Arabella Huntington loved pink plateware, especially French Sevres (above), Limoges, & Haviland (many of her sets were white, gold with pink roses.) Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage at Huntington Library on 2nd floor.

Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Butler’s Pantry Room was located just north of the Huntington’s Dining Room at the San Marino Ranch. There were once 42 cabinets of Mrs. Huntington’s fine bone china & porcelain plateware. These included Dinnerware, Luncheon ware, Breakfast plateware, Tea sets & tea plates, & “Breakfast sets”. A breakfast set included coffee pot, tea pot or chocolate pot with creamer, sugar, & tray. Also, in the Butler’s Pantry was 4 fancy enormous silver coffee & huge amount of tea sets. Mrs. Huntington had at least 40 or more sets of Fine Bone China/Porcelain plateware just at the San Marino Ranch household; place settings for 20-60 people, some having over 150 pieces or more in each set. 

In the Huntington Mansion’s Plateware Collection at the San Marino Ranch list – Inventory book:

Mrs. Arabella Huntington was addicted to collecting pretty plates. There were full multi-course fine china & porcelain sets with 100-200 pieces to each set. Sometimes she bought just a “Roast Beef Set” or “Dessert Set” but usually the entire set was purchased. Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s teaware & dinnerware collections were enormous. There were salad plates, oyster plates, entrée, soup bowls & bouillon bowls, dessert, fish plates, oyster plates, dessert or salad plates & small butter plates, & bread or roll plates, too.  

At the Huntington Mansion at the San Marino Ranch, Mrs. Huntington owned at least 40 sets of plateware in total of French English & American plateware :

There was French plateware: Sevres, Haviland, Elite Haviland & Limoges (gold & white) & old Paris Plateware too. Elite Limoges (gold & white), Sevres (3 sets: pink & white & gold, landscapes & angels). Mrs. Arabella Huntingto really loved Haviland plateware she had about 20 sets of Haviland; I keep finding sets that she had. There was “Marquis” by Haviland (gold band on a white plate), Schleiger 341 by Haviland (green, white & gold), Schleiger 87 by Haviland (gold white and sprays of pink roses all over the plate), & Haviland “Nappy” to name a few, look below for more details.

She had English Plateware: Minton made for Tiffany & Co., English Coalport (Blue, Gold, & White), English Copeland & Garrett “Best” (fancy gold & white set), Whieldenware “Pheasant” or Pink Pheasant”, & “Royal D.”(could be Royal Doulton or Royal Derby), Crown Royal Derby, Staffordshire: blue, & white Transferware & she had red Chelsea & Blue Chelsea porcelains, too.

I found out recently she 11 more sets of plateware. I found a auction in the 1940’s in Pasadena, CA. Mrs. Huntington collected Crown Derby, a Russian Royal Collection set of plates, Italian Capodimonte plates, Chinese Red Lacquer Breakfast set, Rockingham English plateware, Dutch Delftware, Meissen plateware, Royal Vienna plateware, Crossett Family Chamberlains Worcester Dinner of 120 pieces (Imari taste), 4 sets of Dresden plateware: the patterns were “Empress”, “Chateau” & “Marie Antoinette” & another set (From Rudolph Kann Collection 1907 ADH), and Coalport yellow & white. She also owned numerous sets of American-made Homer Laughlin “Angelus” (gold & white with pink roses) check below.

She had Chinese mason ware (Blue & Green) & Pink Chinese Medallion plateware and Chinese Red Lacquer Breakfast set.

Mrs. Huntington’s Homer Laughlin Rose plate. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage.

Mrs. Huntington’s American Plateware:

Homer Laughlin Plates: “Angelus Rose” (white & gold & pink roses) this could have been one pattern or multitude of patterns), & Wedgewood too.

Homer Laughlin: pattern: “the Angelus Rose” (1914) white scalloped plate & pink roses. Ladies would purchase or add to their set, a new set was designed each year, so they all matched). Mrs. Huntington’s Pattern: # HLC 3680 (Homer Laughlin China) “The Angelus” scalloped white plate & white beads edge, pink rose branches & clusters of lime green leaves with lots of bright pink roses (no gold, but embossed beads on the edge of each plate). 1 doz. (12) plates were purchased in 4”, 6”, 8”, & 14” sizes plates with 1 doz. tea cups & saucers, 1 doz. bouillon cups & saucers, 1 doz. oatmeal bowls, 1 doz. butter dish, 1 doz. ramekins, 1 doz. casseroles, with lace doilies, Royal pudding pan bought at Parmelee-Dohrmann Co. in LA in a 2-month period: Jan. to Feb. 1914, 3,000 Fine Bone China plates & bowls of “Rose Angelus & “Angelus” were purchased by Arabella D. Huntington & Kitchen staff (Used for breakfast & luncheons, teas, & maybe dinners) 

American – Blue Transferware, Sheffield Ware (Blue transferware): we know Mrs. Huntington had [Green Transferware with scallops & bubbles (SF) found in the rubble under Huntington Mansion on Nob Hill. She also had Red Transferware at Camp Pine Knot at the Huntington Camp at Racquette Lake (CPK)] in New York. Document: HEH Coll MS 38/6 uncat [Huntington Mansion inventory brown book] Huntington Library, San Marino, CA   

Mrs. Huntington Homer Laughlin “Angelus” with scallops edge & pink roses. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Mrs. Arabella Huntington had “themed parties” at her different mansions. Spanish Dinners, Japanese Dinners, Italian dinners, she had Italian Capodimonte (Italian fine porcelain that looks like Della Robbia scenes), & Chinese plates – Chinese “Masonware” (blue & green), also “Medallion” Chinese pink plates, & also red laqueur plate set. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 uncat (HEH’s estate mansion inventory)

Also, Mrs. Huntington collected many more patterns: Dutch Deftware, Royal Crown Derby, & Italian Capodimonte, Japanese plates, & Meissen Plateware. Document: LA Times 1949 Curtis Taylor Gallery Auction

English Coalport fine bone china “Batwing” (we know that Mrs. Huntington Coalport was blue, white & gold plates.

English Coalport (Blue, gold & white – “Batwing”), 

We know that Mrs. Huntington owned Minton (Tiffany & Co.) plates, pattern unknown. Possible Minton patterns in blue, white, & gold; gold & white. Photo & art: Nancy Armitage

English Coalport ( yellow and gold “Batwing” 

Mrs. Huntington owned English Coalport fine porcelain which we know one patterns was blue, white & gold. She also had a breakfast tea & coffee set in “yellow” no fine bone china name, no pattern name listed. The yellow china could have been Coalport “Batwing” or “Old Paris” porcelain plates. Photo Credit and art: Nancy Armitage

English Minton (made for Tiffany & Co.), was ornate fancy porcelain (pattern unknown) could be red, gold & white, or green, gold, & white. Chelsea plateware: fancy colorful flowers. English Whieldenware “Pheasant” & Pink Pheasant” tea (photo below) plates.

          

Whieldenware “Pink Pheasant” with a pretty pink rim & gold on the edge, a tea plate.

Huntington’s Luncheons or Dinners for 12 guests:

Mrs. Arabella D. Huntington Bone China /Porcelain Dinnerware (SMR): She usually invited 12 guests for a formal Huntington luncheons & dinners. Mrs. Huntington loved pretty plateware made in France, England, & America.

In the 1920’s often, once or twice a week sometimes more; one can see 12 guests often invited for Huntington’s formal luncheons (most-likely 4 courses) & dinners (6 or more courses). A 4-course luncheon might be an avocado or shrimp cocktail, soup, entrée, & dessert or ice cream . A Huntington formal dinner might be 6-8 or more courses. It would start with oysters on the half shell (oyster plates purchased), then soup, chicken or fish, a entree & vegetable, salad, then a cheese course, then dessert.

Also, Mrs. Huntington has numerous plateware in gold & white & pink roses (Whieldonware “Pink Pheasant, Homer Laughlin “Angelus Rose”, and Schleiger 87 & 87-2 by Haviland. If she wanted a nautical theme or 4th of July party, she could have used her Coalport plateware in blue & white & gold.

