Brand Park, Glendale
Our next pyramid mausoleum can be found in the town of Glendale and belongs to an early pioneer of the town named Leslie Coombs Brand. Alive from 1859 to 1925, Brand made an enormous impact on the town of Glendale by organizing the local utility companies, building the first private air strip in town as well as the first electric railroad, and relocating the city center to what is now Brand Boulevard. He is called “The Father of Glendale” for his efforts in building the city. Upon his death, Brand left his entire estate to the city upon the death of his wife as long as his land was utilized as a library and park. Today his original 5000 square foot mansion has been expanded with an additional 21,000 square feet and is host to the city’s wonderful library and Brand Park, a 31 acre park located at the bottom of the Verdugo Mountains.
The park has a multitude of hiking and bike trails, picnic areas, a basketball court, a baseball diamond, playgrounds, a Japanese Tea House, a historical 1888 Doctor’s House, and of course the grand library itself.
Back behind the park lays the Brand Family Cemetery where the family is buried along with their dogs. To get to the cemetery, walk down the road past the Doctor’s House. Keep heading off to the left. You will pass several signs that specify no pedestrian access. On your right eventually will be what appears to be a large reservoir and on your left a steep mountain wall. Be careful as garbage like trucks fly down this narrow road out to what I think is a recycling center or something. There are several blind turns, so it may be difficult for them to see you. It is a fair distance from the library to the cemetery, so it is advisable for safety to take a friend as you will end up pretty far out and in a fairly remote area. When the road splits, go left and stairs leading up to the cemetery will eventually appear on your right.
To add further to the strange rumors and legends, the library itself is rumored to be haunted by none other than the ghost of Leslie C. Brand! Apparently the ghost haunts the stairs and tower area of the library, which is off limits to visitors. Footsteps have come from the overhead room, books have fallen, and shadows have been seen on the stairs. Additionally workers in the library have heard voices on the staircase and seen people walking up the stairs who weren’t there. Few staff members will go up into the tower and for example, years ago, when the custodians cleaned the library, the crew refused to clean the tower so the supervisor was forced to clean it on his own. Many of the workers have reported odd feelings, strange sensations, and seeing odd things out of the corner of their eye. A cat use to live in the library and its hair would stand on end when it entered certain older portions of the library.
The workers there seem to believe the ghost is of Mr. Brand since he passed away on the premises of the library. Apparently his picture in the library appears to look at you from time to time as well. The nearby picture of Mrs. Brand does not exhibit the same strange behavior. Does Leslie C. Brand still prowl the tower and stairs of his grand mansion? Visit the Brand Library and find out.
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