Rockhaven Sanitarium: The Legacy of Agnes Richards

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By Elisa Jordan (2018)

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For decades the mild climate of the Crescenta Valley served as a haven for those seeking mental health care and relief from lung ailments. In 1923, registered nurse Agnes Richards decided it was the perfect place to open a sanitarium, one that would set itself apart from the rest. Rockhaven Sanitarium catered to female residents only and, with few exceptions, exclusively employed women. It was a progressive treatment center that prided itself on treating residents with dignity and respect. The sanitarium’s high ideals and proximity to early Hollywood attracted residents like Billie Burke; Marilyn Monroe’s mother, Gladys; and Clark Gable’s first wife, Josephine Dillon. Join author Elisa Jordan as she explores Rockhaven’s illustrious past.

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