Little Free Libraries

As an avid reader, I wanted to take a moment to recognize that we have two excellent Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood. Over 30 million adults in the United States read at a third grade level, so encouraging literacy is a necessary and worthwhile neighborhood pursuit.

Little Free Libraries work on the honor system and anyone can contribute books as well as borrow anything they like from the little library. There’s no time limit on borrowing, and everyone is encouraged to swap out a book to replace the one they borrowed, ensuring the library is always full for the whole community.

3600 Block Yorkshire Rd

A cute little library with real shingles and a full set of books!

How did Little Free Libraries start?

In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse. It was a tribute to his mother; she was a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it, so he built several more and gave them away.

By 2020 more than 100,000 Little Free Library book-sharing boxes have been installed worldwide. Read the full history here.

“I really believe in a Little Free Library on every block and a book in every hand. I believe people can fix their neighborhoods, fix their communities, develop systems of sharing, learn from each other, and see that they have a better place on this planet to live.” 

Todd Boll, creator of Little Free Libraries, who sadly passed away in October 2018 of complications from pancreatic cancer

400 Block Oneida Dr.

A gnome themed blue & pink little library just on the west side of Eaton Wash, en route to Eaton Blanche Park.

How do I support Little Libraries?

Little Libraries depend on community support, so remember to grab a book (or three) that you want to share with the community and drop it off on an early morning walk. You can donate books you’ve read but haven’t touched in years, gifted books you’ve never finished, or old children’s books your kids are too old for. Or buy a box of books from a rummage or library sale to add to the variety.

Not only are Little Libraries a great way to reuse books and save on paper waste (good for the environment!), but also a great way to find books and save money. They can also help your kids discover and enjoy books they may not have come across on their own, and encourages sharing in the process.

Let us know if any more Little Libraries pop up in the neighborhood and happy reading!

Best Play Areas for Kids

As the weather warms up the kids want to be outside, and there are some great areas for them to expend their energy better than the front yard. Pasadena has many amazing parks with different playground equipment, as well some other fun alternatives to keep them occupied. Want to add a spot we missed to the list? Send a note to and let us know!

Eaton Blanche Park

This is one of the most well-kept parks in the area, and is probably the closest park to Chapman Woods. It has nice playground equipment, picnic tables, and a large field for sporting events. Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 3100 E Del Mar Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107.

Grant Park

This 2.7-acre neighborhood park offers sport courts & fields, a picnic shelter & play equipment. It’s just a short drive from Chapman Woods at 232 S Michigan Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106. And Ginger Corner Market is conveniently located across the street so you can grab snacks or a sandwich from their deli.

Santa Anita Mall

The Santa Anita Mall has TWO excellent play areas, one indoors for the rare Southern California rainy days, and one outdoor playground on the second floor. The indoor area is great for toddlers. 400 Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

Michillinda Park

Also a hop, skip and a jump from Chapman woods, Michillinda Park is an excellent spot for a variety of playground equipment. A little bit noisy off of Huntington, but an excellent spot early in the morning, and has great little picnic areas for birthday parties. 3800 S Michillinda Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107. Closes at 8 p.m.

Lacy Park

The park features lush vegetation, open grass space, a rose garden, walking loops, tennis courts, and many other amenities and playground areas. Non residents have to pay a $5 entry fee on the weekends, but well worth it, such a beautiful park! Closes at 8 p.m. 1485 Virginia Rd, San Marino, CA 91108.

Caltech Campus

I know this is sort of random in the list of parks, but hear me out. Caltech has a beautiful campus with all sorts of beautiful water features (like the turtle garden) and pathways. This campus is perfect for an early morning stroll with your kids and they can bring a scooter or bicycle without worrying about traffic. Usually plenty of parking on California or Hill. 1200 E. California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125.

Playhouse Village Park

An excellent little playground near Old Town at 701 Union St, Pasadena, CA 91101. It’s small but has some nice playground equipment, a ramp for scooters and a sandbox area. Clean restrooms nearby and canopies for shade make this a great pit stop on the way to Target or Vroman’s Book Store.

Victory Park

North of the 210, this park has a playground, community baseball, softball & soccer fields with mountain views, plus an indoor gym & rec center. This is the park where the Rose Parade ends and you can see a whole bunch of floats! 2641, 2575 Paloma St, Pasadena, CA 91107 and closes at 6 p.m.

Huntington Library Children’s Garden

For $25 adult general admission (or free with membership) you can bring your kids to the wonderful Huntington Library Children’s Garden. A ton of fun little water features to help beat the heat, we recommend swim gear and Crocs! Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Tuesdays. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

Alfred Chapman of Chapman Woods

Alfred Beck Chapman in 1879 bought about 1,600 acres of the Rancho Santa Anita from Duarte Road to the foothills, eventually harvesting fruit from nearly 10,000 citrus trees. His ranch included the present Chapman Woods as well as the Hastings Ranch area.

Chapman married Mary Scott, the daughter of Los Angeles attorney Jonathan R. Scott, with whom he studied law. In 1861 he set up a partnership with Cameron E. Thom.

In 1863 Chapman became city attorney of Los Angeles, replacing Myer J. Newmark, who resigned, and in 1868 he was elected district attorney of Los Angeles County. He went into partnership with a boyhood friend, Andrew Glassell, when the latter arrived in Los Angeles in 1866. Colonel George H. Smith, a former Confederate Army officer and brother-in-law of Glassell, joined the firm in 1870. Their law practice was confined chiefly to real estate transactions, and they made their fortunes by handling the large partition suits. Chapman was the businessman of the firm. He took his compensation in land, and nearly every final decree in partition would find that Glassell & Chapman had acquired more property.

Chapman and Glassell are best known in Orange County for being founders of Orange, California. The firm represented the Yorba and Peralta families in the partitioning of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana in 1867, and had received for a portion of their fees certain large parcels of land in the partition. He joined with one of his partners, Andrew Glassell, to develop a new community, Richland (which would eventually be named Orange). They hired the land surveyor, Frank Lecouvrier of Los Angeles, to map this tract, which they called Richland Farm District. ‘Richland’ was originally the name of the Virginia plantation owned by the father of Andrew Glassell in the 1830s.

A large transaction by Chapman and Glassell was the legal suit known as “The Great Partition of 1871”, brought against the Verdugo Rancho San Rafael properties on the Los Angeles River and in the Verdugo Mountains. The legal fees were again paid in substantial land transfers. He at one time also owned “practically all the land” where Glendale, California, and the suburb of Tropico were established.[9]

Chapman continued to practice law until 1880. After retirement, he devoted full-time to managing his 700-acre rancho in the upper San Gabriel Valley, a portion of the Rancho Santa Anita grant, and became involved in citrus production.

The neighborhood of Chapman Woods in Pasadena, the site of Chapman’s rancho in the San Gabriel Valley, is named after Alfred Chapman.

From Wikipedia