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Pioneer Days 2003, 8th Annual Hike into History

October 4, 2003


Pioneer Days Hike into History a Terrific Success  Saturday, Oct. 4th, several dozen people turned out for the 8th Annual Hike Into History, co-sponsored by Arroyo Seco Medical Group and the Community Services Dept.  This year's hike went to the ruins of Fern Lodge, which operated in the Santa Anita Canyon until 1960.  In addition to the creation of a special post office for a day, offering special Fern Lodge postal seal, with the posted mail  carried out of the canyon by mule train, this year several of the owners of the cabins down in the cabin opened their doors, allowing the hikers a special glimpse into what life was like for the cabin owners of the early 20th century.  Several of the cabins appeared to be in condition similar to what they must have been in the 1920s, and surprisingly, several of the homes were in fabulous shape, with modern decor, and all the conveniences of home, except of course, minor conveniences such as electricity, running water, central heating systems (other than fireplaces), and easy access.  A few of the homes were for sale, for just under $30,000.  This hiker was especially pleased to be allowed to go into photographer E.B. Gray's one-time cabin.  San Gabriel mountain author and expert John Robinson was along, answering questions, showing old photos and educating the hikers about the "Golden Age of Hiking".  The hike, which is the result of the hard work and seemingly endless energy of longtime Sierra Madre physician Dr. William E. White, was approximately four miles, and was a pleasant way to spend a morning.  Kudos to Dr. White, John Robinson, the US Postal Service, Kim Kelly and her mules, Community Services, and the cabin owners who allowed us into their homes.   Click on a photo below to make it larger.


Patty White, Lisa Spigai-Perez and Dan Bell help with registration and t-shirt distribution


A donkey

Feeding time

Pack station owner Kim Kelly with Lila Heasley, a donkey born Oct. 27, 2002

Some of the hikers waiting for the hike to start


Dr. Bill White explains a little history of the destination point, Fern Lodge

Former pack station owners, Bill and Lila Adams

Leaving the asphalt, hitting the trail

Turning a corner


Fireplace in one of the cabins

Woodwork in one of the cabins

Hikers gather at one of the cabins

Ranger on horseback

Cabin 16, in the present numbering system

The numbering system changed after a big fire in 1953, this fireplace in cabin 16 reflects the early numbering system

This rock in the wall of cabin 16 has the original cabin number etched into it

A kindly welcome

Another cabin, note the rock archway to the left

Mom helps daughter across a stream

"The Fiddler"

Sign at Roberts Camp tells a little history

Hikers take a break at Roberts Camp

San Gabriel Mountains expert John Robinson relates a little history

Dr. White points out a mule-tying ring a little higher up the tree than it was when Jim Heasley used it in the 1920s

Close-up of the ring

Hikers stretch into the distance, and there were more in front of us when this picture was taken

The Fiddler, revisited

Marker at the footing of the Fern Lodge ruins

Mary Schubert of the Pasadena Star News takes notes at the footing


More footing

Boy Scout Troop 110 hauled the Post Office equipment up

Michael Deak returned to the Postal Service for the day.

Special event cancellation for Fern Lodge

The donkey that carried the mail down

The rest of the team

John Robinson relates a little more history

Another shot of the team

Historic photo of Fern Lodge

John Robinson again

A view from a vista heading back to Chantry

The trails


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