I had the privilege of touring the grounds of Rockhaven Sanitarium in Montrose last month with a guide from the Friends of Rockhaven. I found myself transported back to a time of an aging group of women who were watched over and cared for by Agnes Richards, her granddaughter, Patricia Traviss, and their staff.
The remnants of that time in history stands proud and can be felt as you walk down the charming pathways and stop to rest under the tall umbrellas of the California live oaks. The air in the center patio area is wonderful and feels like it produces its own cool weather. The day I visited, the temperature was about 95 degrees but the cool breezes and sounds of the rustling leaves created a wonderful and encompassing breath of fresh, cool air.
Many names you might recognize, such as Billie Burke, Peggy Frears, Josephine Dillon (Marilyn Monroe's mother), and others took up residence at this wonderful, peaceful oasis. The memories of the quaint old buildings, furniture, pictures and mementos left behind gives you a real sense of something special happened there.
Ivan Cole gave 34 years of his life as caretaker of what were beautiful gardens, paths and grounds. I hope this serene area will continue to be cared for and restored so that others like myself can experience this treasure in our La Crescenta valley. Many thanks to the city of Glendale for the interest it has displayed in preserving this real gem, and for Joanna Linkchorst, Mike Lawler and Jessica Houston and many others who feel strongly about this wonderful historical site.