The Return of the "Rustic" Arbor


This rustic arbor was a popular spot for tourists in the days of the Glen Iris Estate. Mr. Letchworth had it built on the Council Grounds in the early 1870's so visitors could rest and reflect on the natural and manmade beauty of the Valley.

The arbor disappeared when the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society reshaped the Council Grounds in the years following Mr. Letchworth's death. The new arbor was rebuilt as part of the Council Grounds restoration project.

The modern photographs below were taken by Tom Breslin in May 2008. If you click on the older images you will go to the page in our historical photo album that shows a larger image and discussion the photograph.


This photograph was taken in front of the Mary Jemison Statue, looking east. The new arbor sits along the southern bank of the Council Grounds. It will take time to restore the rustic nature of the original arbor.
 The view below was taken from the eastern end of the Council Grounds, looking west. The original was made before the Jemison cabin or statue was added. Although the camera angles are slightly different, you can tell how close the new arbor is to the original arbor's location.

 Although the modern arbor is as close as modern contruction techniques, materials, and safety concerns would allow, it will be impossible to recreate the vista the visitors are enjoying in the original image. Below visitors Lucy Breslin and Tom Cook find the view from the arbor quite different from the one the 1870s tourists enjoyed. The restoration of the forest, begun by Mr. Letchworth, has limited the view. Even if the tree branches are thinned, the original view would not be possible - the great wooden Portage Bridge seen through the mists of the Upper Falls was destroyed in 1875.



Be sure to visit the Council Grounds soon!


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