Echo Mountain   1993
Echo Mountain     Mount Lowe     History

Echo Mountain

The Mount Lowe Railway Centenial ceremonies staged atop Echo Mountain by the Scenic Mount Lowe Railway Historical Committee on Sunday, July 4, 1993, was a proper tribute to Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, David MacPherson and to all the men and women who made the Mount Lowe Railway resort complex a spectacular part of Southern California history.

Hundreds of history buffs and hiking enthusiasts clogged the Sam Merrill Trail or rode shuttle buses up the Sunset Ridge Fire Road to view the festivities.  It was an unseasonably cool (54 degrees) and foggy holiday on Echo Mountain.  The highlights of the day were the presentation of a proclamation from the California State Legislature honoring Lowe and Macpherson and the volunteers who worked so hard to restore some of the luster to the remains; and the unveiling of a permanent monument on Echo Mountain.

It was especially poignant to see Donald Macpherson, the 95 year old son of the famous engineer, attend the ceremonies.  He was accompanied by several other members of the Macpherson clan.  Appearing after the ceremonies were descendants of Thaddeus Lowe, including his Great-Granddaughter, his Great-Great Grandson, and two Great-Great-Great Grandaughters.

Volunteers from several groups including the Pacific Railroad Society, the Boy Scouts and the Scenic Mt. Lowe Railway Historical Committee have spent many months removing brush and restoring much of the Echo Mountain site.  Led by Jim Spencer, Brian Marcroft, John Harrigan, and others, the volunteers have uncovered a number of historical items that have been lost over the years.  Of particular note are the remains of a trolley, a large gear from the Powerhouse, and the ruins of the old bear pit.  For the celebration, these and other historical items were marked by fascinating interpretive signs.

There have been several attempts over the years to establish a memorial that befits the wondrous 45 year history of the Mt. Lowe Railway.  This Centennial Celebration was certainly a day to remember.  But it is satisfying to know that earlier this year the National Register of Historic Places saw fit to include the Mount Lowe Railway on its prestigious list.

May the dreams of Thaddeus Lowe and David MacPherson live on!