The Lizzie's Trail Inn/Historical Museum is located at 165 East Mira Monte Ave. in Sierra Madre and is open every Saturday from 10-12. For information call (626) 355-8129.
Lizzie's Trail Inn would like to thank The Kiwanis Club of Sierra Madre, the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society, Marie Callender's in Pasadena and Arcadia, and Pat Dolphin of Dolphin Rentals for their generous support throughout the years and especially at Pioneer Days, and Russ Jensen, who recently donated a vintage 1947 pinball machine, similar to one which was at Lizzie's in the 1940s. Click here for photos of the classic "Period" pinball machine.
About Lizzies Trail Inn
At the foot of the Old Mt. Wilson Trail, what is now called Mt. Wilson
Trail Park in Sierra Madre was once the center of activity for the pack
trains that hauled everything up and down the trail. Don Benito Wilson used
this as the starting point to revamp an old Indian trail in 1864.
From 1864 to about 1905, this was the access route, both to the top of Mt. Wilson and to several camps and resorts which developed for recreation. Thousands would hike up the trails each weekend, and you had to either hire a pack train to haul your supplies, or carry them yourself. The pack trains also hauled the supplies needed for the resorts and camps. Mules, burros and horses hauled everything from food and water to tents, pianos, telephone poles and even the materials for Mt. Wilson's first 13" telescope. At the turn of the century, the famous Mt. Wilson pack station served up to 160 animals and was located at the site of the present water tank.
Beginning about 1890, there was a lunch stand and coffee shop at the foot of the trail. Around 1905, it was being run as a lunch counter by Walt Douglas. In 1913, the stand was moved to its present location on the east side of the trail.
Lizzie's was known not only for good food and supplies, but during the prohibition years, it was known for a still in the northwest room. This room is presently the restored dining room of the Richardson House. Lizzie's was raided on more than one occasion. On Oct. 2nd, 1926, Sierra Madre City Marshall A.M. Udell requested a search warrant because there was “just and reasonable cause to believe there is intoxicating liquor intended for use in violation of Ordinance 269 in the house restaurant and cottages and upon the premises ….at 165 E. Mira Monte Ave.” On October 7, 1926, Lizzie pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a rather sizable (for the time) $200 fine.
In 1976, the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society began a
of the structure, and with the help of numerous volunteers and contributions
is turning it into a Historical Learning Center and Museum, where all are
invited to learn about the pack trains, trails and mountain camps of early
Sierra Madre. Lizzie's Trail Inn is usually open from 10 a.m. - 12 noon
every Saturday morning. It also opens for special occasions such as the
Mt. Wilson Trail Race each Memorial Weekend Saturday, Pioneer Days, and 4th
of July Weekend. Stop by and check out the progress of the restoration.
Your ideas, enthusiasm and contributions are both welcome and appreciated.
Historic information provided by the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society
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