I mentioned that the family went to a reception at Tournament House last weekend. Our house backs up to the end of the Rose Parade route, and on New Year's Day, the floats will be parked in our neighborhood for people to view. This means that several thousand people will be trying to park in and walk through our neighborhood. When we moved into this house this year, we didn't really take that into consideration. We've lived in this area for 14 years, but never this close to the parade. This was the first time we've actually been inside the Tournament House mansion. It was built by millionaire merchant George Stimson and completed in 1914, but he never lived there. He sold it to William Wrigley, and the family owned the mansion until Mrs Wrigley's death in 1958 when it was given to the city of Pasadena with the purpose of being the home to the Tournament of Roses. The Rose Parade began in 1895 as a marketing tool to bring mid-Westerners to California by showing them the temperate climate which allowed fresh roses to be available in the middle of winter. The Rose Bowl football game was added to the festivities in 1902 as a way to help pay for the parade.
We had full access to the mansion which has the original ceilings. The dining room is the only room in the house which still has all of the original furnishings. Upstairs is a small museum dedicated to the game including one of the original Rose "Bowl" trophies. The girls enjoyed "wearing" the Rose Queen's crown. We left the house in a pouring rain and hail storm which made the perfect opportunity for us to take pictures as we waited for it to stop.