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Mount Lowe's Glamorous History Featured in Video Series

Pasadena and Altadena’s Mount Lowe is now a ghost town of what was once a railway to four-star dining, a petting zoo, hotels and more, a new AOL video and interview show.

Those who use Mount Lowe as a place to hike in the Altadena and Pasadena area trek on a place where once thousands gathered to celebrate the opening of Mount Lowe Railway in 1893, a new AOL video in the historically-focused series “What Remains” shows.

The Mount Lowe Railway online video, which is almost four minutes long, juxtaposes an interview with Michael Patris, President and Founder of the Mount Lowe Preservation Society, with old and current images and new video from Mount Lowe to paint a picture of how the once gathering place for the wealthy eventually met its decline and is now just remnants of buildings.

Patris describes Railway creator Thaddeus Lowe as an “infinitely brilliant man, [but] horrible business man” in the video profile, noting that the railway was rarely ever profitable and Lowe eventually went bankrupt.

Fire and flooding destroyed other structures that the railway lead to on Echo Mountain and now the area is home to a hiking trail, crumbling buildings and a plaque recognizing Lowe’s railway.

“The [AOL] interview was interesting and the crew was great and enthusiastic,” Patris noted in an email. “They were even excited about the prospect of hiking six miles up and back to Echo Mountain (on their own) to shoot some ‘B roll’ footage. Steve Crise and I met at the Pasadena Museum of History and showed them our current display in the Stork Gallery which runs until January 13th.”

Crise and Patris wrote the book, which is the focus of a Pasadena Museum of History exhibit of the same name that is running through Jan. 13.

See the full AOL Mount Lowe video here.

Do you hike at Mount Lowe? What do you think of its history? Do you think the remaining Mount Lowe structures should be preserved or restored?

Lance Ferm November 20, 2012 at 04:35 AM
check out thaddeuslowe.name website!
Dan MacPherson November 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I wish to mention some recent history of Mount Lowe and Echo Mountain for anyone who might be interested. There is a man who has spent the better part of his adult life working on, and researching Mount Lowe and Echo Mountain. He has personally uncovered old relics such as car repair pits, talked the Sheriff's department into hauling old machinery out of canyons with their helicopter and placing it on the mountain, and has, with a group of volunteers recreated the wooden canopy at Inspiration point. This man is not Michael Patris, and he is slowly being elbowed out of the picture and discredited. I'm sure those of you who hike the trails know this man, he deserves enormous thanks for doing many things to preserve history and educate newcomers. Please do not allow him to be discredited or forgotten. I shall say no more. Thank You
MtnManMike November 21, 2012 at 06:09 AM
Dan...Who is this man?...Share.

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