After a long illness in 1886, Ellen Scripps Booth’s father James Edmund Scripps (1835-1906) retired from his work life in the newspaper business (he had founded Detroit’s The Evening News in 1873). James spent two years recuperating and traveling in England and continental Europe with his wife Harriet and their children. The family visited Scripps cousins and traveled with some of his twelve siblings and their children. James, who had become interested in architecture (particularly church architecture), spent many hours sketching at the locations they visited.
James Edmund Scripps sketched exterior wall decoration at Alhambra, below. Notice how closely it matches the wall in the photograph.
In the picture at the Alhambra, take a look at James’s sister second from the left: Ellen Browning Scripps. Ellen was a publisher for The Evening News and wrote a daily column, nicknamed “Miss Ellen’s Miscellany” that rehashed local and national news in a conversational tone. She even sent dispatches back to Detroit from Europe. Shortly after their trip to Europe and well-hatted visit to the Alhambra, the Scripps siblings had a bit of a falling out: she and another brother headed to California, where she eventually founded many important educational and philanthropic organizations in the San Diego area.
If you want to hear more about Ellen Browning Scripps and the Scripps siblings, the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is hosting a lecture and book signing with Molly McClain on Sunday, November 12th. Ellen Browning Scripps: New Money and American Philanthropy is a new book by Dr. McClain, Professor of History at the University of San Diego. To learn more about the lecture and to purchase tickets, click here. Books are also available to purchase through the Center.
–Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research