Robert Owens’ History Within El Prieto Canyon

Robert Owens’ History Within El Prieto Canyon

El Prieto Canyon, just above Altadena, CA proper, was the home of Robert Owens. Born into slavery in 1806, he became the wealthiest Black man in Los Angeles County. Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club has worked to increase awareness of Owens as the man behind El Prieto Canyon & Trail.

Recognizing Owens’ story is an important step forward in acknowledging early African American settlers in Los Angeles. The installation of a trail sign will greatly raise public appreciation of Robert Owens’ connection to the canyon.

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Approved by our USFS Angeles NF and City of Pasadena partners, the Robert Owens historical sign will be unveiled on Juneteenth, Monday, June 19th, 2023.

In January 2023, the Altadena Historical Society hosted Lowelifes’ Erik Hillard for a public presentation on Robert Owens.

The well-attended event further engaged the Altadena community and raised awareness of this largely unknown story.

Robert Owens presentation with Altadena Historical Society

Learn more about Robert Owens and his connection to El Prieto Canyon in our August 2021 in-depth article by Erik Hillard.

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