Charlotte Perkins Gilman in Pasadena

After divorcing her husband in 1888, Charlotte Perkins Gilman moved with her daughter to Pasadena, California where, during a week of sweltering heat, she wrote her famous short-story The Yellow Wallpaper. For 10 dollars a month, she rented a white cottage on the corner of Orange Grove Ave and Arroyo Terrace, teaching painting to support herself. “In that first year of freedom,” she recalled, “I wrote some thirty-three short articles, and twenty-three poems, besides ten more child-verses.” Although she would soon relocate to Oakland, and then the east coast, her fondness for the city persisted: “I have lived much here. I love the place—Pasadena, and mean earnestly to return, build, and live.” When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1930’s, she returned to Pasadena to live near her daughter. In 1935, she took a lethal dose of chloroform in her house at 239 S. Catalina Ave. Her suicide note read: “Human life consists in mutual service.”