Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Donated by Ralph Cantos

Mount Lowe Souvenir Pin Tray

Souvenir Mount Lowe pin tray featuring California Poppies, the Great Incline and the platform at Rubio Pavilion. Embossed at bottom, “Souvenir of California” and on top “Great Incline, Mt. Lowe, 3,000 feet long.” Undated white metal, 4.5″ by 3″ and made in Japan. Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Donated by Ralph Cantos

461 Heads to Rubio Canyon

461 Heads to Rubio Canyon

Pacific Electric no. 461 heads north on the Oak Knoll Line with a roller sign reading MOUNT LOWE and a dash sign reading RUBIO CANYON in this January, 1935 image; during the last years of operation of the Mount Lowe Division. Unknown photographer, Craig Rasmussen Collection

Michael Patris Collection

Mount Lowe Observatory and Darkroom

Thaddeus Lowe was always fascinated with the atmosphere, wind, clouds and how they might influence man; particularly when it came to balloon travel. Following the Civil War and the balloon recon work he did for the Union Army, Lowe continued to have an interest in astronomy. In 1894 he managed to bring Professor Lewis Swift […]

Michael Patris Collection

Sid Grauman and Mount Lowe II

A second tourist information card from Sid Grauman has surfaced, this one from 1924. Obviously he still loved Mount Lowe and continued to claim it one of the three greatest sites in California. This one came out in 1924 shortly after the opening of the Douglas Fairbanks film, Thief of Bagdad, directed by Raoul Walsh. […]

mtlowe_alpinetavern-copyright-2013-tatteredandlost

Alpine Tavern with 48-Star Flag

This image comes to us through the courtesy of Tattered and Lost Vernacular Photography, who uncovered it at a sale in an old photo album. It’s an undated image taken on the waiting benches along the terminus of the Alpine Division at Alpine Tavern. For the original post from which this image came, please click […]

Chard Walker Collection / Pacific Railroad Society Collection

1918 GMC on the Alpine Division (1941)

L.T. Gotchy shot this image of a 1918 GMC Model 16, ¾-ton wooden flare-board express bodied truck back on March 16, 1941 atop Echo Mountain. The vehicle is facing north along the Alpine Division just opposite the inspection siding, with a load of steel rail scrapped from the right-of-way. This is close to the spot […]

Michael Patris Collection

Pacific Electric Mount Lowe Timetable (1902)

The Pacific Electric Railway, after making the purchase of the Mount Lowe line, wasted no time in incorporating it into special advertising and timetables. This timetable dates from September 1902 and depicts the triangular PE – Mount Lowe logo, with the vista points Valley, Sea Shore and Mount Lowe named within the logo. Whereas Lowe […]

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Sid Grauman and Mount Lowe

Even entertainment czar Sid Grauman loved Mount Lowe! One of the early advertising cards from Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, which opened in 1922, shares with tourists the following: Information to Tourists You must not miss seeing the 3 Greatest Sights in California The Orange Groves Mt. Lowe with its observatory “The Ten Commandments,” at the Egyptian […]

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

A View From the Incline Car

Tourist snapshot looking from the Mount Lowe incline car over the trestle and over the top of a Pacific Electric Railway wood bodied car and down through a hazy Rubio Canyon. Undated, measuring 2.5″ by 3.25″. Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Real Photo Postcard, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection, donated by Vic McVey

Herbert’s Power House

Apparently the power house on Echo Mountain (which was really the winding station and equipment room for the cable apparatus) was the namesake for Herbert the Mule’s corral along the One Man and a Mule Railway. Presumably this was nothing more than the place where Herbert spent the night and his off hours. Real Photo […]

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection, donated by Vic McVey

Clara Bow’s Cougar at the Fox Farm

Actress Clara Bow, The “IT Girl” had a penchant for interesting possessions, including this cougar, shown with an unknown young man. The cougar was known as her “pet” but getting it from Hollywood to the Fox Farm near Alpine Tavern must have been quite a site. No one seems to have any photos of cougars […]

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Los Angeles & Pasadena Electric Railway and Mount Lowe Railway Company Ticket Stub