Mrs. Arabella Huntington adored plateware & adored entertaining her guests. She owned numerous 35-40 sets of dinnerware just at the Huntington Mansion on the San Marino Ranch. I am still finding patterns that Mrs. Huntington had called full-course service sets for 12, 24, 60 guests. Each set includes plates for every course of an elegant Gilded Age Dinner meal. What we would call today a “Formal Dinner party” but usually she bought & served her meals with service for 12 guests. If there were more people invited, it was Buffet-style serving in the dining room. Document: Huntington Family Timeline by Nancy Armitage

Mrs. Huntington’s “Best” Copeland & Garrett plates & dinner service. Photo credit & art: Nancy Armitage

English Copeland & Garrett Porcelain Mrs. Huntington’s “Best” Dinnerware (Gold & White) very ornate in gold stars & checkerboard star pattern.

English Wedgewood (a huge full course set of over 100 pieces), Pattern? Color? Wedgewood has many different styles, white & gold, blue lustre with gold, gold & blue with pink roses, & white plates with a ribbed rim.

20 or more sets of French Haviland porcelain plates (SMR):

Haviland: Pattern: “Nappy” set of plates: (1914) A lovely Multi-color roses (interwoven of yellow, orange & pink rose pattern) with the stems of periwinkle blue-grey on white rim with gold edge. used for Afternoon tea: (a beautiful multi-color roses (red to yellow rose woven around the rim with blue gray branches)

One of Mrs. Huntington’s numerous patterns of Haviland fine bone china plateware. This pattern was called “Nappy”, a lovely multi-color pink & yellow rose plate with a gold laurel wreath inside the rim. Photo Credit & art: Nancy Armitage

Mrs. Huntington was partial to scallop shaped plates by Schleiger (made by Haviland) & Homer Laughlin “The Angelus” with pink roses. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Haviland “Bretagne” (1914) white and gold with pink & rose swag

Haviland “St. George” Pattern #20535 (1914) gold rim & laurel band on edge of white plate.

Schleiger Pattern #87 by Haviland- made in Limoges: green sprays of leaves & white plate with scallop gold lines at the edge with pink rose spray sprinkled all over the plate with lime green roses leaves. 2 doz. (24) 10″ vases were purchased in 1914, plate has a gold scalloped edge

The fine bone china plateware Schleiger 87 by Haviland (Top one) was unusual purchase for Mrs. Huntington. In its free flow design and coverage of pink roses sprays & gold edge. Photo Credit & art: Nancy Armitage

“Schleiger Pattern #1167 by Haviland”: white plate with gold edge & wreath of green blue flowers; “forget me nots”. 1 doz. oyster plates purchased by the Huntingtons for oysters on the half shell (1st course).

“Schleiger Pattern #341 by Haviland”: gold & white plates with green sage leaves & casa blanca lilies (close up); scalloped gold encrusted edge; green floral spray in the middle of plate.

“Schleiger 1157-2 by Haviland”: (Autumn colors design with orange rods, orange & rust roses & greenery, a scalloped plate (2 doz. pieces of plateware)

“Marquis by Haviland” #23296 also called Schleiger 585 by Haviland crafted in Limoges: (Band of gold in criss-cross pattern on edge of white plate with a line of gold in the center. The Huntingtons purchased 2 doz. individual butter plates #23296; also Bouillon cups & saucers on Feb. 13, 1914

“Schleiger 1148 by Haviland”: Black edge with gold trim; 1-2 doz. 4 1/2 oyster cut bowls were bought on January 1-31-1914.

“Schleiger #374 by Haviland”: maroon & purple flowers, roses & greens 2 doz.(48) Condiment Trays (Sundays at the Ranch or bridge parties.

“Schleiger 1306 by Chas Field Haviland” with pink flowers with lavender & green leaves & branches. HEH and ADH purchase 10″ rectangle vegetable Serving bowl

“Louvain 5009 made by Haviland”: white plate, black edged plate with wreath on the rim of greens, red & blue. 2 doz flute vases were purchased for roses or flowers for each luncheon or dinner guest (maybe for Breakfast trays).

Now I’m dizzy with finding even more Huntington Haviland plateware. Oyster plates, Condiment trays, & 2 doz. fluted vases Mrs. Huntington purchased in 1914 at Parmalee-Dohrmann in downtown Los Angeles, CA. Photo credit: Nancy Armitage

Haviland “E.H.” pattern: (Elite Haviland in 1914) by Theodore Haviland #1598 Set of plateware (below illustrated) with gold & white with pink roses. Pattern – fancy fine porcelain with footed compotes & footed custard cup with scallops on bottom with saucers; dainty pink rose & white plate with gold. 

For a long time, I couldn’t figure out what E.H. (Elite Haviland) or E. W. (Elite Works Haviland) meant. Of course, I should have known, fancy footed “Elite Haviland” 2 doz. (24) Custard cups with 24 saucers & 12 oysters plates. Mrs. Huntington favorite style gold & white plates with pink roses. In early 1914, Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington purchased these at Parmalee Dohmann in downtown Los Angeles. CA. Photo credit & art: Nancy Armitage

French Haviland: Pattern: “Bretagne” set of Plates (1914) a light green with bunches of pink lavender-blue blossoms on white background, Haviland porcelain plates always have a scallop shaped plate & gold rim.

Also, French Haviland: 1914 Art Nouveau-style Pattern: “California Poppy” (Arts and Crafts movement looking, a beautiful set of plates with gold with our California bright orange poppy (State flower) & yellow with thick gold rim (ornate).

Also, French Haviland: 1914 Art Nouveau- style Pattern: “Sweet Pea” with thick gold, lavender, & green with thick gold rim (ornate).

A summertime, French Haviland Pattern H3503: Blackberry plates & jug, is is a sweet scallop plate with thick gold scalloped edge. There is blackberries & foliage on the rim.

Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 (uncat) [Parmalee Dorhmann invoices of plateware Jan Feb and March 1914 downtown Los Angeles, CA],

Possible plateware: “Marie Antoinette by Chas. Field Haviland” (made in 1914) gold rim & gold band inside the rim of white plate, hearts in pink roses & gold around the rim. Mrs. Huntington loved Marie Antoinette style: she bought several Marie Antoinette chandeliers for the Chateau Beauregard, decorated like Louis & Marie Antoinette & she also owned Dresden “Marie Antoinette” plateware.

Abundance of Haviland Lidded Sugar Bowls – for Soup

Not only was Mrs. Huntington a romantic but she was a very clever hostess who liked themed parties. So what do you do when your guest’s hot soup is cold when it arrives at the Dining Room Table? You put the soup in a vessel with a lid! Well, Mrs. Huntington did just that. On a Parmalee Dorhmann’s invoice, she purchased 6 Haviland sugar bowls (if you know Haviland their 2-handled sugar bowls are quite large). The sugar bowls hold about 2 cups with lids & Mrs. Huntington purchased 6 of them. Problem solved, hot soup at the dinner table. With the lid on the sugar bowl it is quite stunning on her tablescape, a surprise for her guests and they look super cute!! There was also evidence of seasonal themed plateware in the Huntington entertaining on the invoices of Parmalee Dorhmann LA,CA .

Petit lidded Sugar Bowls- for Desserts

A week before St. Valentines Day 1914, Mrs. Huntington purchased 12 white and red band petit sugar bowls with 2 handles & a lid; red & white. What would be perfect to put in these cute little vessels? French Chocolate mousse or Creme brulee or Creme Custard (which was popular in the 1920’s) A lovely surprise for her guests in a cute lidded bowl/vessel on one of her pretty gold & white plate.

The Haviland fancy footed scallop teacup & scalloped saucer; the mint green plate is Wedgewood. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Haviland Gold & White plateware:

French Haviland: (1914) Gold & White porcelain plates, Pattern: unknown- scallop plates with a gold rim used for the SMR Huntington’s “Guest Cottage”. Possible patterns: Haviland “Ransom Gold” with a scallop white plate & thick gold trim on the scallop edge. Also “Marquis” by Haviland was found as one of the Huntington’s patterns.

