Theodore Parker Lukens Papers mssLukens

Gayle Richardson
The Huntington Library
June 2020
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Theodore Parker Lukens papers
Creator: Lukens, Theodore Parker, 1848-1918
Identifier/Call Number: mssLukens
Physical Description: 5.5 Linear Feet (8 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1869-1942
Abstract: A collection of professional and personal papers of Theodore Parker Lukens, Southern California conservationist, real estate investor, and community leader.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Theodore Parker Lukens papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Mrs. Helen Lukens Gaut, January 1954.

Biographical / Historical

Theodore Parker Lukens (1848-1918) was a conservationist, real estate investor, and pioneer community leader in Pasadena, California. Born in Ohio, he came to California with his wife in 1880. He became active in business and municipal affairs, serving as mayor of Pasadena from 1890 to 1892 and from 1894 to 1895. Lukens was a friend of John Muir and promoted many conservation causes. He served as supervisor of the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains from 1905 to 1907 and throughout his career held various positions in private and government forestry organizations. Lukens remained prominent in civic affairs in Pasadena until his death in 1918.

Scope and Contents

A collection of 3,600 items from 1869 to 1942, it consists of letters, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, and clippings related to Lukens's business affairs; conservation; the study of local forests; commercial tree farming; and the establishment of the Mount Wilson Observatory. Correspondents in the collection include: Thomas Robert Bard, George Ellery Hale, Abbot Kinney, John Muir, Harrison Gray Otis, and Gifford Pinchot. The collection also includes personal papers, biographical material, diaries, and correspondence.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library Staff, circa 1960. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


Organized in the following series: 1. Family papers; 2. Correspondence; 3. Diaries; 4. Manuscripts; 5. Miscellaneous; 6. Photographs.


Former call number: mssLukens papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Conservation of natural resources -- California
Forest reserves -- California
Forests and forestry -- California
National parks and reserves -- Caifornia
Natural resources -- California
Pasadena (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
San Gabriel Mountains (Calif.)
Wilson, Mount (Calif. : Mountain)
Business papers -- California, Southern
Diaries -- California, Southern
Ephemera -- California, Southern
Letters (correspondence) -- California, Southern
Photographs -- California, Southern
Bard, Thomas Robert, 1841-1915
Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938
Kinney, Abbot, 1850-1920
Muir, John, 1838-1914
Otis, Harrison Gray, 1837-1917
Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946

Box 1

Family papers: biographical papers and correspondence: A-L 1869-1942

Box 2

Correspondence: M-Z 1893-1917

Box 3

Letter books

Box 4

Diaries 1900-1918

Box 5

Manuscripts by Theodore Parker Lukens

Box 6

Reports by Theodore Parker Lukens; manuscripts by others; miscellany, rainfall chart, clippings

Box 7

Photograph Albums 1-5

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of trees, planting, reforestation, historic sites, family and personal.
Box 8

Photograph Albums 6-11

Scope and Contents

Album 11 is an album of Helen Lukens Jones Gaut photographs.