This 46 star American flag is part of Altadena Historical Society’s Mount Lowe Railway legacy.
|Forty-six star American flag in AHS collection
flew over Ye Old Alpine Tavern sometime
between1907 and 1912.
The scenic mountain railroad attraction imagined by Thaddeus S. C. Lowe opened on July 4, 1893, when the U. S. flag boasted 44 stars. In the photo below, the blur on the back of the incline car is the flag. The man in front of the car looking at the camera is Professor Lowe.
|Was this photo taken opening day, July 4, 1893?
The Alpine Tavern, a Swiss chalet style lodge, opened in 1896, the same year the flag was reissued with 45 stars, when Utah was made a state. During its 40 years in operation, the Tavern traditionally flew the flag outside the main entry as shown in the photos below.
|That looks like a 45 star flag so the picture
was taken sometime between
Photo: Los Angeles library
|When Arizona and New Mexico received
statehood in 1912, the flag flew with 48 stars.
So this flag indicates the photo was taken
after 1912. The Edwardian dress suggests
it’s pre-World War One.
|Forty-eight stars again – this could be anytime
between 1912 and 1936, the year the resort burned
down. (The flag didn’t change again until
1959 when Alaska acquired state status.)
Photo: Los Angeles Library
AHS’ 46 star American flag flew at the Tavern sometime between 1907 and 1912.
The Society is still looking for a photograph of the Tavern with this flag. If you’ve got one, let us know. We’d be delighted to see it.
Read more about Alpine Tavern and The Mount Lowe Railway in George Wharton James’ 1905 book, Scenic Mount Lowe.
|The book is made