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Homes & Mansions 

Mr. Roarke's Island Cottage - This beautiful white Victorian home owned by the mysterious Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban) on romantic drama FANTASY ISLAND/ABC/1978-84 was in reality the California registered landmark No. 367, known as The Queen Anne Cottage.

Queen Anne Cottage - Courtesy of the Los Angeles Arboretum

The house was formerly the residence of Elias "Lucky" Jackson Baldwin who began building the charming house for his fourth wife in 1885-86. However, she left him before it was completed and so it became a memorial to his third wife, Jennie Dexter.

When Baldwin died the house was closed, and the interior furnishings were liquidated. It wasn't until the 1950s that the house, long neglected, was restored and dedicated in 1954.

Although termed the Queen Anne Cottage, the house is actually a combination of Queen Anne, Stick and Eastlake Styles. The refurbished cottage includes portraits of both Baldwin and Jennie Dexter.

The mansion and its surrounding tropical setting has been a favorite shooting location for Hollywood studios. Some examples:

  • Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan swung through the arboretum trees with both Maureen O'Sullivan and later Brenda Joyce who played Jane, his jungle wife.
  • Dorothy LaMour, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby walked its tropical setting in the Road to Singapore (1940).
  • James Earl Jones motored down its waterways searching for the village of Kunta Kinte on the 1979 television miniseries ROOTS: THE NEXT GENERATION.

These lush settings and buildings are located on the 127-acre complex of the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, California 91006. See also ISLANDS: "Fantasy Island"
 


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