Michael Patris Collection

Mount Lowe Summit Trail

Hiking in post-Victorian times was not at all uncommon, but for all those who did it, there were very few smiles captured in photographs. The caption on this real photo postcard from 1906 says it all; “Dead Tired after the Climb.” Pictured from left to right are George Chilcote, Mrs. Christian, and Walter. There is […]

Donated by Joe Tobin, son of Ed Tobin
Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

One Man and a Mule via Inspiration Point Trail

Herbert the Mule pauses for passengers to get off the car and have a drink of water from the cooler at the right. Herbert might have even had a drink himself. Ed Tobin kept a cabin in this area, where he lived for several years. When his son, Joe, was born, they moved to Alhambra, […]

Michael Patris Collection

Easter Rock via Inspiration Point Trail

Looking to the east and facing Easter Rock, Ferd Zettler takes a real photo postcard dated March 1918. He lists the family members from left to right as Master Paul Zettler, Mrs. Ferd Zettler, Mr. Joseph Dick, and Miss Celesta Zettler. He makes mention of the stone altar just below the plaque. Michael Patris Collection

Michael Patris Collection

Proposal Arbor via Inspiration Point Trail

These young maidens and their mother are standing next to Proposal Arbor, right beside Inspiration Point, in this undated, unused real photo postcard. It was the custom for guests to leave their calling cards or business cards attached to the tree for all to view. Perhaps the young girls filled out a wish list for […]

Michael Patris Collection, Image courtesy of Leroy's son, the late Vic McVey and Family

Leroy McVey on Mount Lowe

Leroy McVey, the namesake of the former McVey Hardware Store in Temple City, pauses to think about his hiking choices. Over the years of operation, the signage changed and was upgraded and the McVey’s were familiar folks on the trails for years. This real photo postcard is undated and unused. Image courtesy of Leroy’s son, […]

Michael Patris Collection

Mount Lowe Summit Trail from Alpine Tavern

Charles Lawrence took many images that included this original cabin from 1894, when Thaddeus Lowe still owned and controlled the railway. This trail leads to the summit of Mount Lowe, a little more than a mile distant. Rieder Publishing Company produced this undated, unused card. Michael Patris Collection

Michael Patris Collection

Echo Canyon Trail

Charles Lawrence, official photographer for the Pacific Electric Railway, shot this image from far down in the canyon, just above Rubio Pavilion. From this vantage point it is obvious that construction of the railway required an extreme amount of excavation and trestlework. Even with the impressive expertise of engineer David J. Macpherson, it is perhaps […]

Michael Patris Collection

Rubio Canyon Trail and Staircase

There were nine waterfalls that bejeweled the canyon just behind the platform at Rubio Pavilion. Multiple stairways allowed hikers and tourists to climb up and see nature’s wonders like in this image of Ribbon Rock Falls. The pure mountain water was not just beautiful; tourists and picnickers could also safely and enjoyably consume it. In […]

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Inc. Collection

Mount Lowe Trail Trips of Fascinating Beauty

Even people who have lived in Southern California most of their lives don’t quite grasp the full extent and complexity of Thaddeus Lowe’s mountain railway. The cars from the city came into Rubio Canyon, as in the lower right of this image, where passengers changed to the incline cars to reach the peak of Echo […]

1924 Mt Lowe ad

Pacific Electric Mount Lowe Advertisement, 1924

Back page advertisement from the Los Angeles Philharmonic 1923 – 1924 season program, depicting hikers and asking trolley patrons to discover “America’s Most Scenic Mountain Trolley Trip” to the Mount Lowe Resort via the Pacific Electric Railway. Note the fares listed at $2.50 from Los Angeles and $2.10 from Pasadena. Michael Patris Collection

Inspiration Point Hike

Inspiration Point, Mid-1920s

Not too far from the former site of Alpine Tavern / Mount Lowe Tavern, is Inspiration Point. Between the old right-of-way of the One Man and a Mule line and Easter Rock is an old bent-over metal flag pole which once decreed the altitude of its location. Here is what it looked like when it […]

Mount Lowe Summit hike 2

Nearing the Summit of Mount Lowe, Mid-1920s

En route to the summit of Mount Lowe, this well-dressed hiker pauses near a patch of snow with Mt. Markham in the background. She is almost to the summit and just might be aware that the peak behind her was named for California’s 18th Governor, Henry Harrison Markham, who resided in Pasadena following the Civil […]

Mount Lowe Summit hike 1

At the Summit of Mount Lowe, Mid-1920s

Well dressed folks make it to the summit of Mount Lowe in the mid-1920s Great Hiking Era. Photographer and subjects unknown. Michael Patris Collection

1903 Rainbow Spring hike 2

Hiking at Rainbow Spring, May 7, 1903 – Part 2

Our same hikers pausing for a rest, following a great refreshing drink from Rainbow Spring. Note they are fully dressed for the occasion! Image captured May 7, 1903. Michael Patris Collection

1903 Rainbow Spring

Hiking at Rainbow Spring, May 7, 1903

May 7, 1903, an unknown photographer catches some friends at Rainbow Spring during a hike. Michael Patris Collection

Jason Watts Collection

Family on Echo Mountain

From the Jason Watts Collection comes this great image of family members before the echo megaphone in this undated photo, possibly from the same mid- to late-1930s timeframe. Jason informs us that the woman in the middle was his great aunt. Image Courtesy Jason Watts

Jason Watts Collection

At the Top of the Great Incline

From the Jason Watts Collection comes this mid- to late-1930s image of a group standing on Great Incline Car no. 1, probably after the cessation of service. The image features his family members. Image Courtesy Jason Watts

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. […]