A FEW days ago, I took a hike down to Devil’s Gate Dam at the suggestion of a friend who lives in the area. He was curious about what I might bring back image wise. Also there was this “history” thing that he was a little vague about…
The hike down under the freeway is studded with river rock, but gives out onto stream flowing beneath the 210 Freeway. Devil’s Gate Dam itself was built in 1920 to control flood waters in the Arroyo Seco — the “Devil” and “Gate” of the name derived from a pointed rock formation in the narrow canyon of the Arroyo.
Native American tribes who inhabited the area believed the location to be haunted and was deemed an off-limits spot. After devastating floods in the 20s, the dam was built but speculation about supernatural visitors continued. In the 1940s, neighborhood lore has it, it was a site for occult rituals and secret societies. And by the 1950s there were at least four reports of missing children — some never found, others who had met with grisly ends.
Now, it’s recreation destination spot, full of hikers, runners, dog-walkers. Nonstop actually. A freeway itself. In fact, as I crossed to the bottom beneath the 210 bridge, securing my camera before I began the trek across the stream, a couple walked by, the woman paused to ask if I was waiting for someone. I replied, “No just to take a photo.” Since there was a steady stream of people skimming the river stones, I was hoping for something that just spoke to the majesty of the place. The man who followed behind her replied, laughing: “One will come along — eventually.”
some historic shots here:
I’ll put up some black and white in a bit….