Friday, August 7, 2009

LAKE AVENUE'S LOST CREEK ... WAS KNOWN AS WOODBURY CREEK IN THE NORTH, WILSON'S OR MILL CREEK IN THE SOUTH





Amazing how so many natural features of our landscape can be rendered invisible over time and pass from memory as generations live and die or move away. Waterways, streams, creeks, springs, lagoons, ponds, lakes were always a part of our natural landscape, even in the arid San Pascual Rancho. As the area became ever more settled, these water features were either depleted or in the way. Also, many water features appeared to be less permanent, since in the summer they may have withered away with seemingly little trace, but in winter and spring reappear with a vengance which sometime resulted in death and destruction of those who built too close or in the way of nature.


Lake Avenue's own water course, known as Woodbury Creek in the north and Wilson's Creek or Mill Creek in the south, has been known since the 1920's as the East Side Storm Drain. Beginning in the alluvial soil of the western edge of the Woodbury Ranch in Altadena and coursing down Santa Rosa, traveling through the Washington Park Arroyo, crossing from west to east of Lake Avenue at Orange Grove Boulevard, forming a lagoon behind Charles Francis Saunders' home and continuing south between Lake and Wilson, finally emerging from El Molino Canyon just north of the El Molino Viejo, flowing through the Old Mill, and finally filling Kewen Lake , also known as Wilson's Lake, the flowing stream of Lake Avenue still flows, now channelized in concrete as the East Side Storm Drain, but suffering the decapitation of its southward flow south of Maple by the intrusion of the Foothill Freeway ditch, a veritable Grand Canyon of the present age.


Hopefully, we can restore this scenic lost waterway for future generations of Pasadenans and its wildlife to enjoy. More unlikely things have happened. Woodbury ... Wilson's ... Mill Creek , the flow from the mountains to the lake. These are dreams of nature restored and appreciation of paradise lost, with hope for its rediscovery and reinstatement.

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