Geography

Searching for the lost arroyo of San Pascual

san-pascual-alhambra-creekfreak.jpg
1870 federal survey compared to more recent map at LA Creek Freak.

Jessica Hall at the website LA Creek Freak has been trying to pinpoint the location of Arroyo San Pascual, one of the natural drainages out of the San Gabriels that flowed — and maybe still does? — through what became the cities of Pasadena, San Marino and/or Alhambra. Many of the old arroyos and creeks originally mapped by settlers and surveyors have disappeared, at least from easy sight. Property owners and public officials through the decades have tried to make the old arroyos get out of the way of development, sometimes by reshaping the topography or burying the creeks in storm drains. In some places the brute force can't fully conquer nature, and in other places the old drainage is embraced as a feature. I've posted before about the Brookside neighborhood around Wilshire and Highland near Hancock Park that still has a visible portion of Arroyo de los Jardines. The blogger Militant Angeleno wrote not long ago about the lost creeks of Westwood.

At LA Creek Freak, Hall compared an 1870 federal survey with a more recent map and may be closing in on locating the lost Arroyo San Pascual. "The discerning eye can see echoes of the historical streams in the treelines, shadows of terrain, (in)convenient siting of ball fields...," she writes. Check it out.


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