Echo Mtn. Echoes Volume 1..
Number 2


Altadena's Archives

I had the pleasure in the month of May to pay a long overdue visit to the Altadena Historical Societies Archives at the Great Western Savings Band at 2246 North Lake Ave, Altadena, California.

After being whisked down to the basement floor the elevator door opened into a hallway facing an open door. I went inside and was greeted by Edna Smith the Archivist in charge. She was all smiles which I was relieved to see as I previously had visions of a stuffy old room with stuffy attitudes to go with it. not the case! Edna was more than helpful and beamed as she showed me part of the vast collection tucked away within the walls of this underground vault.

If you are a fan of Mount Lowe and T. S. C. Lowe as I am, you'll be staggered by the goodies they are protecting. Recently they received a rather large and impressive collection that belonged to a man named Trent Steel. It included photos and paper the like of which most of us have never before seen.

Just to list a few things I saw while I was there: Menus for the various dining rooms. Photos of the construction of the incline. A fantastic picture of Professor Lowe on Skis, in deep snow at Alpine Tavern!

I could have spent days there doing research or just transporting myself back to the 1890's. The archives also has books relating to the Professor and other visionary items such as slides and paintings. It was a memorable 2 /12 hours. Thanks Edna.

For those of you interested in visiting the archives, they are open from 9 A.M. until noon on Mondays and Tuesdays.



March's Finds

Thanks to Easter being on April 7th the monthly PCC Swap Meet was held on March 30 ,1996. I parked in the garage parking lot and started in the rows nearest the street. I went up on aisle and down the next peeking into boxes containing photographs and books. After finishing in the first section all I had to show for my trouble was an early photo of Montezuma's Castle circa 1930, which I bought for $3.00.

In the next section I bought two travel books, Wallace Bruce's HUDSON 1894 complete with maps and Hamilton's NEW BRUNSWICK and it's SCENERY dated 1874 with real photos of the era pasted in. Both books were two bucks each. These were nice finds but not Mount Lowe.

Finally a few hours after starting I found myself in the last row of the last section. As I walked up to the last booth I saw an old gentleman writing a check for a photo of a car on what looked like Mt. Lowe? I peered over his shoulder, saw the was for @20 and the photo was indeed Mt. Lowe. The vendor stated he had more if the gentleman cared to see them. For whatever reason he passed and I asked to see what he had. The vendor reached behind his table and off the back of his pickup truck he pulled a file and handed it to me.

Before my eyes was the most amazing group of pictures I'd found in a long time. I took a few brief minutes to fully evaluate what I had found and then asked the magic question? "Can you make me a deal for the all?" I was very pleased to get a 15% discount. The vendor was kind enough to hold them while I ran down to the ATM to get the cash

Once home I took out my purchase and admired it piece by piece.

1. The Goodrich Magazine, October 1915. This info magazine of the time had an article titled "From the Canyon Depths to Mountain Top A thrill a Minute-- Where Tires Had to Hold." The article tells how F.L. Wing, the Metz Auto agent in Los Angeles loaded the Metz onto a flatcar and had it hauled up the Incline of the Mt. Lowe Railroad. Then he proceeded to take off up the tracks five miles to the Alpine Tavern! What a thrill that must have been, especially on the Circular Bridge!

2. A copy of the Mount Lowe Daily News dated June 22, 1915. These papers are good find as finds go but this one mentions in the visitors section the event of the day which was the auto trip of Mr. Wing to the top of Mt. Lowe. It states he was delivering the car to Tavern manager Mr. H. B. Brown.

3. An original photo almost exactly like the cover of Railway to the Clouds, the exception being P.E. car NO. 122.

4. Another similar shot from a higher position above the Circular Bridge.

5. A snow covered trestle and tracks.

6. A Charles Lawrence photo as show on the bottom of page 177 Railway to the Clouds.

7. 8 photos showing the Metz agent Mr. Wing in various stages of the trip up the mountain, four of which show the car on the tracks! Two similar photos are on page 203 of Railway to the Clouds.

