Mount Lowe Preservation Society President Michael Patris Will Speak at Pasadena Rotary About Balloons and the Civil War

Published : Sunday, July 28, 2019 | 6:05 PM

Pasadena author, historian, and preservationist Michael Patris will be the Pasadena Rotary Club guest speaker on Wednesday, July 31, during its lunchtime meeting at the University Club Pasadena.

Patris will speak on the topic “Balloons, Civil War” and will be introduced by George Falardeau, a Pasadena Rotary Club announcement said.

The meeting is open to the public for the $33 price of the luncheon.

Patris is the President and Founder of the Mount Lowe Preservation Society, Inc., President of the Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society, and past Sheriff of the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners.

A third-generation native of Southern California, Patris has always had an interest in history. Whether collecting antiques, collecting and working on antique cars, or restoring a 1923 California bungalow in Alhambra, Partis has always looked at pieces of the past as too important to brush aside.

His past endeavors include writing and publishing “The Culinary Repair Manual” after producing a cooking show and the morning news for CBS. After several years working in the news industry, and film industry, he speaks publicly about Southern California transportation, collecting antiques and, of course, Mount Lowe.

One of his most well-known projects is a Mount Lowe trilogy, beginning with “Mount Lowe Railway,” part of the History of Rail series for Arcadia Publishing. This came out in June 2007 and is already in its ninth printing.

In October 2010, he came out with “Mount Lowe,” which is part of Arcadia Publishing’s Postcard Series, and more recently two more books: “Pacific Electric Railway, Then and Now,” and “Mount Lowe, Then and Now.”

His current projects include another collaboration with Steve Crise on the Los Angeles Railway, and a book on the Los Angeles Union Station, featuring photos and collectibles rarely seen from this local landmark.

After wanting to share his passion for the Mount Lowe Incline Railway and Thaddeus Lowe, the man who was the leading force behind its creation, Patris founded the non-profit Mount Lowe Preservation Society in 2000 and led the renovation of a 14,000 square-foot building to permanently house their collections and archives. The archives of the Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society was soon donated to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society.

Preserving the past for future generations is Patris’ way of giving something back to the community. His drive and passion for collecting and displaying pieces related to local transportation history has been acknowledged by the Pasadena Museum of History where he has guest curated numerous displays for them and also loaned several items to the Huntington Library for the 300th Anniversary of the birth of Father Serra.

Patris has also written numerous articles for the Horseless Carriage Club of America Gazette club magazine, Collector magazine, and the Dogtown Territorial Quarterly magazine, The Branding Iron quarterly magazine for the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners, Hemmings Motor News and Rod and Custom magazine. He is also President and owner of Golden West Books, a publishing company focusing on the history of trains, trolleys, railroads and locomotive material.

The Pasadena Rotary Club’s Wednesday meetings are open to the public and no RSVP is required. Buffet lunch is $33 and includes complimentary valet parking.

For more information, email

University Club Pasadena is at 175 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena.

blog comments powered by Disqus