History and Historic Sites of the Valley * Then and Now Photos * Lost Crescenta * Rockhaven * Membership and Donations
Bottle Village in Simi Valley is one of those hidden gems of folk-art, similar to the beautiful walls of our own Dunsmore Park. Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey began construction in 1956 at age 60, and worked until 1981. She transformed her one-third acre rural lot into Bottle Village, a fantasyland of shrines, wishing wells, walkways, fountains, follies, plus 15 structures to house her collections - all made from found objects. The name "Bottle Village" comes from the structures themselves - made of tens of thousands of discarded bottles retrieved by Grandma on her daily excursions to the nearby dump.
We will be getting a private tour. There is an admission fee of $15, which funds restoration efforts. All visitors will also be asked to sign a waiver upon arrival. The mosaic walkways are fragile. They ask visitors to wear soft soled, closed toe shoes to protect the walkways, and visitor's feet.
Parking is on the street. There is no restroom on site. The tour lasts about an hour with plenty of time for pictures. Rain within 24 hours of tour start time, or high winds the day of, will cancel the tour. Located at 4595 Cochran Street, Simi Valley
Sandi Hemmerlein of AvoidingRegret.com and KCET's SoCal Wanderer: Self Discovery Through Exploration
We'll get to hear what inspires Sandi to visit a particular place, how she embarks on her adventures, and what these experiences mean to her in the context of making LA her home after living across the country for the first half of her life.
Sandi will share with us a sampling of her local discoveries-which include a sloppily demolished celebrity enclave on a Malibu beach, the rebuilt remains of LA's "old" city hall, and the medieval-looking remnants of the 19th-century Los Angeles County Courthouse, hiding in plain sight. She'll also take us past a forgotten collection of recycled art; down washed-out and re-routed roads; and through a deserted beachside town where the streetlights still turn on at night.
Sandi Hemmerlein has been a professional journalist for nearly 30 years-starting as a teenager, when she cracked a national news story while working as a teen reporter for her local high school in Syracuse, New York. But her childhood was otherwise sheltered, leading her to embark on a journey of "Avoiding Regret" to make up for lost time and missed opportunities. Now living in the Los Angeles area for over 10 years, Sandi chronicles her explorations and adventures in SoCal and beyond on her personal blog, AvoidingRegret.com, and for KCET's "SoCal Wanderer column."
Join us as the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy (AFC) guides us on an exploration of Rubio Canyon. Discover the history of the Canyon from the Mt. Lowe Railway and Camp Huntington days, and explore the historic trails.
Directions to AFC's Rubio Canyon Trailhead: Take Lake Avenue North (towards the mountains); Turn right on Dolores Drive; Take a right on Rubio Canyon Road; Take a left on Rubio Crest Drive; Take a right on Rubio Vista Road; Trailhead is on the right, between 1351 Pleasantridge Drive and 1342 Rubio Vista Road, Altadena 91001.
The trail is about a mile long in distance to the waterfalls, but we won't be going that far. We will begin by walking along the old right-of-way of the Mount Lowe Railway to the ruins of the Rubio Pavilion. That stretch of trail is relatively flat. Still, Rubio Canyon itself is steep and rugged. This is a moderate hike, and may be partly in full-sun. Highly recommend to bring water and trail snacks, sun hat, good footwear, hiking poles, sunscreen, etc.... No RSVP is required, just show up by 9 a.m.
We have two offerings for your viewing pleasure this month, but it may be a bit more challenging to access, bear with us. Check GlendaleParksAtHome.com for the Plants of Deukmejian talk, and check eaglerockhistory.org for the Historic Transportation talk and live panel. We will update as we get more info. Both look very interesting and both are not under our control, so we hope all who want to attend will be able to "zoom-in".
This is a topographic map of the Crescenta Valley from 1928. The ore cart tracks for the Hostetter Graphite Mine can be seen on the far right of the map, about midway down.
In the 1940s and 50s, when the new Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. The book (based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team) tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science.
This beautiful sanctuary, allows a small portion of our valley's natural history to flourish (plants, animals, ecology...), and invites us to observe this natural history as it renews itself and thrives. We plan to have a monthly featured photo.
