Photo is dated December 25, 1939. "Lourdes of the West" was built in 1939 as "an exact replica of the beautiful and historic Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, on the grounds of St. Elizabeth's Church in Altadena where it is attracting thousands of war anchored tourists, who are choosing the colorful Southern California vacationland in lieu of Europe this year. Photo shows the grotto at Altadena which encases statues of "Our Lady of Lourdes, the Virgin" and St. Bernadette, the little shepherdess to whom the Virgin appeared on 18 occasions, once commanding her to scratch the ground with her foot, where a healing spring burst forth, from which waters the spring at the foot of the "Lourdes of the West" has been created." It was built partly out of lava and greeted 300,000 visitors in nine months.
This is a magical place and recently renovated including the two garden entrance way gates which have "Lourdes of the West" in illuminated cut out letters in the decorative metal archway overhead. The St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish hosts an old time family festival in October on a Saturday evening where wonderful food and classic fair rides and games are hosted. Not to be missed; look for the banner advertising this coming festival at the southwest corner of New York Drive and North Lake.
At night, the flickering votive candles in the grotto give an eerie but peaceful feeling to the contemplative. One of several hidden gardens on Lake Avenue and a spot for reflection.