August Theme Day - NumbersOn the first of each month, the City Daily Photo Blog community has a Theme Day. This month, the theme is "Numbers." Around here, 1890 and 1900 are considered very OLD numbers. Practically Ancient History.
(To see the interesting things that other Theme Day participants
from around the world have come up with, click here.)
Richardson House and Lizzie's Trail Inn Museums
In about 1890, a lunchstand was opened near the base of the Mt. Wilson Trail, where hikers could pick up food on their way up or down the mountain. In 1913, the little building which, according to the Historical Preservation Society's website, was "ever evolving" was moved (or rebuilt) on the east side of the trail, and went through a succession of owners. Lizzie McElwain ran the business from 1925 until 1935, and "Lizzie's Trail Inn" became famous for fried chicken, ravioli, and even "distilled spirits" during prohibition. The business was then run by Thelma and Robert Orme, who kept the tradition alive until 1948, when Lizzies Trail Inn closed.
In the early 1860's, John Richardson came to California, and obtained 150 acres of federal land. He developed a ranch and built two small dwellings, one of which is the current "Richardson House." (It is thought that this house was originally located near the corner of Mountain Trail, and was moved to its present location in later years.) Mr. Richardson subsequently sold the land to N.C. Carter, who was developing the town of Sierra Madre.
During the years that the Trail Inn was operating, some of the people who worked there lived in the Richardson house. In fact, Maurice Orme, who is on the Board of Directors for the Historical Preservation Society, grew up in the house. His mother, Elsie Orme worked for Lizzie McElwain, until his family took over the running of the Trail Inn after Lizzie's death.
The Museums Today
Resting at the foot of Mt. Wilson Trail, the Richardson House and Lizzie's Trail Inn Museums are owned by the City of Sierra Madre, and run by the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society. The Society has spent countless volunteer hours, in order to restore and maintain the buildings. The museums contain vintage furniture, photographs, historical documents, and artifacts. Both of the museums are open on Saturdays from 12:00 - 2:00 for tours, and special tours and field trips can also be arranged. Best of all, according to a recent issue of the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society Newsletter, Maurice Orme is there at the museums on Saturdays. Stop by - He has some great stories to tell!