Rockhaven: haunted by “the ladies” ~ in the nicest of ways!

Joyfully, I picked up an assignment to write about the fate of La Crescenta’s historic, famed Rockhaven Sanitarium. This wonderfully-edited piece resulted in last week’s Crescenta Valley Weekly: Future Development of Rockhaven in Doubt

Joanna Linkchorst inspires me, with her energy and her passion for this place. “Places have power,” she told the Glendale City Council. “This place has power.”

Once a month, the Friends of Rockhaven offer public tours of the iconic property.

There is so much incredible writing about this haunting place.

Mary O’Keefe wrote this for the CV Weekly: Rockhaven – A Woman’s Story

Corina Roberts wrote this for our local patch: Rockhaven Sanitarium – A History in Danger

As Elisa Jordan, author of Rockhaven Sanitarium: The Legacy of Agnes Richards, told the Council that the gem they have right here is unique in the world, a place of notable architectural history, women’s’ history, Hollywood history, a one-of-a-kind place capable of drawing people from around the world.

K-CET describes its feminist history ~ Rockhaven: L.A.’s First Feminist Sanitarium

The Huffington Post offers this good history ~ Honoring Rockhaven Sanitarium, America’s First Feminist Asylum

The Atlantic also appreciates the history ~ The Feminist Asylum That Redefined Women’s Mental-Health Treatment

Atlas Obscura delights ~ Rockhaven Sanitarium

From the Los Angeles Review of Books, Flowers and All: Rockhaven Sanitarium and Women’s Mental Health:

The women were never to be called “patients” — they were to be addressed as “residents” or “ladies,” recounts 85-year-old Jeannie Reese. Reese, who worked as a charge nurse at Rockhaven Sanitarium from 1981 to 2002, oversaw the care of women struggling with everything from “mild mental and nervous disorders” to severe dementia. “Taking care of this type of patient was a real challenge,” Reese recalls, “but we accepted them the way they came here.”

Curbed LA summarizes the 2016 community plans for Rockhaven ~ La Crescenta’s old asylum for women to become park and boutique shops

The LA Weekly describes the fight to save Rockhaven ~ Saving L.A.’s Last Standing Sanitarium, Where Feminists Got Rid of Inhumane Cells

And there’s been solid ongoing reporting from the CV Weekly ~ Rockhaven – Past and Future Discussed

From LAistFeminist Sanitarium To The Stars Of Old Hollywood Is In Trouble

Lindsay wrote several pieces for I Am Not A Stalker including Rockhaven Sanitarium wonderfully detailing the kind haunting people who’ve been to Rockhaven pretty much universally describe.

Eighty-nine percent of those who have rated it, deem it haunted on Haunted Places!

I did the late tour on December 15. There is a power to this place, a playful power, a calm energy. Historian Mike Lawler shared his “ghost stories” with the group.

‘We clean everything here once a month so we know what’s here and what wasn’t here. Things show up and the things that show up, stay. It as if these things were clearly dear to the people who lived here, like they want us to have them.’ Rosary beads, a piano. There have been reported sightings of women, none unpleasant.

On our tour, a woman with a lovely accent reported that she showed up early for the tour and waved to a woman with a red cardigan and a hat with flowers on it. There was no such red-sweatered-woman.

Several of my pictures have sun spots where I noticed none in the taking.

I hope the City does right by this amazing, powerful place.

Here’s the latest call to action from the Friends of Rockhaven



They call her the “Lady of Rockhaven,” battered but surviving fully intact!



This place matters!


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