Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 8, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 8, 2014



Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Looking For A Best Friend??

 So is Claudia! Claudia is estimated to be 3 ½ 
years old, and is a 12 pound Chihuahua mix. She 
is really more “generic dog” than Chihuahua, so 
“mix” is a closer description of her breed. She is 
a beautiful white dog with short fur that doesn’t 
require a lot of care.

 Claudia has a friendly, happy personality, and 
loves people. She will greet you with a joyful 
bark and smile when you walk by her kennel, 
asking to be taken out for a walk or some play 

 Claudia does love going for walks. She has 
a lot of happy energy and enjoys running with 
her partner. She also looks forward to getting 
some treats and attention after she has burnt off 
some of that energy. Claudia has an observant, 
inquisitive nature and doesn’t want to miss out 
on any activities going on nearby.

 Claudia gets along well with her kennel mate 
and seems to like the other dogs she has met at 
the shelter. She would love to be part of an active 
family who can give her the love, attention and 
exercise she needs. She would do best with a 
yard with space for her to run and play, as well 
as daily walks with her family. Come in to meet 
our sweet Claudia to see if your home is the right 
one for her. 

 She currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue 
in San Gabriel with her roommate. We are 
located off San Gabriel Blvd., north of Mission 
and south of Las Tunas. 

 To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Claudia, 
please stop by any time from 10:00am to 4:30pm 
Tuesday thru Sunday. We are closed on Mondays.

 Her adoption fee is $120 which includes 
a microchip, spay surgery, first vaccinations 
and a free wellness check-up at a participating 
veterinarian. Feel free to call us at (626) 286-
1159 for more information on Claudia. 

 See our website at for 
information and photos of all our available pets. 

As most Sierra Madre locals already know, 
Adams’ Pack Station, located in the Chantry 
Flat Recreation Area at the top of Santa Anita 
Boulevard in Big Santa Anita Canyon is a rare 
and amazing historical landmark. Too many 
people who live in our small burg still have yet to 
pay a visit to this beautiful hidden-away place, so 
for those who haven’t seen it, now is your chance 
to take a peek and learn about a real-life working 
pack station, considered the only one of it’s kind 
in the United States.

 On Sunday, November 16th from 2:00-5:00pm, 
the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society 
(SMHPS) will be hosting a tour of the pack 
station and all are invited to attend, so you’ll 
want to make your reservations right away. To 
reserve your spot, call Leslie Ziff at 626-321-7735 
or e-mail her at HYPERLINK “mailto:lbziff@”

 In case you have no idea what the pack station 
is all about, here is a bit of history to pique your 
interest and help fill you in on this wonderful 
and rare treasure of Sierra Madre. Many thanks 
and full credit are given to the good folks at 
SMHPS and to Deb Burgess at 
Adams’ Pack Station for sharing 
this information.

 Adams’ Pack Station was built 
in 1936, as a base of operations for 
hauling freight up the mountain 
by use of pack animals, mainly 
donkeys. Although the station is 
within the boundaries of Angeles 
National Forest, its roots are 
firmly implanted in the Village 
of Sierra Madre. At the height of 
“The Great Hiking Era” (roughly 
1900 – 1935) many hostels 
and cabins dotted the Big and 
Little Santa Anita Canyons. The 
materials and supplies for these 
were packed into the mountains 
by teams of donkeys based in Sierra Madre. 
Notable examples of pack stations from which 
these operations emanated were the Mount 
Wilson Stables, near Lizzie’s Trail Inn, and 
Corum’s Pack Station to the east.

 Before the existing depression-era road was 
built into Big Santa Anita Canyon, the main trail 
began near Corum’s, at the top of Sturtevant 
Drive. The initial plan was to build a road from 
Sierra Madre, following the old Newcomb Trail, 
whence it would meet the Angeles Crest Highway 
at Newcomb’s Ranch. The cabin owners in Big 
SAC and preservationists halted this intrusive 
plan. When the road to its edited terminus 
at Chantry Flat was completed in 1936, a Los 
Angeles building contractor and entrepreneur 
named James P. Steele set out to capitalize on 
modern access to the heart of The Canyon.

 Steele, who owned First Water Camp, 600 
ft below Chantry Flat, obtained a special use 
permit in late 1936 for a pack station, store and 
parking lot at Chantry. He built a two-story 
house roughly located where the public flush-
toilet facility sits today. The barn he built still 
stands virtually unchanged. Steele also built a 
2-room bunkhouse (now the backbone of today’s 
pack station home/store) at the southern-most 
end of the flat. Packing operations went well for a 
year until the great flood of March 1938.

 The Chantry Flat compound sat well above 
and away from any high water threats, but the 
Steeles’ private cabin, no. 23, and the main lodge/
dining room of the camp was washed away. 
This loss, along with the loss of 68 cabins and 
extensive trail damage, convinced the Steeles 
that the future was not long for the canyon, at 
least not in a lucrative sense. They moved the 
house to Monrovia, parceled out the remaining 
cabins of the resort, and sold the pack animals. 
All that was needed now was a buyer for the pack 

 A young man named Frank Adams, who 
worked nights at the Supreme Dairy and 
sometimes helped out at Santa Anita Racetrack 
with his brother, Bill, was familiar with the 
managers of Orchard Camp in Little Santa Anita 
Canyon, Wayne Buck and a girl named May. 
Word was out that the Steeles wanted to sell and 
Wayne talked Frank into buying the pack station 
in the fall of ’38 with the promise that he and May 
would run it for him during the day. Things were 
up and running when, just a few months into 
the venture, Wayne left town for good so Frank 
employed the help of his brother Bill and his 
sister, Katie. In spite of ever increasing business, 
Frank lost interest and sold the business to Bill.

In 1984, following a series of events, the Adams’ 
sold the pack station to Bill’s nephew, Dennis 
Lonergan and his wife, Jody. After fifteen years 
of ownership, the Lonergans sold the pack 
station to Kim Clymer-Kelley, a recent divorcee 
and mother of three teenaged boys. Though 
the Kelleys survived five difficult years while 
hurtling obstacles of regulation and Mother 
Nature, the cabin owners, the Forest Service, 
and Ms. Kelley all agreed that a new pack station 
owner was what The Canyon needed.

 Today the pack station is now known as 
Adams’ Pack Station, named in honor of Bill and 
Lila Adams, and is owned by the energetic Deb 
Burgess. She not only respects the history of the 
pack station at Chantry Flat, she is determined 
to keep alive the lone survivor of a by-gone era. 
The donkeys regularly pack in supplies to the 
remaining privately owned cabins and Sturtevant 
Camp, the last mountain resort, and pack out 
garbage. Adams’ Pack Station has also become 
a destination spot, showcasing local musicians. 
The mountain resorts of the “Great Hiking Era” 
often featured live music, and those of Big Santa 
Anita Canyon attracted partygoers who would 
hike miles from the trailhead in Sierra Madre to 
fill the dance halls. This tradition is now being 
relived in summer months. 

DogWalking & Sitting ServicesSierraMadre, Californiawww.canyoncanine.comchris@canyoncanine.comChris LeclercCanyonCanine626-355-8333 626-533-9536CCConCaCanyonCanineCanineeeieCCChris LeclercChris Leclercae,, CaliforCaalking&SonDogWWalking & Sitting ServicesonCa626-355-8333 62onCayeclercinnia6-533-95362eclerccanine.comanine.comani,CaliforirnanineSittingServiceseaninee