Time Jockey ‘SAVANNAH SIGN’

Joe Castillo
January 22, 2014 • 385 views

Designated Landmark….Savannah Memorial Park and Cemetery unveiled its California State Historical bronze plaque at its annual meeting of shareholders January 11th. The plaque was acquired after the State of California Parks and Recreation division recognized Savannah as California State Landmark #1046. The plaque dimensions are 18 X 24 and follow the curved design with Grizzly Bear emblem which has been placed on a number of other California historical sites. The wording on the plaque reads as follow: ‘Savannah Memorial Park, Established in 1851, on the spot where Harry Dalton’s land grant showed the “The American Graveyard,” Savannah was the first public burial site used by settlers who came to the San Gabriel Valley by wagon train. Many of these pioneers were instrumental in developing the educational, social and legal foundations of Southern California. Their family names are commemorated in the names of streets, buildings and parks throughout the area. These pioneers formed the foundation of the American presence in the El Monte, Rosemead and the surrounding San Gabriel Valley. California State Historical Landmark No. 1046. Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the El Monte Cemetery Association March 6, 2012.’ The plaque will be installed on a new wall which will provide a new face for the historic cemetery. No date has yet to be established for the wall and dedication but stay tuned to this column in future editions to keep up to date on Savannah’s dedication plans….. New Year’s Celebration… The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has celebrated the New Year in a lot of different ways in its 125 year plus history. A football game, parade, horse races and chariot races were all used in a competitive way to bring in the New Year. In 1900, a horse by the name of ‘M.F.’ won the silver loving cup for horse racing. The owners of M.F. were a set of brothers, Archie, Tom and Mac Wiggins. Because Tom was the jockey on M.F. his name is on the cup. But the Wiggins Brothers didn’t limit themselves to horse racing, they also were involved in chariot racing. Going back to 1890 in the first Tournament of Roses, chariot racing was held as part of the celebration. As a matter of fact, a team of chariot horses owned by Lucky Baldwin won the inaugural race. Fourteen years later,   Arch Wiggins drove home a team of 4 horses attached abreast to win the chariot race event for the tournament. It was a world record and it is believed that it is a record which will never be broken. If you want to see the 1900 Tournament of Roses Horse Racing trophy won by the Wiggins brothers, check it out at the El Monte Historical Museum….

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