A mystery: 11: solved

Thanks to Cameron Binkley and his librarian contacts at the California Academy of Sciences, I now have confirmation that Laura White’s memorial to her husband, as specified in her will, was indeed realized at CAS. According to academy’s 1958 annual report, the Lovell White Hall of Man and Nature was part of the Hall of Science (along with the Alexander Morrison Planetarium).

The Whites’ daughter-in-law Ruth gave an oral history interview in 1976. She fills in some of the details of the White-CAS connection.

RB: So then I gave [the Garden of Allah] to the California Academy of Sciences and they had it for about three years, two or three years and they loved it. The reason I selected that to give it to is because the California Academy of Sciences has a memorial for Ralston’s father, Mr. Lovell White. His mother gave it to the California a memorial there, so I thought it would be very appropriate for the —

CE: The Academy of Sciences. Were they delighted with the bequest?

RB: They certainly were delighted but regrettably their income was restricted to be spent in the City and County of San Francisco so they had to give it up painfully.

A mystery inside a mystery: The Garden of Allah, Ralston and Ruth’s Marin County home, is not the Los Angeles resort of the same name that is the setting for Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah.

The Hall of Science was demolished as part of CAS’s rebuild in 2008, so maybe Laura and Lovell would have been better off with a plaque or a statue.

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