Pasadena Standard 12 January 1889:

Died, at the residence of his brother-in-law, Henry Thompson, in this city, on January 8, 1889, Owen Brown, aged 64 years, 2 months and 4 days.

Owen Brown was born at Hudson, Ohio, November 4, 1824, and was the third son of John Brown’s first family, there being twenty children in all.

Owen was with his father all through the struggle between the free state men and border ruffians in Kansas in 1836 and following years, and took part in the first pitched battle at Black jack on the Missouri and Kansas border, and also at Ossawatomie where his younger brother, an unarmed lad, was deliberately shot down in the street. Jason was also in these battles.

Owen was with his father at Harpers Ferry, a participant in that memorable raid which struck the death knell of slavery, not only in the United States but throughout the civilized world. He was one of seven who escaped from there through mountain fastnesses and swamps and forests and sassafras leaves, and such things as they could possibly devour without making a fire to cook. For they were pursued by soldiers and citizens with dogs and guns, and a price was set on their heads. The Atlantic Monthly some 15 or 20 years ago published a narrative of their escape, which excels in thrilling pathos, and in plain matter-of-fact incidents of hardship, endurance, and apparently supernatural deliverances from discovery and capture, the most vivid conceptions of fiction. Two of them made reckless ventures to get food and were captured and hung. The remaining five escaped, Owen finally reaching his brother John’s home on an island in Lake Erie.

About five years ago Jason and Owen Brown took a homestead on a bench of mountain land five or six miles north of Pasadena, at the settlement now called Las Casitas. This they subsequently sold and took land higher up the mountain side, built a cabin, cleared and worked a few acres, and lied there-two feeble old men, alone. (Jason was with his father in the Kansas struggle, but was not at Harpers Ferry.) They were much visited by tourists and citizens, some from mere curiosity and others from a warm sympathy with the historic career of the family. They had made a good wagon trail up to their mountain hermitage, and were continuing it as a donkey path to the top of the mountain known as Brown’s Peak, but it is not completed yet. Owen had a desire to be buried on the top of Brown’s Peak; and if Jason ever succeeds in finishing the trail he will try to have his brother’s grave up there as he desired. But meanwhile he is buried on a lesser peak on their mountain homestead.1 Owen Brown was never married…

Have you seen this stolen grave marker?

Little Round Top before the fire.

Little Round Top after the fire.


In November 2005 the Honorable C. Edward Simpson of Pasadena, in the case of
Save the Altadena Trails, et al. v. Michael Cichy, found for plaintiffs,
thereby re-establishing the public’s right to travel over that portion of
the historic El Prieto Fire Road that runs across defendant’s property, and
to visit the Owen Brown Grave Site which is located within his land. Judge
Simpson stated from the bench “it is clear that there is a long-standing
historic interest on the part of the public in the road and in the grave
site and that there has been continuous public access to these locations
since the 19th century.”

While STAT (Save the Altadena Trails) was working with the court to restore access to this trail and historic site, Mr. Cichy was living on the fire road in a dilapidated van
and had been storing a myriad of construction materials and debris on the
property that was not zoned for either of those activities. Los Angeles
County cited him for zoning violations and demanded that he remove the
vehicle and materials from the property. The court ruling also mandated that
he could not drive a vehicle on the El Prieto Fire Road. Mr. Cichy complied
by removing his vehicle but unfortunately resorted to throwing much of the
debris over the hillside – apparently to create the appearance that the
debris had been removed.

After an absence of over 2 years, Mr. Cichy has been seen back at the
property and appears to be living in his pickup truck, parked on another
landowner’s driveway. He has been hauling truck loads of materials up to the
site – some of which has apparently been thrown over the hillside. He is
storing more materials on the site, in clear violation of zoning
regulations. He has also been observed smoking on the hillside and appears
to be throwing cigarette butts into the dry brush.

Members of STAT and residents of the Meadows community have contacted LA
County and the court in attempt to put a stop to this activity. This
situation has not been resolved, and we will keep you updated. The county is
requesting proof of his actions, such as video or photos of him throwing
debris of the hillside or smoking. If anyone is able to get this
documentation, please let us know.

Owen Brown's historic grave marker.

Owen Brown grave site now, with the marker mysteriously stolen.

Directions and map to gravesite: