.. Fall
...1997
Echo Mtn. Echoes Volume 2..
Number 3
..

Millard Canyon Issue

Echoes at Dawn Mine

By Jake Brouwer

One Sunday afternoon while skimming through newspaper clippings about the Mt. Lowe area, I came across an interview a reporter had with a conductor of the scenic railroad. The conductor, from memory, proceeded to recite his spiel and so the reporter wrote it down.

A part that particularly caught my attention went like this; "We have now passed around the Cape of Good Hope and are entering Millard Canyon. Just ahead is the longest stretch of straight track on this section of the trip. It is 225 feet long. Millard Canyon below you now is a beautifully wooded canyon with a small stream at the bottom. Below us in the canyon at this point is the Dawn Mine, an early-day gold mining venture. Several of the tunnels still remain but are boarded up and used as part of Pasadena’s water supply system."

Author at the entrance to Dawn MineWell, now that opened my eyes. A gold mine in Millard Canyon, imagine that. Once upon a time I prospected around Randsburg, the Cajon Summit and the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, moving on only to research more about our Mt. Lowe Railroad. Now the railroad seemed to be bringing me back to my golden beginnings.


The Dawn Mine District is located in the southern part of the San Gabriel Mountains, which separate the Southern California basin on the south from the Mojave Desert on the north. Its boundaries are Eaton Canyon on the East, Bear Canyon on the North, Arroyo Seco on the West, and to the south of Altadena. The entire district covered roughly sixteen square miles and is some of the most rugged terrain in the region. The area reached its current elevations by several stages of uplifts since the late Pliocene time. In the southern extremities of the San Gabriels the elevations range from one thousand to two thousand feet, while in the northern end the height of 6152 feet is reached at San Gabriel Peak.

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Adventure Pass

Starting June 16th visitors using the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino Nation Forests will be required to purchase a National Forest Adventure Pass. The fee is $5.00 for a daily pass and $30.00 for an annual pass.

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Hiking Mt. Lowe Trails.

The Trail to Dawn Mine
By Jake Brouwer

The hike to Dawn Mine is a great half day adventure taking you two and one-half miles into the depths of Millard Canyon.

From Lake St. or Fair Oaks go north to Loma Alta Drive in Altadena. Turn left to Chaney Trail Drive and then turn right up into the foothills. Park in a designated spot just outside the Sunset Ridge fire road. Be sure you have your Adventure Pass prominently displayed in your vehicle.

Deep in Millard CanyonHike up the fire road to a marker denoting the Sunset Ridge Trail which you’ll take, dropping you down into the canyon. This first part of the trip is quite easy and gives you some nice views of the canyon. You will pass above Millard Falls often hearing the echoes of children yelling and dogs barking as they frolic in the pool beneath the falls.

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Mine Safety

By Jake Brouwer

1. The first rule of mine safety is, DO NOT ENTER. No kidding, I know you probably just hiked miles to get there, but is it worth your life or limb just to see a cold, damp, rock-walled tunnel? If you absolutely must go in then do so in pairs and leave someone at the entrance to go for help. Go with a professional if you can.

2. Mines can be the home to many creatures that you may not want to meet under any circumstances, let alone in the darkness with one route of escape. To name just a few, Black widow spiders, scorpions, raccoons, bears, and the not so friendly rattlesnake. Snakes are a particular hazard in shallow shafts and shafts with near-surface work levels.

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Web Site

Triple A Internet Masters (www.aaaim.com) and Land-Sea Discovery Group (jakelsdg@earthlink.net) are proud to announce the latest update to the Echo Mtn. Echoes website, the internet magazine of Southern California history, Thaddeus Lowe, and his scenic mountain railroad. The web address is http://www.aaaim.com/echo.

This new release features more and larger pictures, new fonts and colors, and a new design layout.

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Flora and Fauna.

A Journey Into Millard Canyon
Flora, Fauna, and Survival Skills

By Christopher Nyerges

My first introduction to Millard Canyon was the magnificent waterfall. You drive up Chaney Trail, and then down the road to the campsite. A relatively short hike under the oaks and bays gets you Millard Fallsto the base of the waterfall, a favorite spot for families and picnickers in summer. I like it, but I always avoid it in summer and on weekends because whenever a spot gets too popular, the trash and diapers increase, and there tend to be radios playing the current junk music.