Haviland (White & Gold) Pattern: unknown – used for the Kitchen staff in the Huntington Servant Dining Room. Possible gold patterns all of these three patterns were made in 1914; the year Mr. & Mrs. Huntington bought the plates. The “Mayenne” by Haviland with a simple gold band around the edge or “St. George” by Haviland with a simple gold Laurel gold band around the edge or “Donhoff” by Haviland with a simple gold band at the edge of the plate; could be for the servants dining room, they ate off gold & white plates also. Document: Invoices from Dohrmann Invoice #341 purchase Downtown Los Angeles, CA; invoices Jan.- Feb. 1914 – 3,000 pieces of fine bone china pieces (mostly Haviland plates) was purchased by Mrs. Huntington & her kitchen staff. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] Dohrmann – Parmelee Invoices to Mr. H.E. Huntington – 1914 Los Angeles, CA          

French “Old Paris” plates, Pattern unknown

Mrs. Huntington Old Paris plates, possible pattern. Photo Credit & art: Nancy Armitage

English Plateware:

English Whieldenware: “Pheasant” with bird

English Wheidonware Plateware used often by the Huntingtons. The Wheidonware “Pink Pheasant” plate looks like a tea plate. Photo Credit & art: Nancy Armitage

English Whieldenware: “Pink Pheasant” (Above illustration on the bottom) The “pink pheasant” pattern looks like tea set with bright pink rim & shaped in an octagon; it looks like Mrs. Huntington too – she loved pink, gold, & birds.

English Coalport: Fine Bone China Set: (“Blue & White & Gold”) could be dark navy blue, or gold, white, light blue like Tiffany Blue, gold, & white? It is likely that it is was navy blue & white & gold. Part of the set at SMR, other parts could have been at Huntington Mansions: No. 2 NYC or “The Homestead” Huntington Estate at Throggs Neck in Westchester Co., NYC. Nancy Note: I think it was nautical looking like the Cunard Ship pattern with dark navy blue, gold, & white.

English Coalport: fine bone china & breakfast set (Green & Pink) possibly bat-wing style plates; Mrs. Huntington had a breakfast tray set that was green & pink)

English Coalport: fine bone china (possible blue, white, & gold “Batwing” style plates) 

1 set of Fancy English Minton (Tiffany & Co.) Dinnerware Pattern: unknown. We know Mrs. Huntington had a set of Minton porcelain dishes, because 12 Terrapin dishes/plates are listed in SMR papers. The rest of the set must have been at the No. 2 Huntington Mansion in NYC. This is the fanciest of dinner plates in the Gilded Age – possible colors: red & gold & white, green & gold & white, blue & gold & white, turquoise & gold or gold, & white.

On the “Breakfast tray”, Coffee or tea with toast & Orange Marmalade. The Butlers & Footmen would deliver these trays to the rooms early morning to the Huntington houseguests; like room service at a hotel. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

14 Huntington “Breakfast Sets & Porcelain tea sets” (SMR): a Breakfast set tray consisted of porcelain teapot &/or coffee pots, with creamer, & sugar pots & teacups & porcelain tray included. The curators didn’t write any other information down except the colors. Colors: gold & white, [could be Copeland & Garrett], yellow & gold, (could have been “Batwing Coalport”), Green & gold, (could have been Minton or Coalport), green & pink, (could be Old Paris or Coalport “Batwing” style). 1 green breakfast tray set (17 pieces- could be Old Paris or Minton), 1 green & pink breakfast tray set (10 pieces -could be Limoges or Haviland or Coalport), 1 white & gold breakfast tray set – 17 pieces (could be Copeland & Garrett, Havilland-Limoges or Homer Laughlin), 1 Dresden Pattern Breakfast Tray set -18 pieces (could be “Chateau” or “Empress” or fancy “Marie Antoinette”), 1 Blue & white Transferware – bread & milk set -3 pieces (could be Staffordshire, Coalport, or Wedgewood), 1 French Gold chocolate pot set with chocolate pot, cream pitcher, sugar whip cream bowl & 12 cups & 12 saucers (could be Limoges or Haviland)  Document: Document: HEH Coll MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] (; HEH Coll. HEH 8/9 (San Marino Ranch papers) [Huntington Mansion Huge brown book] 1914 invoices for fine bone china plateware & crystal at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Historical Note: found at MFASF (Museums of San Francisco) Gold & blue/white & gold Sevres French porcelain knives. These knives were donated by Archer M. Huntington from Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Nob Hill San Francisco mansion. A set of Sevres Gold Knives with blue & white & gold filigree porcelain handles with birds on one side & roses on the other side. Mrs. Huntington most likely had French Porcelain Sevres plates to match these knives, French Sevres porcelain plates: Dk. blue & white & gold with oblong circles of birds & roses. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] Dohrmann – Parmelee Invoices 1914 Los Angeles, CA at Huntington Library San Marino, CA                                

1 set of French Limoges Dinnerware: (gold & white) Pattern : Unknown

French Limoges (Gold & White) bouillon cups & saucers only, the rest of this porcelain set most likely located at Huntington Mansions at No. 2 or TN. Limoges Elite footed- (gold and white with pink roses) compote dish & others bowls, oyster plates, custard cups & saucers (purchases at LA’s Parmelee Dohrmann).  

Huntington fine Crystal Glassware (SMR):  4 sets of crystal glasses listed on the inventory sheet 1927. Tiffany (etched) Crystal Glasses (etched) with champagne, water, wine, & sherry glasses purchased in 1925. Venetian Glasses 1914 HEH & ADH purchased these glasses from Venice, Italy while in Europe: glasses for champagne, claret, water, & a large liqueur set. Gold-Rimmed crystal glassware also. Baccarat Crystal – ordered by HEH for the Swedish “Royal Dinner” (in July of 1926), champagne, white wine, red wine, etc. Document: HEH Coll MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book]  (1925 HEH receipt from Baccarat NYC papers-) a Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Huntington Gorham Silver Flatware (SMR): 1000’s of pieces of Gorham Sterling silver: Huntington Gorham Sterling Silver (American silver; the White House used Gorman Silver): asparagus tongs, sugar tongs, tomato server, fish server etc. Huntington Family Silver Flatware (SMR): Mrs. Huntington pattern mostly likely Gorham American Silver: “Chrysanthemums” silver pattern. Arabella Huntington bought 2 ornate large tea sets in this silver (both in that pattern) for herself & wedding gift for niece Carrie Huntington Holladay as a gift. She liked that pattern. Huntington Family Gorham Silver Flatware & silver pieces. Other possible patterns: 1880-1890’s Arabella D. Huntington could have purchased: “Buttercup”, “Versailles”, or “Paris”. 

Mr. & Mrs. Henry E. Huntington leased the Chateau Beauregard La Celle St Cloud Paris, from 1913-1913. The Chateau was 20 minutes from Paris, France. Mrs. Huntington traveled to Europe usually including Paris annually from the 1870’s to 1924.

We know in Paris in 1914 at Chateau de Beauregard, Mrs. Arabella Huntington bought a 12-course set of Louis XV sterling silver flatware with asparagus tongs, & other accoutrements. (Château de Beauregard) She bought it from ARMANDIAS 14, Faubourg St. Honore in Paris. Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 12/1-30 uncat (Chat B. papers) at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA  Mrs. Arabella Huntington always likes 12 luncheon or dinner guests at her dining table.                                     

Teapot with initials” V.N.” probably from the Hotel Van Nuys located in downtown Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Huntington was so well loved, I’m sure the management of the Van Nuys gave him this teapot. In the early 1900’s, Mr. Huntington would stay there while “In-Residence” in the LA area; he was living in San Francisco at the time. Whenever Mr. Huntington had guests in town (Los Angeles) like his mother Harriet or sister Carrie Huntington Holladay, they stayed at Hotel Van Nuys. Mr. Huntington always paid all lodging & food bills for his family. This teapot used to be on display in the Boone Gallery at Huntington Library San Marino, CA Photo Credit & art: Nancy Armitage

Huntington Table Linen Closet:  Seasonal Entertaining: Mrs. Huntington preferred white, pink, & gold tablecloths for their Dining room table. In her entertaining style, there is evidence she was seasonal. Red for St. Valentine’s Day, Pink for a Pink Tea party, Pastels for Easter, Springtime colors in fine china, Autumn Haviland “Schleiger 1157-2” by Haviland plateware set (a lovely rust colored branch & greenery), Christmas Red, Green, & Gold. She also enjoyed “themed” entertainments so other colors & fabric would have been used.

