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Re-Building the


Inspiration Point

See still more photos on Pavilion 2

Postcard from 1996


When the Alpine Tavern was enjoying it's greatest years in the early 1900's, often a quarter mile walk from the Tavern to the Point was quite popular.  It was an inspiration to look out over Los Angeles, and many times see Catalina Island in the distance.  There was no smog in those days.  It became known as Inspiration Point.  Herbert the Mule with the One Man and a Mule Railway was part of the attractions.

In 1995 and 1996 the group undertook the reconstruction of the Pavilion and Picnic Shelter on Inspiration Point. It had all burned down to the foundation in the 1950's.  This area had been constructed sometime in the early 1920's, a little more than 20 years after the Tavern had been built. 

These structures are historically accurate in their form and design. They were dedicated in a special ceremony in November of 1996. The Forest Service has said that the Pavilion is the largest structure in any National Forest to have been completely built by volunteer labor.

Below is a photo taken in the 1920's.    At bottom see photos of wind damage in 1997.

Inspiration Point / Mt. Lowe


To the left above you see tracks leading off to the east.  This was the "One Man and a Mule Railway" with Herbert the mule as the engine that ran the railway.  Below are very rare photos of Herbert as he is pushing his trolley ahead of him (which was the way it was always done).   These tracks lead patrons down about 1 mile into other "non-charted" areas of the mountain which were in the wild.  It would probably be considered an "E" ticket ride at Disneyland.  Lowe had nothing to do with this enterprise, and any money collected was kept by the keeper.



For years, after wind and fire, all that remained of the Pavilion was the basic rock foundation.  It was our purpose to re-create the original structure per drawings we had made up from old photos supplied by Robert Wilde.  The above photos were taken in  1976 and 1970.  It would be 20 plus years later that we undertook the project.

Notice the hill behind the Pavilion compared to the 1st photo above from 1920.  There had been a large fire in the Angeles Forest in 1994, and much of the chaparral, trees and underbrush were in a re-growth stage when these photos were taken in 1996.


Lee's Landcruiser winch trying to pull out buried ruins.    (From the Robert Wilde collection)

Star News Article below
July 7, 1996

Brian Marcroft hiking up Castle Canyon Trail with view of Pavillion behind him.

In the winter of 1997 significant winds of over 100 mph came whipping through the pass, ripping off roof tiles.  We had to go back and re-do the job and use double strength applications.

On November 16, 1996 the volunteers where honored and recognized by the
Forest Service for the contribution we had made in the building of this structure.



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