Owen Brown Gravesite

Altadena California

Dedication of the Owen Brown Granite Headstone, Saturday, January 29, 1898, with photo of Owen Brown (Insert)

Owen Brown’s Legacy

Owen Brown is buried on the summit of an Altadena hill named “Little Round Top” after the heroic stand by Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was the last survivor of the 1859 raid on the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, led by his father, John Brown, who hoped to spark an insurrection to end American slavery.

In the early 1880s Owen moved with his brother Jason to Pasadena, a community recently established by Union supporters. They homesteaded the land around the gravesite and entertained a steady stream of visitors. When Owen caught pneumonia and died in January 1889, 2,000 people attended his funeral, many of whom marched from downtown Pasadena to Little Round Top to witness the burial.

Nine years later, at the commemoration of the granite headstone, Major Horatio Nelson Rust, seen in the photograph standing behind it, looking to his left, said, “I am very thankful that so many have come up under the shadow of the Mother Mountains to mark in this most simple manner the grave of my old friend, Owen Brown. His service to his fellow man is a more lasting memorial. He gave the best years of his life with his father, John Brown, ‘The Liberator,’ to uphold the cause of human freedom.”

The gravesite has been restored by the Los Angeles County Owen Brown Gravesite Committee in collaboration with Altadena Heritage and the Altadena Town Council. It can be accessed by a fifteen-minute hike through a public dedication at the north end of El Prieto Road in the Altadena Meadows.

The granite gravestone photographed in 1907.

The Owen Brown Gravesite Today.