all photography by Michael Durand except where noted / copyright 2012 / durand productions / all rights reserved / use by permission only
“A Perfect Day in Pasadena”
photos by Michael Durand
The History of Eaton Canyon
The beautiful San Gabriel Mountains have a rugged, steep southern ridge and a taller northern ridge, the two being separated from one another by a series of east-west canyons. They run along the San Gabriel Fault, once a main part of the San Andreas Fault, and contain the east and west forks of the San Gabriel River. Although Mount Wilson is over 5,700 feet high, there is a large group of mountain peaks which rise to more than 9,000 feet, including Mount Baldy and Mount Baden-Powell.
Eaton Canyon lies nestled in the foothills of these San Gabriel Mountains, just a stone's throw from downtown Los Angeles. Originally called "El Precipicio" by the Spanish settlers because of its steep gorges, it is now named after Judge Benjamin Eaton, who built the first Fair Oaks Ranch House in 1865 not far from Eaton Creek. Judge Eaton was the first to use irrigation from the creek to grow grapes on the slopes. He was also instrumental in the development of the Mount Wilson Toll Road in 1891, and proposed a tramway to Mount Wilson which later was built to Mount Lowe instead.
Most of the 190 acres that presently make up the Eaton Canyon Natural Area lie on the northern boundaries of the old San Pasqual and Santa Anita Ranches on county-designated Southern Pacific Railroad land. Since the railroad did not use the land, it was open for homesteading.
Today the City of Pasadena and parts of Altadena, which it serves, receive about 40% of their water from local sources, 50% from Colorado River water, and 10% from Northern California.
Copyright © 2012 durand productions
All Rights Reserved
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