Mrs. Huntington’s Linens – Irish & Italian Damask/ French Brocade: colors: white napkins, pink napkins (Mrs. H. favorite colors) & possible colors – Gold & green (SMR dining Room colors) coral napkins and 4 dz. Damask napkins (Italian)from Rome, Italy), Pink & Mint green (very Parisian), Yellow, or light pink, & or hot pink (very Parisian) French La Jacquard Linens, Green & Gold Damask or Brocade or Italian Damask for Dining room, Red & Gold Brocade with satin finish (Guest Cottage) – St. Valentine’s Day, Christmas or used in the “SMI” (San Marino I private railroad car) . Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Huntington Mansion Inventory book] 1927 fine bone china, silver, crystal also silver for the “San Marino I” RR car (service for 12ppl)  

Huntington “H” monogrammed Linen Closet (2nd floor-“new linen closet”): 3 dz. Lg towels “H”, 9 dz. guest towels “H” 3 dz. box of guest towels “H”, 5 dz. hand towels “H”, 6 dz. pink edged towels, 3 dz. embroidered line, 4 dz. Belgian linen, 1 punchwork linen (13 pieces) 3 drawn work &punchwork “tea covers” Filet lace, Italian lace 1 course (luncheon set) of 25, and a Liberty shawl. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Huntington Mansion Inventory book] at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Huntington Monogrammed Linens; 100’s Luncheon & Dinner Napkins (SMR): Mrs. Huntington often had her linens napkins & tea towels monogrammed with “HEH” or “H”; in a closet in 1927, there were 396 Dinner Napkins, 298 dinner napkins, 118 tea napkins, & 12 luncheon napkins, 29 Dinner clothes (tablecloths?) etc. Also, 115 Napkins either monogrammed “SM1” or “San Marino” and 21 tea napkins for their private railroad car called “San Marino” Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Huntington Mansion Inventory book – 2nd Floor (Servant’s quarters) Cabinet #10 French Linen] at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Huntington Seasonal Tableclothes:

We know that Mrs. Huntington favored white & pink colors for the French Le Jacquard French linens/Irish Damask and Italian Damask fabric. There was evidence of her buying cherry red brocade for the Guest House. She could have made tablecloths with some of the fabric for St. Valentines Day, 4th of July or Christmas. Mrs. Huntington was clever in her “entertainments”. She had a green dining room at San Marino Ranch & her NYC Mansion, good for any time of year – Winter Spring Summer and Autumn. For different themed parties, she could also had gold, lavender, Green, maybe red or pink for St. Valentine’s day. Mr. & Mrs. Huntington went to Provence for their honeymoon (1913) could have Provencal tableware in lavender & yellow/ blue, green & yellow, could be Green & gold (dining room colors). When they visited Rome on their honeymoon, she could have picked up the famous Coral Damask Italian tablecloths. In the B/W photo of tablecloth for dinner to Prince Gustavus Adolphus & Princess Louise of Sweden July 23, 1926 in Hertrich’s book, it could have been white or pink. Document: invoices for linens (Paris invoices); HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Huntington Mansion Inventory book] Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Mrs. Huntington loved a variety of tablecloths at her Dining Room Table. She like Damask, French “Le Jacquard”, Chantilly lace, Filet Lace & Belgium Lace. Found in the inventory was “French Linen Tablecloths & 100’s damask Napkins” (1914):  probably [Le Jacquard] is like a Damask type linen, or French Lace tablecloth, also Chantilly lace (SF), Belgium lace (SF), 100’s of yards of Brocade red fabric for tablecloths purchased. Document: HEH Coll HEH 38/6[Huntington mansion inventory list] HEH Coll. HEH 11/1(1) uncat receipt from Baker & Chitton, the red brocade 100’s of years ordered. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Gorham Silverware: Huntington Family Gorham Silver Flatware: Pattern  “Imperial Chrysanthemum” (highly likely) because Mrs. Arabella Huntington bought 2 large silver teapot in this pattern; one for herself & one as a wedding gift for her niece Carrie Huntington Holliday. On display in the Boone Gallery at the Huntington Library. The Huntingtons owned lots of silver pieces, other possible patterns: (1880-1890’s) Other possible patterns: “Buttercup”, or “Versailles”. 

Gorham Silver was the silver of the White House in Washington DC; the Huntington’s were very patriotic; at No. 2 East 57th St.NYC Huntington Mansion had a “State Dining Room” (they hosted Presidents at their Dining Room Table). Mrs. Arabella Worsham Huntington got married to Collis P. Huntington in 1884 & later to Henry E. Huntington in 1913. 100’s pieces of Gorham Sterling silver were on invoices & inventories: Silver Platters, trays, vegetable vessels with hoods, & Silver gravy boats were all listed in the inventory book the curator never mention the pattern name just “Gorham Silver”. The H.E. Huntington daughters got the dishes & glassware marked “E” for Estate was written in, so they didn’t research Mrs. Huntington’s things if it were going to the “E” for the family.  Huntington Gorham Sterling Silver (American silver; the White House was Gorham Silver): 100’s of pieces of silver: asparagus tongs, sugar tongs, sterling silver “Loving Cup” with “HEH” engraved on the side. Document: HEH Coll MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] Hunt. Lib. San Marino CA

Sterling Silver Flatware for 12 guests aboard the Huntington’s “San Marino I” RR train Car:

Huntington Sterling Silver for 12 guests: for the H. E. Huntington Private train car labeled on the car, “San Marino”. So for the silver service flatware: “SMI” (“San Marino I” & “San Marino II” Silver Service for 12 guests to sit at the Dining Room table on the train, it must have been huge.

The Huntington train car napkins were embroidered with “SMI”, I will assumed the silverware on the train was also engraved with “SMI” (Red was the theme on the Huntington SMI) Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] Nancy Note: if the napkins had SM1 on them/ it is a possibility that Mrs. Huntington had red and gold plates (Minton she like) with SM1 or “San Marino 1” engraved in gold & maybe red or white damask napkins.  

Red was the theme on the Huntington SMI, most likely Mrs. Huntington used red or white damask napkins. Mrs. Huntington was partial to damask fabric. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] Dohrmann – Parmelee Invoices 1914 Los Angeles, CA at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Huntington’s Dining Room Sterling Silverware (SMR): 100’s of elegant silver pieces (most are the Huntington Gorham silver & many other kinds of silver Sheffield: (3 pages of special serving pieces (like a tomato server, a asparagus tongs, sugar tongs). There were silver vegetable bowls, covered vegetable & meat platters, candle sticks, etc. for each multi course at the fancy Huntington luncheons & dinner parties. Gorham silver is what the White House used in Washington DC. Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Gorham Silverware Sterling (Flatware): 2 boxes of sterling silver flatware of American Gorham silver (Gorham was the sterling silver of the White House in Wash. DC used), a service set for 12. The pattern was not identified in the Huntington mansion inventory book, it went to family or Estate. My best guess for the Huntington’s pattern: if Mrs. Huntington collected it in the 1890’s, it could have been “Imperial Chrysanthemum” (highly likely), or “Chantilly”, Buttercup”, “Versailles”, or “Strasbourg”. The White House had Gorham silver, so that was what Mrs. Huntington wanted. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] at Huntington Library San Marino, CA  Also, Mrs. Huntington also collected Georgian Silver candlesticks and candelabras. Document: 1949 Curtis Taylor auction in Pasadena.                                   

Ornate large Silver Tea set with silver tray.

This list gives us clues on the kind of Gilded Age multi-course entertaining that the Huntingtons enjoyed: Mrs. Huntington had (30-40 in each item), teaspoons, dessert spoons, cream soup spoons, bouillon soup spoons, tablespoons, egg spoons (breakfast), orange spoons (Breakfast), ice cream spoons, sherbet spoons, oyster forks (Dinner), salad forks, dessert forks, dinner forks, fish forks, fruit forks, game forks, terrapin forks, ice cream forks, pastry forks, dessert knives, dinner knives, fish knives, bread & butter knives, games knives, orange knives, nut picks.

Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Silver Pattern is highly likely: Gorham “Imperial Chrysanthemum” Sterling silver set includes: 12 dinner knives 9 ¾”, 12 regular knives, dinner forks 7 5/8”, 12 regular or luncheon forks 6 ¾”, 12 salad forks 12 teaspoons, 12 soup spoons, 12 cocktail or oyster forks 5 1/2”, 12 demitasse spoons – gold washed 4”, 12 coffee spoons, 6 serving spoons, 1 cheese scoop, 1 gravy ladle, one flat handle “master butter” 7 1/2”, 1 salad serving set, all sterling – gold washed, 1 pie server all-sterling, 1 roast carving set, 4 piece, 2 berry spoons, 1 sugar tongs 4 1/4” ] Nancy Note: it is highly likely the Huntington’s monogram on the end of the forks possibly with engraved “H” or “HEH”. Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] at Huntington Library San Marino, CA 

Monogram of Huntington silver items were usually engraved “HEH”. Historical Note: Mrs. Huntington loved Gorham “Imperial Chrysanthemum ‘ pattern of silver. She bought two gigantic sterling silver tea sets in this pattern, one for herself. Arabella also bought another tea set in this silver pattern for her favorite niece (1896), Carrie Huntington Holliday for a wedding gift. This huge teapot, coffeepot, creamer, & sugar is on display in the Boone Gallery at the Huntington Library. I truely don’t understand how the Butler carried that huge tray with tea in it. It must have been so heavy.

