Obscura Society LA: The Strange Life of Glendale's First Family - Atlas Obscura
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Obscura Society LA: The Strange Life of Glendale's First Family

Join us & KCET's Hadley Meares as we explore the fascinating former estate of Glendale’s "king," Leslie C. Brand

Step inside the dream world of Glendale's founder, whose fantastical East Indian-style castle, bizarre cemetery, and lush grounds harken back to an era of opulence and eccentricity in Southern California.

When millionaire Leslie Brand arrived in Southern California in 1894,  he immediately went to work building his kingdom. He bought up all the land and property of Glendale, which was at the time a 300 person orange grove community at the base of the Verdugo mountains. Within ten years, Brand had turned the small town into one of the most valuable properties in all of Southern California.  

In 1904, Brand opened the distinctive gates of his new estate, Miradero, to the SoCal elite. Parties and social engagements were the norm on the beautiful 800 acres of land. But life was far from perfect for the man they called the king of Glendale. 

Today, the estate is a public park which features the newly renovated castle, beautiful Japanese garden, the historic “doctor's house,” and the Brand family cemetery.

Join KCET's Hadley Meares and the Obscura Society LA as we explore this amazing piece of Los Angeles history. We will discover the history and dark past of Leslie Brand by walking the grounds of Brand Park and his estate, Miradero.    

Hadley Meares is a writer for KCET and Curbed, who has made it her mission to discover the unique and odd history of Los Angeles.  


Notes for this adventure: 

- When purchasing tickets, please confirm which tour you are on, Early: 10 am to 11:45 am or Late: 12:15 pm to 2pm.

- This walking tour will last an hour and half to two. Please wear comfortable shoes.

- Be sure to bring water and protection from the sun.

- Part of the ticket proceeds will go towards maintaining this park and others in Glendale.

- Exact meet-up location will be sent out closer to the date.