8. A great photo of the Metz on the Circular Bridge.

9. The Metz parked in front of the Alpine Tavern.

10. Two photos showing "Lodge at Mt. Lowe." (???) One shows the Metz in front of the lodge and the other shows Mr. Wing's daughter in a staged photo of the car being driven out of the lodge's fireplace. (???) I need help on these two.


Dawn Mine

The Dawn Mine story is to be told in a publication called Gold and Treasure Hunter's Magazine in the July/August issue. Written by yours truly, using sources by John W. Robinson and Charles Seims the article brings a little recognition of our Dawn Mine to the rest of the mining community in a historical sense. Copies of the magazine should be available at Cal Gold in Pasadena or Azusa Gold in Azusa. If you can't find it I'll mail you a photocopy of the article for two 32 cent stamps after publication.


Responses from fans:

Sadly, the first response from my initial mailing was greatly lacking. I will however give it a few more tries before the cost of mailing and copies force me to stop. Thanks to those 6 of you that did take the time to write. I will mention in this newsletter some of the things these folks are interested in and if you wish to contact them I will let them know rather then printing anyone's address.


May Find

The recent Book Fair at the Burbank Hilton on May 6th was packed as usual. Lots of great books at not so great prices. I did manage to find one gem amongst the thousands that were for sale and no, it's not for sale. The First Century of Flight in America by Jeremiah Milbank, Jr. Published by Princeton University Press in 1943. This book extensively covers ballooning and T. S. C. Lowe is mentioned throughout the book. If you look for this book expect to pay $35-45.00 for it.


June Find

On Saturday June 8th, 1996 the R & N Postcard show opened at 10:00 and I hurried off to see the dealers that most likely would have Mt. Lowe memorabilia stashed away behind the table. After two hours of searching I cam up empty handed. I checked with a fellow who had a lot of mining material which is something else I collect. He brought out a stack of publications titled, Picturesque California. He was proud to show me a June 18, 1894 issue featuring California Mining. However going down through the stack I saw one that said Southern California and just wondered. "Could you show me that one?" I asked. "Of course." He replied tearing away the protective plastic cover. Each turn of the page was in anticipation of a mention of our Mt. Lowe. Finally there it was, a full page shot of the incline with the Echo Mountain House in the background. The next page devoted four paragraphs to the splendor of the Mt. Lowe Railway and the contemplation of building it's "highest hotel." The next page has a nice engraving of the falls in Eaton Canyon and Millard Falls. Then a final full page picture of the incline. The issue was dated May 7, 1894 and the magazine to top it off is edited by John Muir.

The next day I took my daughter Melanie and her boyfriend Jessie for their first visit into Millard Canyon. We had a nice leisurely hike up to the falls and took some great pictures. They are just starting to show an interest in the mountains and I personally can't wait to fill them in, at their pace, about Mt. Lowe.


Inspiration Point

June 1, 1996 I drove up to Inspiration Point with Forestry Volunteers and lovers of Mt. Lowe. There were at least twenty people that helped that day in the rebuilding of the shelter at Inspiration Point. Four to six brave souls worked high on the roof installing the tongue and groove while others hoisted up sections of wood cut to proper lengths. The saw was kept busy constantly. A few of us hacked away at the brush around the site and a bench was even cemented into position.

Quite a few photos were taken on this and previous trips to the site which were shared by the photographers. I was really impressed by the teamwork and willingness of all to help in what ever way they could. The real occupations of many of these volunteers would amaze you. To see executives of corporations pitching in to help rebuild the shelter just because they love Mt. Lowe and what is stands for is truly inspirational.


Land-Sea Discovery Group

Well, I hope the second issue of Echo Mt. Echoes brings a better response than the first. If you have an interesting story to tell, drop us a line. If you are looking for Mt. Lowe memorabilia let us know. If you have duplicates of an item, how about trading? If you see a collection you can't afford or do not want let us know perhaps we can buy the items together. Let me know of your finds and observations of Mt. Lowe so we can print them.


Jake Brouwer

Land-Sea Discovery Group

Land-Sea Discovery Group Contact Information

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PO Box 401904
Hesperia, Ca. 92340

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Last modified: February 12, 1999

No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without written permission from:
Jake Brouwer
All articles and photos were provided by:
Land-Sea Discovery Group
Copyright 1999