Wynyate, the rambling Queen Anne Victorian at 851 Lyndon St. in South Pasadena, has been carefully restored by its present owners, Ian and Barbara White-Thomson, to preserve its historical integrity as a link to the city’s past.
The house, a historical city landmark also listed with the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1887 by Donald M. Graham and his wife, author Margaret Collier Graham.
It was the year before the city was incorporated and Graham, chosen as its mayor, signed an anti-saloon ordinance as his first official action. His wife later described the historic meeting at Wynyate.
“Mr. Graham was opposed to saloons but was not
a Prohibitionist. After the board adjourned he came to me in great amusement and said: ‘It would have been well to remove the wine glasses and the whiskey bottle from the sideboard before meeting to organize a Prohibition town,’ ” she wrote in her memoirs.
Graham, a lawyer who spoke Greek, Latin and Hebrew, had also served his community as the local mail carrier and driver of a second-hand buggy stage between Pasadena and Los Angeles.
Wynyate currently sits on about two acres of land that originally overlooked grape vineyards, hence its Welsh name for vineyard. In 1889, naturalist John Muir planted a lemon eucalyptus that still flourishes on the west side of the house. The only major change to the structure is the absence of the original porte-cochere and glass enclosure of its third-floor open porch.