..Spring
...1998
Echo Mtn. Echoes Volume 3..
Number 1
..

The Great Incline

The Great Incline

By Jake Brouwer

An early postcard of The Great Incline

When most of us think of the Scenic Mt. Lowe Railway the first thing that comes to mind is the Great  Incline. For many of us this is because the Incline is the most depicted feature of the railway in photographs and on souvenirs. For some it is the feature remembered most from first hand experience. Those of you that do remember are among a lucky few today that can relive the experience of the ride up to Echo Mountain.

Some say it was a frightening experience for a timid person. Others marveled at its ingenuity and most were simply awestruck by the beauty that opened up before them as they rose into the sky. The movement of the car was smooth and easy as it rose above the platform at Rubio Station revealing the Rubio amphitheater. The mountains seemed to rise with you at first but at the same time the picture before you increased in size every minute as you rose. When finally you pass the MacPherson trestle, the San Gabriel Valley unfolds its splendor before you and helps to keep your fears at bay of the drop that lies before you and on either side. As you near the top, far down in the valley you can see the serpentine San Gabriel River  winding its way to the ocean, Signal Hill at Long Beach, and the Twin Peaks on Catalina Island.

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Hiking Mt. Lowe Trails.

Quest For The Incline
By Lee Zebold

On Sunday, December 8, 1996, Bill Ferguson, my daughter Timarie and I, along with our copy of "Mt. Lowe, the Railway to the Clouds,"by C. Seims, (that we purchased from Jake Brouwer at the Re-Dedication of the Ramada on November 16) lit out for Rubio Canyon which I hadn't seen since my boyhood days as a boy scout back in the 50's.

The Great Incline Drawing

We hiked up the "right of way" right off where Maiden Lane and Rubio Dr. Intersect. I was disappointed when after about 1/4 of a mile our path was blocked off by the development of some new houses under construction. Since we didn't know at the time of the right of way trail that hits Rubio Vista Road, and after some fence jumping, we made our way up the no trespassing road where Camp Huntington used to be. Almost immediately we scrambled down into the creek so as not to be trespassing on anyone's private property.

The whole idea of going up there was to find the old incline and maybe climb it to the top of Echo Mountain. Occasionally we would stop at certain points, and compare them to the pictures we'd find in the book. We saw almost identical views from where we stood when comparing the same shot form a camera taken back in the early 1900's. It really was a thrill.

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Henry Ford Visits Mt. Lowe

By Michael Patris

Henry Ford with family and friends at Mt. Lowe

The advent of the twentieth century brought many changes to people around the world and none greater than those right hear in the united states.

Mass transportation was becoming more and more affordable for the common man. Everything from the electric trolley to the automobile was proving to be more than a mere passing fancy. People by the thousands were venturing out of their hometowns and cities to take a look at the wondrous world around them. These people were from all parts of the world and from every socioeconomic background.

Automobile mogul Henry Ford was not only responsible for giving the common man a way to tour about, but was also one of those who did the touring as well.

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Flora and Fauna.

Journeys To Echo Mountain

By Christopher Nyerges

My very first introduction to the Angeles National Forest was the Sam Merrill Trail at the top of Lake Avenue in Altadena. My brother and neighborhood friends would typically just walk up Lake Avenue from our home just below Woodbury Road. Sometimes we’d get a ride, and then we’d hike up what seemed a tremendously long and tiring trail to Echo Mountain. In fact, the trail is probably not even three miles, but back then, with the switchbacks and dryness of summer, it seemed as if we were entering a different time zone, as if we were going into the past.

Finally at the top, we never had a shortage of things to see and things to do. And remember, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Echo Mountain seemed much more wild than it is today. Back then, the visitors were fewer, and there were no interpretive signs for the tourists. We would carefully walk amidst the many yucca plants, trying to determine the exact dimensions of the old hotel and other buildings.

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News of our readers

On New Years Day I decided to take the trek up the fire road to Dawn Station and then hike into Millard Canyon and on to down to the gold mine. Even in those early morning hours the drone of dirigibles were present while they floated above Colorado Blvd vying for position above the Pasadena Rose Parade. I counted at least five in their number. Before long another peace breaker came onto the bright blue canvas above me spewing clouds of white graffiti from its tail. This buzzing biplane wrote out STAR NEWS in giant white letters for all who would wrench their necks to see. Another message of the day was 007, the message getting much better reviews than the movie itself in my book.

Once at the Dawn Station site, I took a break in the shade at the foot of the trail to the gold mine and hoped my dreams to get the structure rebuilt would go through. The seed had been planted early in 1997 and brought up again in October 1997 on a workday on Mt. Lowe. The SMLHC liked the idea of having a rest stop half way up to the tavern for hikers and bikers and for me especially the structure would just about complete my Dawn Mine experiences.

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Collector's Corner

Mt. Lowe Spoon

Collecting Mt. Lowe memorabilia can be a fun and rewarding hobby and take it from me, it does not take a rich man to do it. You just need a love of Mt. Lowe and the willingness to hunt for your treasures when ever you can.

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Visit Mountain Marketplace

Visit Mountain Marketplace - updated with every new issue.

Editorials

Well here we are in the spring of 1998. If you were living in 1938 you may recall the extreme weather of that year that wiped out much of the railroad. I wonder what they called the storm back then?

This issue introduces us to the Great Incline, probably the most depicted site on the railroad. If you’re not familiar with some of the facts about the Incline the main article will fill you in, if you know all there is, hopefully the presentation will be enough to interest you.

more...

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Last modified: February 12, 1999

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Jake Brouwer
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Copyright 1999

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