A plaque on the east side of the Elk’s Lodge at 27 W. Huntington Drive, just west of Santa Anita Avenue, commemorates the building’s beginning as a Base Operations Center (BOC) and a club house built for the men who were assigned to the Ross Field Balloon School beginning in 1918. The large building was to become the social and recreational life of the camp. On the east side of the building, and next to Santa Anita Avenue, was a city reservoir, which was donated to Ross Field by Anita Baldwin, becoming the camp’s swimming pool. Many years later, this pool was covered over and converted to a parking lot.
Following the Balloon School’s closing, the building was been used as a restaurant, a square-dance hall, headquarters for the Santa Anita Riding and Hunt Club, a processing plant for jams and jellies, and a recreational facility for service men and their families during WWII. The Elk’s Club purchased the facility in 1957 and made extensive improvements to the property.
The Elk’s Lodge remains as evidence that Ross Field existed, along with a stone wall next to the lodge that was part of the old camp swimming pool.
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Carol Libby & Karen Hou
Arcadia Historical Society