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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Photo Essay: 1000 Lights (Or More) at Sherman Library and Gardens

This weekend, I went to the Sherman Library and Gardens, a fixture in Corona del Mar, California since 1955...



...but I wasn't researching the Southern Pacific Railroad, Tejon Ranch, or even Newport Beach.



I didn't even know what the research library had in its collection.



I just wanted to see the historical adobe architecture...



...and check out the landscaping and gardens, partially the former home of Norman's Nursery.



There's a small window in December when you can visit the library during normal operating hours during the day and see it decorated for the holidays at night, too.



So, I planned my visit accordingly.



This time of year, the season really takes over the garden...



...but you can still visit the orchids in the Tropical Conservatory...



...including the ones featured in Smell-O-Vision...



...that give off perfumes of fruit and chocolate.



But in the Tea Garden and the Central Garden, the horticultural point of interest flips to Christmas trees.



And the library's mascot otter dons a Santa Hat.



Having been to some of the larger garden light displays around SoCal (including ZooLights), I didn't expect much out of the 2.2 acres that the Sherman Library occupies along the Pacific Coast Highway.



But I was impressed with how the Fern Grotto had been transformed into a Disco InFERNo...



...and how the light tunnel offered a colorful respite...



...from the Santa visits, s'mores station, and selfie wall that surrounded it.



The holiday event at this historic site is billed as "Nights of 1000 Lights"...



...but while I was inside of it, it felt more like millions or billions.



From the Noel Bleu in the Sun Garden, right down to the Rainbow Tree in the otherwise dormant Rose Garden.


Norman's Nursery—and eventually all the surrounding lots in the entire city block—were purchased by Arnold D. Haskell, who named Sherman Library and Gardens after his mentor, Moses Sherman.

While working as a bellboy at the Mission Inn in Riverside, Haskell became Sherman's assistant and then his successor after his retirement.

The library's namesake is the same as Sherman Oaks and West Hollywood, which was once known as Sherman.

Moses Sherman was an Upstate New Yorker who headed out West, penniless. After landing in Phoenix and building a streetcar system there, he began to amass some real estate and some serious holdings in railroad ventures.

And then he moved to LA and did the same thing.

For some reason, I had to go all the way to Orange County to learn about him.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Lighting Up the LA Zoo
Photo Essay: Cactus Lights