Rosemont Preserve - 8 acres of natural open space at the base of Goss Canyon, acquired for conservation by the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy in 2012. Stewarded, with the natural habitat fully restored, by the Friends of the Rosemont Preserve, a volunteer group that develops and hosts community programs on the property. Photo by Althea Edwards.
The Rosemont Preserve can be visited on Open Gate days. Docents will be on site.
The next Open Gate Days: Sunday Feb 21st and Saturday March 6th, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
No RSVP is required.
The Rosemont Preserve is located in La Crescenta, at the north end of Rosemont Avenue, just inside the chain link fence. Directions from La Crescenta Avenue and Foothill Blvd (the original City Center as designated by Dr. Benjamin Briggs); proceed east on Foothill Blvd., turn left up Rosemont Ave. Parking is available at Two Strike Park, on the west side of Rosemont Avenue, 2 blocks before you get to the Preserve (5107 Rosemont Ave). If there are mobility issues that require a closer parking spot, please email AFC at firstname.lastname@example.org. As with all hikes, wear sturdy shoes, a sun hat, and bring water. Sorry, no dogs are allowed in the Preserve (to keep the wildlife safe).
Arroyo & Foothills Conservancy and videographer, Denis Callet, has put up wildlife videos from the Rosemont Preserve online. Here are just two of their videos to check out:
Hollywood has long relied on our area for filming location shots. Craig Durst has made another wonderful video in which he shows clips from movies and gives you the exact location where it was filmed. From film classics such as "It Happened One Night" and "It's A Wonderful Life" to more recent films such as "Terminator 3" and "Chinatown", you'll be amazed at the iconic scenes that were filmed in our backyard.
It Happened One Night and It's A Wonderful Life
How many of you have visited the monument to the New Year Flood of 1934? Here's a chance to get out of your house and see something local without the danger of exposure to the virus.
The monument was built and dedicated by the historical society in 2004. It has somewhat recently been refurbished by a local scout. It features a plaque describing the tragic events of the 1934 flood, along with a bench to sit on and a variety of plants.
The monument is located on the northeast corner of Rosemont and Fairway. There is parking on Rosemont right next to the monument.
You will find an interview with flood survivor Marcie Warfield who was on this very spot in 1934. Her house was one block above the monument site, directly in the center of where the flood control channel runs today. Listen to her description of that night before you make your visit to the monument. Then take a drive by the American Legion Hall at 4011 La Crescenta Avenue. This is the same building that sat on the site of the monument. It was moved to this location after the flood.
An entertaining video from Tujunga historian Craig Durst about the local Native Americans.
A wonderful video about two guys in Sunland Tujunga who recently installed a flagpole on the San Gabriel Mountains. Contains some spectacular drone shots, as well as some local history.
The first is about a local stained-glass shop.
Interview with Wally Anderson, whose family has built many homes in the area.
The McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga.
The American Heritage Library and Museum in Glendale, a museum concentrating on the American Revolution.
Le Mesnager Barn at Deukmejian Wilderness Park with Marc Stirdivant.
Montrose Christmas Parade – 2017
La Crescenta Woman's Club
Mount Lowe Railway
Once Upon a Time Bookstore
Montrose Shopping Park in the Movies
Sister Elsie's Well in Tujunga
Bolton Hall, Tujunga
La Crescenta Library Stained Glass
And here are a couple of videos about Rockhaven Sanitarium. The first was produced by the City of Glendale over a decade ago (back when they were still enthusiastic about the property). This one actually won an Emmy!
Rockhaven: A Sanctuary from Glendale's Past
This one was produced recently by a group that does paranormal investigations.
A few videos were produced by local historian John Drayman
The Glendale & Montrose Railway
Great Montrose Flood of 1934
The Montrose Rodeo 1947
Here are several clips from John Newcombe's beautiful feature documentary "Rancho La Canada: Then and Now"
Early California Winery History - La Canada
American Nazi: Rare footage
Japanese Internment in La Crescenta, California
And lastly, from the 1950 movie "Gun Crazy", the famous bank robbery scene, which was filmed in Montrose.