History and Historic Sites of the Valley * Then and Now Photos * Lost Crescenta * Rockhaven * Membership
Hooray! The City of Glendale has purchased the last remaining sanitarium in the valley for reuse as a library/community center.
Since 1881 when Dr. Briggs first moved to the valley, sanitariums, rest homes and hospitals have been a major industry of the Crescenta Valley. In 1923, a young nurse named Agnes Richards was convinced that she could significantly improve the treatment of mentally ill women. She bought a small stone house set in an oak grove and named it Rockhaven. As Rockhaven expanded over the years, the level of care given to the patients remained outstanding. It passed to her granddaughter Pat Traviss who ran the facility until she too retired a few years ago. The fate of this site has been up in the air, until just this year Glendale City Council stepped in and negotiated the purchase by the city.
Rockhaven Sanitarium is 3 1/2 acres of landscaped gardens containing 27 mature oak trees, with 14 buildings of varying historical architectural styles. The inside is a time capsule! The furniture is still there, and some rooms are just as they were left, right down to clothes in the closet. There are boxes and boxes of records and photographs, all being currently cataloged by the Glendale Library. The city is proposing a library and community center, but will hold several public meetings the best determine the needs and wishes of the community.
So... When do we get a look at it? When can we get a public tour? Well, not yet! The property has not been maintained for several years and some hazards need to be cleared.
In the meantime, Glendale Assistant City Manager Bob McFall has offered to show photos of what the inside currently looks like and discuss the steps that are being taken to preserve the site and conserve the historical materials inside. We may talk about possible future uses as well. We'll also show some of the historic photos of the property that we've recently collected, and hear memories from some of the people that worked at Rockhaven.