Los Angeles & Pasadena Electric Railway and Mount Lowe Railway Company ticket stub for a trip along the Alpine Division, from Echo Mountain to Alpine Tavern. 2.25″ by 1.50″ with a facsimile signature of W. H. Smith, General Manager. Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Unknown photographer, albumen photo, Michael Patris Collection

Leona Phelps at the Falls

Miss Leona Phelps visits one of nine waterfalls in Rubio Canyon, just upstream from Rubio Pavilion, circa 1905. The falls were quite a tourist attraction, but Thaddeus Lowe initially thought there was enough water to generate electricity to run the incline. During the winter and spring months, circa 1900, our annual rainfall was nearly 24″. […]

Albumen photo, Michael Patris Collection

Looking Down the Incline

Looking down the incline circa 1905 by an unknown photographer. Note the photographer’s boots in the lower corners of the image. One of the stories some of the descendants of railway engineer David Joseph Macpherson tell is how they would hike up the Sam Merrill Trail from the top of Lake Street into the local […]

Michael Patris Collection

Fred Harvey / Mount Lowe Connection

This Park Company Photographers photo, negative #601, is inscribed on the negative, “Portion of Alpine Section of Mount Lowe Railway, Circular Bridge and Cape of Good Hope. While it is undated, it is back-stamped, in purple ink, Santa Fe Route News Service, Fred Harvey, Manager, Los Angeles.” Obviously an early photo, pre-1900, and perhaps, with […]

Michael Patris Collection

Alpine Tavern Pony Rides

Early Alpine Tavern is captured by an unknown photographer, prior to the Pacific Electric Railway purchase in 1902. Some of the signage is quite clear due to the quality of the image, including a sign for “Pony Trip to the Summit of Mount Lowe, with guide, time about two hours, tickets, $1.00, apply at hotel […]

Michael Patris Collection

Railfan and photographer Jack Whitmeyer aka The Mount Lowe Kid

We just recently lost noted rail-fan and photographer Jack Whitmeyer, who left quite a legacy of railroad photography. In this real photo postcard, dated November 21, 1953, L. T. Gotchy, photographer, types on the reverse, “The ‘Mount Lowe Kid’ complete with broad-gage (sic) maximum traction boots, slouch hat (so we won’t see that his head […]

Michael Patris Collection

Woman and dog visit Fox Farm

Written on the back of this image, “Edith McKee, sister of last postmaster at Mount Lowe.” The photograph is attributed to Charles Lawrence, official photographer of the Pacific Electric Railway, and also believed to be the dog’s owner. Several stories circulate how Lawrence had a dog with him while he was at Mount Lowe Tavern […]

Here is a hand-colored image that was originally shot by Charles Lawrence, the official photographer of the Pacific Electric Railway, colorized by San Diego resident and railfan Bjorn Palenius. He has enhanced this image for everyone to enjoy, and we are grateful for his efforts and contributions. Charles Lawrence Photo, Bjorn Palenius Colorization

Waiting at Rubio Canyon by Bjorn Palenius and Charles Lawrence

Here is a hand-colored image that was originally shot by Charles Lawrence, the official photographer of the Pacific Electric Railway, colorized by San Diego resident and railfan Bjorn Palenius. He has enhanced this image for everyone to enjoy, and we are grateful for his efforts and contributions. Charles Lawrence Photo, Bjorn Palenius Colorization

Michael Patris Collection

Macpherson Trestle

Among the things the Mount Lowe incline was known for was Macpherson Trestle; so named for design engineer David Joseph Macpherson. Formally educated at Cornell University and formerly employed by the Santa Fe Railway, Macpherson took his challenges to heart and came up with some brilliant solutions to less than suitable building conditions. Photographer unknown, […]

Michael Patris Collection

“Mount Lowe” at the Base of the Incline

A wood-bodied Pacific Electric Railway “Mount Lowe” car sits at the platform at Rubio Canyon while passengers line up for their trip up the incline. Beyond the head of the line is the waiting room and restrooms, and at some point in time there was a gift and snack counter. 8″ by 10″ print attributed […]