I prefer behind the waterfall, up towards the Dawn Mine. To get there, you park your car at the T-intersection at the top of Chaney Trail, and walk up the road for a quarter-mile or so until you come to the dirt trail off to your left. This is a pleasant trail, planted with rosemary at the entrance, and lined with such native plants as wild cherry, elderberries, oak trees, yerba santa, and yucca. Yellow mustard flowers are common, and I enjoy picking the flowers and nibbling the broccoli-flavor flowers as I walk. The yerba santa was used back in the old days as medicine, and you can pinch off a bit of the leaf and chew on it as you walk. The flavor may seem strange at first but you get used to it.

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Ye Alpine Tavern ButtonCollectors Corner

So you thought you had to keep your eyes wide open before while hunting for those elusive Mt. Lowe collectibles.

In just the past few months this collector has been made aware of another area to watch for. Pins and buttons! Though a bit hard on the eyes sometimes all it takes is asking, "Do you have any Mt. Lowe pins or buttons?

While on vacation in central California I managed to find this gem buried in a glass in Chowchilla for the nifty price of $3.50. I’ve since been offered $25.00 but it will not leave the home I’ve made for it. In the center is a squirrel and around the outside it says, "Ye Alpine Tavern, Mt. Lowe, California.

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Depths OF Dawn

By Jake Brouwer

Inside Dawn MineOur hand held lights flickered against the cool walls of the tunnel as we traversed the first fifteen feet of Dawn Mine in a crouched position. With the low stony roof and watery floor one is constantly forced to be aware of their position. We proceeded with a slow and shambling pace into the damp darkness towards what appeared to be an island. Two ancient square beams grew from the mound of soil that made the island and though these beams stopped around waist level, I imagine they at one time provided some means of support in the tunneling process.

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News of our readers

Mt. Lowe Post OfficeDear friend Michael Patris was interviewed for the May 1997 issue of Collector, a publication for the Southern California Collector’s Association. The subject of the interview was Michael’s Mt Lowe collection, which you can take it from me, is mighty impressive. The article delves into Mt. Lowe history and prices for various Mt. Lowe memorabilia. Congratulations Michael! And, as if that were not enough, Michael also was asked to speak on Mt. Lowe collectibles at the Collectors Conference held the end of May 1997.

At the June R & N Postcard Show in Pasadena, I ran into Mike Post, Paul Rippens, Troy Sette, and writer John Robinson, all on the hunt for their subject of the day, most being of course, Mt. Lowe. Troy was having a rough time finding cards depicting Rubio Canyons waterfalls, which he is not only researching, but climbing also! John Robinson is searching for an early card showing the powerhouse on Echo pre 1905. I was lucky enough to find a nifty little brochure that gave schedules for the Mt. Lowe Pony Trail Trip on one side and the Picture Rock Mule Train trip on the other. Collector’s Value on this piece $8.00-15.00. Of course finding it in Pasadena I paid more than that!

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Visit Mountain Marketplace

Visit Mountain Marketplace - updated with every new issue.

Editorials

This issue blasts us with echoes from Millard Canyon’s Dawn Mine. You ask, "What has that to do with the Mt. Lowe Railroad?" Did you know the railroad was used to haul ore to market from the mine? The railroad also had a station stop called Dawn Station and it was used in the conductor’s spiel as they rounded the curves of the Alpine division. Read on in this issue to hear a bit of the Dawn Mine’s history, how to get there hiking, and some clips on mine dangers and one adventurers trip to the mine.

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Land-Sea Discovery Group Contact Information

Postal address:
Land~Sea Discovery Group
PO Box 401904
Hesperia, Ca. 92340

Electronic Mail:
Sales: jakelsdg@earthlink.net
General Information: jakelsdg@earthlink.net
Webmaster: Echowebmaster@aaaim.com

 


 

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Last modified: February 12, 1999

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