Historic 100-Year-Old 'Echo Mountain Trail' Sign Points the Way Once More In Altadena

Published : Wednesday, September 9, 2015 | 1:07 PM

A 100-year-old directional sign that pointed to where hikers should proceed to reach the Echo Mountain promontory was finally installed permanently in the Altadena Community Center Courtyard on Friday, September 4.

Altadena Historical Society President Jane Brackman led the installation ceremony Friday morning, when county workmen installed the sign on a concrete foundation and set the arrow pointing northeast toward its original location.

Community Center staff Lorraine Contreras and Community Center and Senior Center director Liliana Garcia, as well as Mackone Development superintendent Raymond Gonzalez, also witnessed the installation work.

The concrete sign, topped by an arrow pointing to “Echo Mountain Trail,” was originally positioned in the area of what is now Maiden Lane and Mount Curve Avenue, alongside the famous Mt. Lowe Railroad that ascended to the summit.

It pointed towards the trailhead that today is now called the Sam Merrill Trail. The three-mile trail begins at Cobb Estate at the top of Lake Avenue and leads to Echo Mountain.

Altadenan Jack Stivers rescued the sign after the railroad was discontinued and the tracks torn out in the early 1940s. In 2003, Stivers donated the sign to the AHS with the wish that it be erected at the new Community Center, a Los Angeles County facility.

Recently, AHS and county staff renewed efforts to pursue the installation in the courtyard of the Community Center courtyard.

The Mt. Lowe Railroad, originally incorporated by Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe as the Pasadena and Mount Wilson Railroad Co., led to the summit which then featured a 40-room hotel, a dance hall, and a zoo. All that can be seen now of the hotel are ruins.

The trail has been popular among hikers ever since the railroad was discontinued. The trail leads to a promontory that is about 5,000 3,000 feet above sea level and offers views of the Los Angeles Basin and the Pacific Ocean.

The Echo Mountain Trail sign can be seen anytime at the Altadena Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive.

 

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