Gilded Age Dining: a sterling silver Champagne Holder. Photo credit: Nancy Amritage at the Huntington Library San Marino, CA located upstairs in the silver room. The Huntington favored French Champagne & California Champagne.

Gilded Age Silver Serving Pieces: For the Huntington’s to eat from & the Butlers & Footmen to serve with this is the list of the Sterling silver at the San Marino Ranch: 6 nut crackers, 2 asparagus forks, 2 asparagus tongs, 2 asparagus servers, 5-piece carving set, 2 berry spoons, 4 bonbon spoons, 4 bonbon tongs, 2 butter knives, 4 butter picks, 2 bird carvers & forks, 2 cold meat forks, 2 cake knives, 2 cream ladles, 2 cheese scoops, 2 crumb knives, 2 fish knives & forks, 6 serving spoons, 2 tomato servers, 2 soup ladles, 2 sugar sifters & spoons, 8 salt spoons, 2 gravy ladles, 2 dish gravy spoon, 4 horseradish spoons, 2 ice cream knives, 2 ice tongs, 2 ice spoons, 2 mustard spoons, 4 olive forks & 4 olive spoons, 4 pickle forks, 2 pastry servers, 2 large salad spoons & forks, 2 sardine forks, 30 lemonade spoons, 2 jelly spoons (modern), 1 sugar tongs (modern)   Document: HEH Coll. MS 38/6 [Hunt. Mansion Inventory book] at Huntington Library San Marino, CA 

A silver vegetable tureen similar to the ones that the Huntington family owned. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage at the Huntington Library San Marino, CA; Located upstairs in the silver room.

Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Gorham (Silver-Plated flatware) Pattern: This flatware might have been used for everyday ware or the Huntington’s breakfast; it is highly likely – it was “Imperial Chrysanthemum”: 24 of each: fish forks, salad forks, dessert forks, dinner forks, coffee spoons, soup spoons, bouillon spoons, tea spoons, dessert spoons, lemonade spoons, bread & butter knives, fish knives dessert knives, dinner knives. 12 of each: tablespoons, egg spoons, coffee spoons, 6 salt & pepper shakers, 1 pie knife, 2 gravy spoons, 1 crumb scoop, 1 dessert spoon & fork.  Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 uncat [Huntington Mansion inventory book] at Huntington Library San Marino, CA 

 Arabella & Edwards Huntington’s Kitchen:

Huntington Mansion Kitchen (SMR): (the Kitchen was located just north of the Huntington’s Dining Room; with the Butler’s Pantry in between) there were 3 stoves in the 1920’s: for gas, electric, & wood-burning stove. 

Bundle of thyme; the Huntington kitchen used dried herbs and fresh herbs from the Herb Garden.

Servant’s Entrance thru the Kitchen: the servants entrance to the mansion was located on north side of west wing (the Shakespeare Garden now), 

Miss Nora Larsen made jams & jellies from the abundance of the San Marino ranch fruit.

Kitchen Pantry: 100’s mason jars filled with delicious homemade jams, jellies preserves of Orange Marmalade, Loganberry Jam, Brandied Peaches, Raspberry Jam, Tutti-Frutti, Caviar, & empty mason jars to “put-up” vegetables like pickled okra, bread & butter pickles, & cucumber pickles. 

Utility Room [Laundry Room]: in every mansion of Mrs. Arabella Huntingto, she always hired a “Laundress” & a “Seamstress” on her staff.

Ice Room – where huge amounts of ice were stored to be used in the ice box before refrigerators were invented, 1st floor: 4 servant’s bedrooms & 9 bathrooms downstairs

Bathrooms -1st floor:  several by the Kitchen & servants quarters to the west of the Kitchen, one by the elevator, one in small library – small office. 

Huntington Mansion North Side, West wing; Downstairs those 3 windows were once the Huntington Servants Dining Room. Now the Huntington Library San Marino, CA. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Huntington Servant’s Dining Room (1st Floor) – the Huntington’s Servant staff had their own dining room & their own set of French Havilland (gold & white, could be “Marquis” or “St. George”) plateware. I really love that about Mrs. Huntington: have the servant treasure fine china & porcelain plateware while they are eating off of it too.. The servants had their own silver-plated flatware: teaspoons, tablespoons, knives, & forks. Mrs. Huntington also insisted the the servants dining room was filled with treats especially during times of grand entertainments.

Alfonso Gomez, the 2nd butler, who became the 1st Butler & also Henry E. Huntington’s gentleman’s valet. In Alfonso interviews he talked about how close the staff was. They were always willing to help each other out on a Huntington project or one of their parties, etc. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 (Huntington Mansion inventory book); Alfonso Gomez interviews

3 Servants Bedrooms (1st Floor): located by the Huntington’s kitchen; one of the bedrooms was the “Head Butler’s room” (first it was the Scottish, Mr. Angus McGillvary’s, then when he retired Mr. Alfonso Gomez); he was a traveling servant (No. 2, TN, Chat B., & SMR). One of the servants rooms would have been Miss Nora Larsen room (but eventually HEH built her a cottage of her own), & the 3rd  bedroom would have been for the Head Cook. The cook needed to be by the kitchen at all times. In 1919, there was a Houseman listed on the payroll, could have been his room. Maybe for security at nighttime or in the war years or heavy jobs that were difficult for the women to do. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 (Huntington Mansion inventory book)

Houseman’s Bedroom (SMR) On the 1919 San Marino Ranch payroll, it states Mr. Huntington hired a houseman. In March 1919, his name was Arthur Sadler & listed as “In-servant H3”, his title was “Houseman”. One has to remember that Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington were only “in-residence” for 4-6 months of the year at the San Marino Ranch. For security reasons, it would have been reassuring for Nora Larsen (the Head Housekeeper) to know there was a man in the house to help her if anything might have happened at the Huntington Mansion. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 8/9 San Marino Ranch Payroll 1919 year; Huntington Mansion map made by the Huntington Library guards at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Housekeeper’s Bedrooms (1st floor – Huntington Mansion at the SMR): Nora Larsen was the Head Housekeeper from 1910 to 1927, she served Mr. H.E. Huntington & the Huntingtons; originally Nora stayed in the Huntington’s Mansion. Then at one point, HEH built Nora her a little cottage close to the Mansion; the Shakespeare garden now. 

Screened–in Porch (SMR) (1st Floor ) – outside of the Servant’s entrance north side of west wing) Mrs. Larsen must have been overwhelmed with the great amount of fresh fruit & berries from the Huntington Family fruit orchard. Huge amounts were delivered often in the summer months at the ranch. This screen-in porch/ kitchen area would have been a perfect area for the fruit deliveries. Where the fruit would have been protected from the sun & the fruit flies wouldn’t get into her kitchen or attack the fruit. When Ms. Nora Larsen & her team of preserve cooks would make homemade jams, jellies, “tutti-frutti”, orange marmalade, or brandied peaches (a favorite of Mrs. Huntington’s). Tutti-Fruitti is a marvelous invention in the 1920’s of cut up fruit mixed with brandy. It was stored in large 5-25 gallon crocks. This lovely mixture of jeweled tone fruit was served over ice cream or pound cake on the Huntington’s table.

Enormous Mansion Basement – Mr. H. E. Huntington Large Wine Cellar (SMR) with separate cement block rooms for hundreds & hundreds of bottles of wine, to keep them nice & cool. There were different cement “rooms” for each of the wines: Claret (Victorian red wine), Burgundy, Champagne, Brandy, Chablis, Sherry, etc.; which housed Mr. Huntington’s enormous Wine Cellar. Mr. Hertrich had the key to the Wine Cellar- which was unusual because in wealthy houses the head butler usually was in charge of the wine cellar key. But, the butlers and the footmen all traveled from residence to residence with the Huntington. Mr. Hertrich was always present on the San Marino Ranch. Historical Note: H.E. Huntington purchased the San Gabriel Wine Co. located in Alhambra, CA for $80,000.00. 

