| City of Sierra Madre is located in the Foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains below southern edge of the Angeles National Forest, Pasadena and Altadena are to its west, with Arcadia to its south and east. Sierra Madre is known as "Wistaria City", and its city seal is decorated with a drawing of the now widely known 500-foot vine. It is also called the "Village of the Foothills" and was an All-American City in 2007. Sierra Madre is a small unique friendly village with storefronts reminiscent of the 1920's and 1930's, it is well known as a haven for artists, poets, and creative people who enjoy a variety of home styles including California Bungalow, Victorian, Spanish, Ranch and Traditional. Locals and visitors can be found nightly strolling through town, visiting the many coffee shops, restaurants and sidewalk cafes, which often feature local musicians.|
|Brief History and Unique Culture|
The city is historically linked to the old mountain resorts of the San Gabriel Mountains and Valley. The Sierra Madre Villa Hotel was a pioneer of summer resorts that populated the San Gabriel Valley in the late-19th century. The municipality also operated and maintained the landmark "Lizzie's Trail" inn at the head of Old Mount Wilson Trail. In 1908, first Mt. Wilson Trail Race, the race was discontinued during WWII and reestablished in 1966.
The town is also home to the only remaining volunteer fire department in the Greater Los Angeles area and has no traffic signals within its town limits. In 1928, Gordon MacMillan was inaugurated as first Chief of Police, the beginning of the city's police system as we know it today. With the appointment of former Pasadena Police Department Cmdr. Marilyn Diaz as Police Chief on March 14, 2006, the Sierra Madre Police Department became the first municipal police department in Los Angeles County to have a female Chief. As reported by KCAL television in 2006, there were 17 sworn members of the Sierra Madre Police Department.
Downtown Sierra Madre has small restaurant and shops. There is also a historic company that makes gourmet and specialty olives, jams, jellies, and syrups (sold to the public) from its own citrus groves. The company, E. Waldo Ward and Son, was founded over 120 years ago, when most of Sierra Madre was mainly agricultural in its zoning; the first Sevilla orange trees in the US were planted on the grounds (now, due to re-zoning, the original trees are on private property, however the Ward family still owns 3 acres of oranges at 273 East Highland Avenue as well as having a barn.)
In the northern and northeastern portions of the city are the Lower and Upper Sierra Madre Canyons. These small communities are noted for their narrow and winding roads, lush vegetation, views of the San Gabriel Valley, and small bungalows or cabins. Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park has these resources and hiking trail entrances are available to the public: Sierra Madre Wilderness Trail, Live Oak Nature Trail, and Canyon View Nature Trail. The park itself has a Native Botanical Area and picnic area barbecues and fire rings.
Sierra Madre hosts the 4th of July Parade every year and the city is known for its annual Wistaria Festival, which celebrates its 114 year old, 1 acre Chinese wisteria vine. The annual festival is the one day a year the 115-year-old vine on a private property can be viewed.
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