Ellen Garrison, 19th Century Robbins House Civil Rights Activist, Buried in John Brown’s Family Pasadena Cemetery
While visiting California last week, Robbins House president Maria Madison took time out to visit the Mountainview Cemetery in Pasadena / Altadena, where we knew Ellen Garrison was buried. Here’s what she found out…
Mountainview Cemetery, Pasadena CA
According to Keith Brown, a descendant of John Brown, the Mountainview Cemetery was created by his ancestors “for their east coast friends and family.” The cemetery was created in partnership with the Brown’s relative Levi Giddings.
Within the cemetery are the plots for Ellen Garrison Clark and her husband Harvey Clark, in unmarked gravesites. (The Robbins House, Inc. hopes to provide headstones in the future.)
Cemetery records show that Ellen died of “consumption” on December 20, 1892. Harvey Clark died of “old age” on August 6, 1897.
Per Dan McLaughlin, Librarian/Town Historian, Pasadena/Altadena was established in the early- to mid-1800s by families from Indiana looking to create a utopia. The original intent was to convert rough land into orange groves, allowing the poorest members of the group to select their plots first. Originally the community had a large black population, treated equally. By the early 1900s more whites moved to the area and began racial segregation and divisiveness.
The early promise of an egalitarian, antislavery, transcendental type colony attracted the Brown family descendants. It also, in parallel attracted Ellen Garrison, her husband, stepchildren and sister.