“And they were canopied by the blue sky,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seen in heaven.” ~ Lord Byron
Weather in the Foothills is more than a CV Weekly column. A glance or time spent outdoors defines “more than.” Sunshine, blue skies, fresh air and warm but comfortable temperatures define the past week. Simply said, our weather is near perfect. We live in a “Camelot climate” according to the musical “Camelot.”
“The climate must be perfect all the year. But in Camelot that’s how conditions are … There’s simply not a more congenial spot … than here in Camelot.” King Arthur’s kingdom was likely mythical, but our Crescenta Valley is real.
Long before most families moved to the Foothills, Tongva villages spread across “the valley.” These were the valley’s first citizens. As history reports, people have come and gone, some staying longer than others. As to their impression of the area, I imagine the climate and weather would stand out.
It was said in 1923, “The green Verdugo Mountains [are] far famed for their quiet, restful beauty.” “Plenty of sunshine [is] afforded high above the fog-line.” Agnes Richards’ words give reason for her locating a women-only facility – Rockhaven Sanitarium – in the Crescenta Valley. This “secluded sanctuary” became one of the first private mental health institutions in California.
Long before the opening of Rockhaven, the Crescenta Valley and surrounding foothills beckoned to those seeking healthy air and contentment. The first health resorts began to spring up throughout the area about 1870. Was it any coincidence this happened a few years after the Civil War? Death and destruction had taken a toll, but a battle worn United States slowly began to recover. As for its people, it was a time of healing, both physically and mentally. Those who had the opportunity and money could ride the new transcontinental railway directly to the West Coast in just seven days. There the rejuvenating climate received those with respiratory ailments, injuries and many folks escaping the tragedies of war.
So by 1923 the residents or ladies of Rockhaven were late-comers to the CV health resort scene. Their ailments were of a different nature, but one prescription was the same: a generous dose of “weather in the foothills.”
The sanitariums, with the exception of Rockhaven, can now only be found in the pages of history. Although now abandoned, the 3.3-acres remain “a restful setting” in a near perfect climate. May its historical and intrinsic value be recognized and preserved for future generations.
Our upcoming forecast is varied. Santa Anas and 90 degree temperatures are expected Saturday-Sunday. On Monday, much cooler temperatures and a chance of rain are predicted. As previously stated … the weather remains “up in the air!”
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.