Manufacturer: Wallace China
Date of plate: 1939 – 1950s
Notes: Eaton's was a chain of five Southern California restaurants and one hotel. The first restaurant, Eaton's Santa Anita, opened on Dec. 29, 1939, and was part of the hotel, Eaton's Santa Anita Resort Hotel, that was located adjacent to the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia on the grounds of the Lucky Baldwin Ranch.
In addition to Eaton's Santa Anita, the restaurants were named: Eaton's Rancho, on Ventura Boulevard at Laurel Canyon; Eaton's Steak and Chicken House, on Wilshire Boulevard at Ardmore; and Eaton's Chicken House, on Lacienega at Burton Way.
Eaton's Santa Anita closed on Sept. 23, 1969 because of unpaid taxes that totaled $42,000.
At least two of the restaurants used this tan-bodied Desert Ware china topmarked with either Rancho or Santa Anita, depending on location. It is not known if the other three restaurants used the same pattern, either with a specific topmark or without.
The pattern name is not known but is commonly referred to as Mexican Man, showing a man who has a mustache, wears a sombrero and a serape and who is holding a cup of steaming liquid.
It is not known if this was a stock pattern when seen without an Eaton's topmark (see photos of the bouillon cup and sugar bowl above), but based on the rarity of the pattern, it is assumed to be part of the Eaton's china service until more information is known. One would imagine that if it were a stock pattern it would have been ordered frequently and more would be seen.
For more info:
Cordova's Rancho Grande Club by Wallace China
ID and all other photos contributed by Susan Phillips
Sugar and bouillon photos contributed by The Noelle Collection