Mount Lowe Preservation Society Inc. Collection

Echo Mountain House

Echo Mountain House, at nearly 3,500’, boasted being the only mountain hotel open year around. Completed in November of 1894, the room rates started at $15.00 a week and up. Although they claimed the rates were no more than down in the valley, the $63,000. price tag for construction and furnishings had to be weighing heavily on the bottom line.

In this image, astronomer Lewis Swift kicks back in a rocking chair in the grand entry of Echo Mountain House with the dining room directly behind. Off to the sides could be found billiards, a social hall, a barbershop, and a telegraph and post office.

The lead photograph was taken shortly before the completion of Echo Mountain House from what was later to be called Inspiration Point. With windows not yet in place, this photo would be from summer, 1894.

4 Comments on “Echo Mountain House

  1. My name is Madina Govan an I’m a Cultural Anthropology major! As a resident of Pasadena all my life; I must say I’m a bit ashamed of my lack of knowledge to this amazing Pasadena history.’ Thank you for sharing!🤔

    • There was an “incline railway” that went up to Mt. Lowe – unfortunately, somebody smoking (etc.) started a perhaps-inevitable fire that burned down the railway and, as I recall, the hotel/lodge, too. While it has been probably 30 years sent I hiked it, if you go to the top of Lake street, there is (was) an old mansion where it was rumored the Marx Brothers used to stay, and the path through the property leads to a trail of switchbacks lead you to the old Mt. Lowe property with giant gears from the cable-pulled railway, etc.

      • The fire was caused by a flawed flue in the ventilation system above the kitchen of the Echo Mountain House. What destroyed the other buildings other than that hotel was a fire caused by 100 mph winds in 1905 which blew off the roof of the Chalet. It sailed over to and atop the cable house! That fire took out all the out buildings remaining on Echo Mountain except the Observatory! The Echo Mountain House was destroyed by that kitchen fire, previously mentioned, which occurred in 1900! It was in business only six years!
        Alpine Tavern was destroyed by fire in 1936 and then the entire railroad was devastated by the flood of 1938 and abandoned. Tragic!

    • There was an “incline railway” that went up to Mt. Lowe – unfortunately, somebody smoking (etc.) started a perhaps-inevitable fire that burned down the railway and, as I recall, the hotel/lodge, too. While it has been probably 30 years sent I hiked it, if you go to the top of Lake street, there is (was) an old mansion where it was rumored the Marx Brothers used to stay, and the path through the property leads to a trail of switchbacks lead you to the old Mt. Lowe property with giant gears from the cable-pulled railway, etc.

      There is a good antique postcard image on this site –

      http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/san-gabriel-mountains-time-lapse/

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