Its tracks spanned seven miles between Lowe and Echo Mountains, showcasing the beauty of the San Gabriel Valley. At the terminus was a funicular which took people a half-mile to a resort at the top. White City — so named because all the buildings were painted white — was comprised of a large hotel, chalet, dance hall, casino, zoo, restaurants, a tavern, and an observatory.
It was never a profitable venture, and a series of disasters, both natural and un, caused its eventual closure in 1938. The hotel itself burned down in 1900. The others were gradually destroyed by floods or fires. A massive windstorm blew the dome off of the observatory in 1928. What remained of White City was dynamited in 1959.
You can still see the ruins; it's about an hour and forty-five minute hike to the site from the trail entrance at the top of Lake.
reposted courtesy~ Gregory Stanton~ los angeles/antebellum correspondent