The Prodigal Cup Returns Home

Photo by Charly SHELTON
Members of the Historical Society (from left) Stuart Byles, Anne McNeill, Mike Morgan, Marie Byles, Mike Lawler (in back) and Bruce Bartels of the Valley Automotive Group and CV Chamber president Calvin “Kaipo” Chock hold high the Walton Cup outside its new home at the La Crescenta Library.

After 100 years, a memento of gratitude returns to its proper place.



“Presented to Robert A. Walton by the Citizens of La Crescenta, Oakdale and Montrose as a token of their appreciation of his services. July 15, 1915.” So reads the inscription on the silver loving cup that recently returned home to La Crescenta.

It was quite a journey spanning 103 years. The cup had made its way out to Canoga Park and then to Maine where it was in the hands of an antique dealer who contacted the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce stating that the cup had just come into his possession. He figured – correctly – that the town would probably enjoy having the cup more than he would. The CVCOC partnered with the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley and the Valley Automotive Group to raise the $1,650 necessary to purchase, insure and ship the cup back home to La Crescenta.

“Other than some paper items, this cup is the oldest artifact of Montrose’s beginnings,” said Michael Morgan, president of the HSCV, who has been one of the leaders of the movement to bring the cup home.

Robert Walton was a real estate agent who, along with his partner J. Frank Walters, co-founded Montrose and the nearby town of Oakdale, which sat between the modern Rosemont and La Crescenta avenues, right next to the established town of La Crescenta. Montrose was founded on Feb. 22, 1913, and some lots on this newly graded townsite sold, but not all. Walton promised that a railroad trolley would be built for the citizens of the tri-town area and within a few weeks he had his brother-in-law, a railroad builder back East, come out to the Golden Coast to make his promise manifest.

By 1915, Walton was a well-to-do real estate magnate and railroad owner. In mid-July of that year, he was honored by the citizens with a silver cup, thanking him for his achievement of making their town and railroad a reality. This cup is a six-pint, three-handled, sterling silver cup made by Gorham Silver, which was engraved expertly with the message of thanks from the residents of the three newly-created towns. Walton moved out of the area in 1917 but stayed in Southern California until his death in 1961.

The cup has returned home and was dedicated at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 23. It now sits in a display case in the La Crescenta Library, with its history and old photographs of the area on display, for all to admire.