A Civic Story in Altadena California

Saving Owen Brown’s Gravesite

Owen Brown (long beard) with brother Jason at their homestead in Altadena, 1880s

Saving Owne Browns Gravesite

Owen Brown (long beard) with brother Jason at their homestead in Altadena, 1880s.

Gravesite Articles

Click any article/image to enlarge.

LAH January 30th 1898

Star News 1940 – For fifty years the gravesite was maintained by a local, Edward Simmons, who attended the funeral as a boy.

When Edward Simmons passed away the site fell into disrepair, and the area became popular with off-road motor-cyclists. The grave was vandalized on more than one occasion, with the stone being rolled down the hillside. 

In 2001 it disappeared altogether, and was assumed to be lost until discovered by Ian White in 2010.

In the mid-1970s, the United States Forest Service restored the gravestone, but in the wrong location with a wood frame.

100 Years Later

Gravesite Under Threat, 1989

To Historical Landmarks and Records Commission County of Los Angeles

Please find enclosed our completed application for a Point of Historical Interest status for the Owen Brown Gravesite. We have also today forwarded to the State Historic Resources Board a completed Application for Registration of an Historical Landmark and a National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.

Because the owner of the site is threatening to remove the grave, we wish to deterrnine landmark eligibility as soon as possible.

Thank You

1989 Historic Designation Advocates

Adelene Ruth Craig and Eleanor Blangsted, great-treat granddaughters of John Brown.

1989 Historic Designation Advocates

Adelene Ruth Craig and Eleanor Blangsted, great-treat granddaughters of John Brown.

Historic Designation Denied!

STATE CALIFORNIA —THE RESOURCES AGENCY

May 9, 1991 – Dear Mr. Monteilh: The State Historical Resources Commission, sitting in regular session in Sacramento on May 3, 1991, considered the application for registration of the Gravesite of Owen Brown, Altadena, Los Angeles County, as a California Point of Historical Interest. I regret to inform you that the Commission did not recommend registration. The point criteria states that an individual must have had a profound influence on the history of the local area . The primary emphasis shall be the site or sites of achievement of an individual, not his birthplace, death place or gravesite.

Thank you very much for your continued interest in our Point of Historical Interest program.

Public Access Lawsuit Prevails!

Celebration at gravesite MLK Day, 2006 (gravestone missing)

Public Access Lawsuit Prevails!

Celebration at gravesite MLK Day, 2006 (gravestone missing)

Gravestone Recovered and a Replica is Made

Ian White recovers gravestone after a storm in 2010 and has a replica made. Altadena Heritage places it in Triangle Park in 2017 as a “consciousness raiser” while gravesite remained in hands of hostile owner.

‘Parity Plan” Devised by ATC Committee

2018—La Vina developer Tim Cantwell purchases gravesite property in ‘parity plan” devised by ATC committee that enables him to build 18 new homes, promises to place in land conservancy. Ian White agrees to relinquish gravestone so committee may return it to gravesite on Little Round Top.

‘Parity Plan” Devised by ATC Committee

2018—La Vina developer Tim Cantwell purchases gravesite property in ‘parity plan” devised by ATC committee that enables him to build 18 new homes, promises to place in land conservancy. Ian White agrees to relinquish gravestone so committee may return it to gravesite on Little Round Top.

Board Passes Motion for “Parity Plan”

Board of Supervisors passes motion that includes “Parity Plan” in 2019.

Board Passes Motion for “Parity Plan”

Board of Supervisors passes motion that includes “Parity Plan” in 2019.

Triumphant Return

Triumphant return to Little Round Top July, 2021 after new Gravesite Committee convenes in April.

Way-finding sign created and installed by Owen Brown Gravesite Committee volunteers

MLK Day 2022

Plaque Memorializing
Owen Brown

November 4, 2022 unveiling of Plaque memorializing Owen Brown Mountain View Mausoleum, Altadena

Plaque Memorializing
Owen Brown

November 4, 2022 unveiling of Plaque memorializing Owen Brown Mountain View Mausoleum, Altadena

Major Horatio N. Rust

Presentation of the historic figure.