California Champagne & French Champagne was always ready in the Huntington’s wine celler in the basement. Mr. Hertrich was the keeper of the wine cellar key.

Location of the Kitchen storage basement: close by the kitchen entrance. Elaborate shelving for pantry items. There were huge (100’s amounts of jars) of caviar, fruit cordials, 100’s mason jars or jellies (Orange Marmalade, etc.), homemade jams (Raspberry) , pickles, & pickled okra, San Marino Ranch “orange blossom” honey, & homemade ranch preserves are kept. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 (Huntington Mansion inventory book) Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Housekeepers/Cook’s Room: in 1910, when HEH moved in with a small servant staff Miss Nora Larsen’s bedroom was located right next to the kitchen; later on HEH built her a cottage of her own. Miss Larsen would have also had a Head Housekeeper office. A quiet place from the noisy kitchen to organize & create Huntington Luncheon & Dinner menus, collect recipes, have kitchen account books, supply lists, grocery receipts, & so on. [Even after Mr. H. E. Huntington died in 1927, she lived on at the San Marino Ranch in her cottage until the 1930’s. Nora started the Huntington Tea Room, at first it was for the Huntington Library scholars, then for the guests & visitors of the Huntington Library museum].  

4 Huntington servant’s rooms (2nd floor) Alfonzo Gomez HEH’s valet had a bedroom right next door to HEH (his bedroom was on the south-east corner of the mansion; Jeanne Reifer (ADH’s personal ladies maid) her bedroom was just next to ADH. Carrie Campbell was a social secretary to Mrs. Huntington & had one of the rooms upstairs. Probably, a housemaid, also. Document: Mansion map made by the Guards Document: Myron Hunt’s original Blueprint of Mr. H.E. Huntington’s residence at Huntington Library San Marino, shown to me by HEH Coll. Curator.

3rd Floor of Huntington Mansion (3rd floor SMR): The Attic of the Huntington Mansion: there were several rooms & an attic for Christmas storage. The 3rd floor had 4-5 servant’s room, but it was never used because it was too hot in the summertime, temperatures rising to over 100 degrees or more. So Mr. Huntington built a large 28-room dormitory for the Ranch hands & cottages for his mansion staff & foremen for the Huntington gardens & San Marino Ranch. Some of the staff lived on the 1st & 2nd floor of the Huntington mansion. Document: Thorpe book & Alfonzo tapes, maps of SMR, blueprints of the Huntington Mansion Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 [Huntington Mansion inventory book at SMR] Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.

Henry & Arabella Huntington’s Mansion In-Servants: 

Kitchen Staff or “In-Servants” staff at the Huntington Mansion had a lot to do on a daily basis. The large kitchen and the cooks made 3 meals (multi-course) a day for the Huntingtons & their guests & also the Huntington’s staff. The Huntingtons most- likely served a 4-course formal luncheons & 6 or more multi-course formal dinners. The servant staff attended to their numerous houseguests needs (Breakfast trays with “tea & toast” in the morning at certain times), serving luncheons, teas, & dinner “entertainments”. There was bridge club, tea parties (“at-homes”), Large ladies luncheons, lawn parties, Tea in the Lath House, dinner guests, & “Sundays at the Ranch”. 

Food for the Huntington’s Staff: The cooks had to also fed the staff (16-24 people with the “traveling servants”) 3 meals a day. One can notice on the San Marino Ranch’s payroll that there was a team of cooks in the kitchen.  Nora needed a team just to “put up” the fruit & vegetables. 

Flowers: The maids in the house helped Mr. Hertrich (Head Superintendent of SMR) to make flower arrangements on a daily/weekly basis. With the great abundance of California roses and flowers each large arrangement (150 to 250 or more flowers) in each. They had so many flowers to use: casa blanca lilies, iris, gladiolus, stock & so many more. Outside roses are available almost 10 months out of the year in Southern California & year round in hot houses in wintertime.  

The Cook or 2nd cook also to make homemade soups for 2 Huntington meals a day – lunch & dinner. Vegetables from the two gigantic lovely vegetable gardens of the San Marino Ranch. So many veggies to choose from: mushrooms, cauliflower, spinach, pea, cucumber, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, artichokes, asparagus, onion, celery, avocado, & potatoes. I’m convinced that there was one chef just to make the Huntington soups. They had to clean the fresh vegetables, chicken, & meat for salads, & cooked vegetable course at luncheon & dinner. But it didn’t go to waste, because the Servant staff was also served this delicious hot or cold soups and meals. They also had a cook just to make the Huntington desserts: Mrs. Kley. Document: HEH Coll MS 8/9 (San Marino Ranch papers)

Preserves: With the summer abundance of fresh fruit, there was a team of preserve cooks with Miss Nora Larsen (Head Housekeeper) to make Homemade Preserves. They were Orange Marmalade from H.E. Huntington’s Oranges, Loganberry Jam, Raspberry Jam, Tutti-Frutti, Also, Mrs. Huntington’s Southern favorites like Brandied Peaches, & Pickled Okra, Bread & Butter pickles, Dill pickles from cucumbers. 

House Cleaning & Fireplaces: The Huntington maids had to fire up the fireplaces, clean them out when needed, & wash the floors, & chandeliers. The butlers & footmen were to clean the silverware that was in constant use. The maids would have cleans bathrooms, change the sheets on the beds, dust, & clean windows. Document: HEH Coll. HEH 38/6 [Huntington Mansion inventory book at SMR] Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.

Payroll Huntington Servant Staff (In-Mansion) for – March 1919: 

H1 Head Housekeeper/ [Cook] – Nora Larsen $100.00 a mo. 

H3 Houseman – Arthur Sadler $50.00 a mo.

H5 Gatekeeper – Mrs. J. Muller 15.00 a mo.

H6 [2nd Cook, preserves] – Amy Anderson $45.00 a mo.

H8 House servant – [Head Cook] Amanda Carlson $50.00 a mo.

H10 House servant –  [Maid, Preserves or daily flowers] Ellen Nelson $45.00 a mo.

H11 House servant  – [Kitchen, maid, preserves or daily flowers] Susie Thomas $45.00

H12 House servant – [Dessert chef – 2 recipes] Lena Kley $30.00 a mo. 2.50 / 12 days (she baked the Honey Spice Bars & Cinnamon Swirl Cookies for the Huntingtons)

H13 House servant – Mary Gombotz [Kitchen cook or kitchen maid] $2.50 5 ½ days                                           

In-house Servant Staff  December 1920 [at the Huntington Mansion on San Marino Ranch

H1 Nora Larsen – [Head] Housekeeper [Cook] $ 100.00 a mo.

H2 Mrs. C. F. Moss – House Servants preserves/ extra help entertainments tea $3.00 days $6.00

H5 Mrs. J. Muller- House servant (gatekeeper) $20.00 1 mo.

H6 Julia B. Larsen – House servant $50.00 a mo.

H8 Mary James – House Servant [Cook at 65.00 for 1 mo.] $65.00 a mo.

H10 Ellen Nelson – House servant [preserves, tea, maid, daily flowers] $50.00 a mo.

H12 Lena Kley- House servant [Huntington Dessert chef- 2 recipes] $3.00 (6 days)

H15 James Pergler- House servant – Footman – could have been the houseman, too. $80.00 mo.  

Also – Hiram Newman – Night watchmen $95.00 a mo

Document: HEH Coll. HEH 6/15/ folder uncat (San Marino Ranch papers) at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Seal of the State of California

Traveling Servants or Mansion Staff – San Marino Ranch (1919-1920): In this time period, the Huntington’s had Abt. 22-28 “In-house” servants, sometimes more if “Extra help” was hired. Also, the traveling servants: ADH’s personal maid, Miss Jeanne Reifer, Miss Campbell (ADH Sec’y) & Mr. Geo. Hapgood (HEH’s Sec’y). If extra help was needed, the Huntingtons had about 26-28 Mansion in-servants/employees. Document: HEH Coll. MS 10968 (Burke Holladay Journals) Huntington Library San Marino, CA; ship records, train records.

Head Butler (SMR): Angus McGillivray (paid by ADH in No. 2 NYC mansion)

2nd Butler: Alfonzo Gomez (paid by ADH in No. 2 NYC mansion); Alfonzo was also Mr. H. E. Huntington Gentleman’s Valet; he became the 1st Butler or Head Butler when McGillivray retired. 

1st Footman/ also a Butler: Jas. Pergler $80.00 a mo.                                            

[Footman/also Butler: James Temple] paid by ADH at NYC mansion; also a “Traveling servant SMR / TN / No. 2 NYC/ & Chat. B.

Head Housekeeper/ Cook:  Nora Larsen $100.00 mo.; She started working for Mr. Huntington in 1910 when he first moved into the Huntington Mansion. At first, he had Miss Delia Foley & then a month later Nora Larsen was hired. Nora, a cook & Head housekeeper was also was in charge of the “putting-up” of San Marino Ranch preserves like orange marmalade, & pickles, & such. In the summertime, she needed a whole team to help her to make raspberry & loganberry jam, pomegranate jelly, & lemon curd.  

Chauffeur: Clarence Williams $100.00 a month

Head Cook: Mary James $65.00 a month

[2nd Cook]: Amy Anderson $ 45.00 a mo.

Houseman: Arthur Sadler (1919) $50.00 mo.

House servant: Ellen Nelson $50.00 mo. [Kitchen, preserves, or Maid]

House servant: Julie B. Larsen $50.00 mo. [maybe related to Nora Larsen, head housekeeper]

House servant: Amanda Carlson $50.00 mo. [cook or maid or preserves] 

House servant: Amy Anderson $45.00 [Maid]

House servant: Susie Thomas $45.00 [maid]

Gatekeeper: Mrs. J. Muller $15.00 a month

House servant/ Dessert Cook: Lena Kley (part- time $2.50 /12 days)

House servant: Mary Gombotz (part- time cook or preserves)

Laundress: Lottie Hanson (part time in December)

House servant: Cook or preserves, Mrs. C. F. Moss ($3.00 /2 days part time)

Superintendent of the San Marino Ranch: Mr. Wm. Hertrich (paid all this SMR employees & House staff.) HEH & Mr. Hertrich had their own Ranch office to discuss all the happenings for Mr. Huntington’s working Ranch & the W.O.’s. The W.O.’s (Work Orders) if Mrs. Huntington wanted a lovely Rose Arbor in a certain place, Mr. Hertrich would 1st make a W.O. then get the men to build & paint it in a timely fashion. If she wanted a rose or an orchid hot house they built it for her. He also worked on daily mansion flower arrangements [Loggia, the large Library, the Dining Room] with the kitchen or Mansion servant staff. 

Board of Men (SMR):  Mrs. Louise Grossman $300.00 a month (in charge of men in the ranch “dormitory” (28-room), she was the highest paid employee on the San Marino Ranch, beside Mr. Hertrich. Because she was so highly paid, I think she also had to feed the ranch hands 3 meals a day, also. She would have to make the ranch hands: a hearty breakfast, packed lunches with sandwiches & fruit & cookies & make a beefy or chicken stew or roast for dinner for the ranch hands. I just realized why “Huntington Household” went through 100’s of eggs a month – feeding the ranch hands!   

Cook: [O. Hermansen – Dec. 1915] Document: HEH Collection HEH 6/15/small folder Under (Huntington Land & Improvement Co. – San Marino Ranch papers)  

Historical Note: During the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, there was always “extra-help”, to help Miss Nora Larsen manage the kitchen, dessert cook like Mrs. Kley, & entertainments at the Huntington Mansion. Also, at the Mansion: [Traveling Servants]: These servants & employees of HEH & ADH traveled to all Huntington residences: No. 2, TN, CPK, SMR, & Chat. B.: they were paid by the HEH and ADH’s accountant in the Huntington Mansion No. 2 NYC, by ADH & HEH, so they are not listed in the San Marino Ranch payroll sheets.

Also, these are the other Huntington mansion servants that I call the “Traveling servants” thru the decades. They were with Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington at all times. They traveled from California to the New York Mansion to Huntington Estate at “Homestead” Throggs Neck in Westchester Co. to Europe to Chateau de Beauregard.  These servants were not on the SMR payroll because they either paid by Arabella Huntington Bank acct. or paid by the Huntington’s New York Mansion at No. 2 East 57th Street NYC because they were employed at that location first. 

Butler Head: Scottish – Angus McGillivray

2nd Butler: Spanish- Alfonzo Gomez (also HEH’s gentleman’s valet; who became 1st Butler; very elegant, kind & loyal man, worked on Cunard ship in 1911)

Footman: James Temple

2nd Footman: [look above Dec. 1920- Jas. Pergler]

Chauffeur: Clarence Williams (SMR) & lived cottage/car garage $135.00 a mo. & highest paid employee on the Ranch)

HEH’s Gentlemen’s Valet: Alfonzo Gomez (1911-1927)

Cook: sometimes a cook or 2nd cook would travel with the H. E. Huntington’s

ADH’s Ladies Personal Maid: Jeanne Reifer

HEH’s personal secretary: George Hapgood, “Happy”, loved to play golf on Fridays.

ADH’s Personal Secretary: Miss Carrie Campbell (Menus, correspondence) Historical Note: Most of these “Traveling servants & Huntington Employees were paid from NYC mansion by A.D. Huntington bank acct. & Mr. C.E. Graham (Acct) & No. 2 NYC Huntington Mansion Household acct. 

Document: Ship documents Ellis Island, HEH Coll. HEH 10968 (E. Burke Holladay Journals 1914-1924); HEH & HEH’s secretary/Acct Mr. Graham plans for the Huntington’s European ship travel Document: HEH Coll. MS 12 1/27 (Chat B. papers) Huntington Library, San Marino, CA                                            

Other Homes Estates & Mansions owned & leased by the H. E. & Arabella Huntingtons (1900’s to 1927): 

No. 2:  No. 2 East 57th Street (& 5th Ave.) New York City, NY (CPH & ADH 1890’s to 1900 when Collis P. Huntington died) (ADH as a widow 1900-1913)  (Arabella & H. E.”Edwards”. Huntington 1913-1924)

TN:   Throggs Neck   Huntington the “Homestead” Estate, at Throgg’s Neck,Westchester Co. NYC

CPK: Camp Pine Knot, Racquette Lake, Upper Adirondack Mt., New York (CPH and ADH) but because Collis died there the Huntington’s rarely used after 1900, but ADH owned until she died in 1924 

PAR1:  1st  Paris Mansion on Rue de L’Elyssee, Paris France (ADH)

PAR2:  2nd Paris mansion owned Arabella Huntington on 20 rue de Lubeck in Paris, France; (ADH)

Arabella Huntington sold the second Paris mansion on Lubeck in 1913 & then they leased Chateau Beauregard from DeForest. 

Chat. B.: Chateau de Beauregard address: La Celle-Saint Cloud Chesney Paris, France –  Leased from 1913-1923  (HEH & ADH) with Belle Ebat horse stable on property

54th NYC: Arabella Yarrington Worsham home 4-story before she married Collis P. Huntington (ADH) at the Mansion or guest cottage. 

Mr. Henry E. Huntington calling cards; the bottom was a mourning calling card (1924) when his wife, Arabella D. Huntington died. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage at the 1919 Exhibition 2019 at the Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Mr. Henry E. Huntington’s Calling Cards:

H. E. Huntington’s “Calling Cards” (SMR): I found “Mr. H. E. Huntington” calling card from the San Marino Ranch, California in Mr. Huntington’s personal papers in 2004. It was heavy stock paper on a small white calling card. The size of Mr. Huntington’s calling card was 2” x 3” in size written simply “Mr. Huntington” in the middle & “San Marino Ranch” on the lower left corner. I was surprised his initials were not on his calling card. Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS Box 200 (HEH’s personal Papers) Huntington Library. San Marino, CA

Mr. H. E. Huntington “Mourning Calling Card”: (1924) The black Border calling card is called a “Mourning Card” used for 1 year, after a lovely one has died (Mrs. Huntington in 1924). After Mrs. Arabella Huntington died Sept. 16, 1924, Henry Huntington had another “calling card” made paying respects to his dear wife. It said, “Mr. H.E. Huntington” & “San Marino Ranch”. These cards were located in the HEH’s desk in the Small Library in 1927. I have never found a calling card of Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Huntington’s at the San Marino Ranch; only a Christmas card (1915) brass plate. Document: HEH Coll. HEH Box 200 [Mr. HEH personal papers] Hunt. Lib San Marino, CA                                    

Huntington Formal Dinner Parties (SMR): the time of the Huntington Dinners was 7:00 PM sharp (some dinners lasted for 1-2 hours with a break in between. In the middle of the dinner party was a break, Huntington “Roman Punch” or Champagne Sorbet or Mint Sorbet would be served in the middle of these meals. Entertainment or cards in the Large Drawing Room at 9:00-10:00pm.

I found in the Huntington archives a Huntington dinner invitation to Mr. & Mrs. Collis P. Huntington (Arabella) Mansion (1890’s) they lived on Nob Hill in SF; the guests were the Holladays. That San Francisco Dinner, the time on the formal full-course dinner read 7:30 pm which meant dinner would have been at 8:00 pm. Most likely a dinner party of 8 or 12 or 24 dinner guests. So in Arabella later years at the Ranch, she entertained 1 hour earlier at 7:00 pm.

Arabella liked the number 12 especially for lunch or dinner guests. So in the 1890’s, in the C. P. & Arabella Huntington’s Mansion on Nob Hill in San Francisco dinners was a bit later. Document: HEH Coll Box HEH 199/200 – HEH personal papers;) 1890’s ADH invitation to Holladays From CPH & Arabella Huntington to 1020 California St. SF Hunt. Mansion. Huntington Library San Marino CA

These Formal dinners at the San Marino Ranch were often attached to “Sundays at the Ranch ” get-togethers. H. E. Huntington’s brother-in-law, E. Burke Holladay mentions in his journals having spent time all day & all night at the ranch. Humorous diary entries of running home in the afternoon to change into formal attire and trying not to be late for dinner. It was Dinner at 7:00PM Sharp! A full–course dinner in the Huntington’s Dining Room being served by 2 butlers & 2 footmen serving a multi-course dinner meal. Document: HEH Coll HEH MS 10968 (Burkes Journals) Huntington Library San Marino, CA

The multi-course Huntington dinners were composed of 6-8 courses (SMR) – maybe more. In the 1890’s, in the San Francisco Mansion & her New York Mansio, Mrs. Arabella Huntington’s Gilded Age dinners were 12-16 course formal dinner menus. By the 1920’s, at the San Marino Ranch, I feel the Huntingtons scaled down a lot on the amount of dinner courses compared to the Roaring 1890’s with so many courses. Probably 6 courses instead of 16 courses as in the San Francisco years.

The Huntington dinners always started with an (1.) oyster course (oysters on the ½ shell served with mignonette sauce) (2.) a soup course, (often offering 2 soups: a bouillon soup &/or a cream soup), (4.) Fish course seafood cocktail or appetizer “amuse bouche” (2-3 kinds of fancy canapes on a fancy silver serving tray – Arabella was partial to Roquefort Canapes called “Roquefort Puffs” or Caviar Canapes, (5.) Entrée (chicken or game) with vegetables & rice or potatoes, (6.) Salad Course (very French- salad served after-dinner), Cheese Course of French Cheeses with Crackers, Exotic Fruit of SMR & Nuts, (7) Dessert Course of Fancy Cakes, & Fancy Ice Creams, Petit Fours. Then After-dinner Entertainment with French BonBons & Coffee served in the Large Drawing Room. Document: Mr. Hertrich’s book “Personal Recollections” Photo of dining room table before “Royal Dinner” in 1926. Each cover (plate setting) had 3 wine glasses & 1 champagne glass on the table.

After-dinner Huntington “Entertainments”: The Huntington Dinner guests – after dinner the Gentlemen went first to have a cigars & brandy outside in the San Marino Ranch Bowling Alley/ Billiards room (Mrs. Huntington didn’t like the smell of cigar smoke); the women would walked to the Large Drawing Room. After the Cigars & Brandy, then the men would meet the women in the Large Drawing Room for the Evening Entertainment: with Brandy or after-dinner cordials like Crème de Menthe & sparkling soda, with Petit fours (small iced squares of cakes) or French Chocolate Bon-Bons & candy dishes filled with of Jordan Almonds, chocolate covered almonds, or nuts. 

The Huntingtons “live” entertainment might be a trio of musicians, a harpist, a violinist, an opera singer, or piano playing by Leslie Huntington or Carrie Huntington Holliday to play the piano, or a reading or poetry from one of H. E. Huntington newly acquired books. Documents: Huntington menus, grocery lists for mansions, HEH Coll MS 10968 Burke Journals, SF Collis & Arabella Huntington Invitation of Nob Hill mansion at Huntington Library San Marino, CA.

Social Clubs:  Clubs that H.E. Huntington & Arabella were members (1913-1920’s). Some  Clubs that Collis P. Huntington & Arabella were members (1880-1900 & beyond);NYC New York City, Newport News, VA, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Paris, & England. CPH- Collis Huntingtion ADH-Arabella Duval Huntington & HEH Henry Edwards Huntington

NYC: Union League Club CPH & HEH dues 1907-23, Entertainment Club (ADH), Hispanic Society of New York (CPH, AMH, ADH, HEH) Metropolitan Club, City Club, New York, City Midday Club, Elizabethan Club New Haven Conn.(CPH), Oneonta Country Club (HEH), Sleepy Hollow Country Club TN, Lake Placid Club (HEH), Merchant Marine League, Metropolitan Museum of Art (CPH & ADH & HEH), New York Horticultural Society, New York Public Library, North American Indian Club, American Art Association (HEH & ADH), American Museum of Natural History HEH Lifetime member, National Academy of Design (CPH & ADH helped Archer Huntington with it donated money & fundraisers), Municipal Art Society of New York, National Sculpture Society (AMH), The Academy of Political Science (Annual dues 1917-8)

Newport News, VA: C.P. Huntington Republican League Club of Newport News, VA, Women’s Club of Newport News, VA, Chamber of Commerce of Newport News VA, Atlantic Coast Shipbuilders Association (Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Docks -Huntington owned company)

SF: Bohemian Club (HEH), Pacific Union Club (1893 CPH), Merchant Club SF,

LA: California Club LA, Jonathan Club LA, Los Angeles Country Club, Bolsa Chica Gun Club (HEH), Gamut Club (HEH), Santa Barbara Country Club SB Calif., Tuna Club Santa Catalina Island dues 1917, Victoria Club Riverside, CA by the Mission Inn (HEH), University Club of LA, Sunset Club HEH Los Angeles, Pacific Electric Railway Assn., Horticulture Society of California, LA Athletic Club, LA Chamber of Commerce, Midwick Club Alhambra CA-Alamansor Country Club now, LA Art Association now LAAA,  

PAS: San Gabriel Country Club, Huntington Country Club-Hotel Huntington (9 holes), Annandale Country Club, Pasadena Board of Trade,  Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, Pasadena Country Club, Pasadena Music & Art Assoc (HEH Lifetime member), Pasadena Polo Club, Pasadena Tournament of Rose Assn (HEH dues 1910), San Gabriel Country Club SG Calif., Southwest Museum, California Tech. Associates,- Athenaeum Club-Cal-tech 

PARIS: St. Cloud Country Club (HEH), St Hubert Club de France rue de Clichy, Jan. 1923 (HEH & ADH), Club supporting the Paris Hospital; 

Document: HEH Ledgers of Clubs HEH 36/6 (HEH Estate papers) HEH Coll. MS 19/4 uncat (Mr. Schads Papers for HEH Bio file), HEH Coll. MS 19/5 uncat Box 3 Mr. Schad, HEH curator paper on HEH); HEH Coll. MS 19/1-18 uncat (Mr. Schads- HEH curator papers), HEH Coll MS 14/7-15(uncat)- HEH’s cancelled checks of paid club dues-Nevada Bank of SF 1897; HEH Coll MS Eph 42-19 (Huntington Menu ephemera);HEH Coll HEH Box 170 telegrams; HEH Coll MS Box 199 & 200 uncat (Mr. Henry E. Huntington private papers) at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; Book: H.E. Huntington a Biography by Thorpe p.488; Document: Letter to HEH from Homer L. Ferguson published Book: Munitions Industry: US Congress Senate -Atlantic Coast shipbuilders Assoc.

The Loggia at the Huntington Mansion on the San Marino Ranch; which became the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

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