Intrigue and curiosity surround the 126-year-old Elysian Park lamppost at the eastern entrance, capturing the imagination of readers like Heather Sabin, who wondered, ‘What the heck is that thing?’ This tall, weathered stone pillar, crowned by an intricate framework, has sparked numerous questions about its origin and purpose.

The short answer: It’s a remnant of the Victorian era—a once-elaborate lamppost and monument that graced the Fremont Gate, the primary entrance to Elysian Park in the late 1890s. During this period, the entrance was undergoing extensive renovations, including the addition of a sidewalk, landscaping adorned with bluegrass and flowers, and the construction of a nearby bandstand.

At the heart of this transformation stood the “electric light tower,” often referred to as a monument, crafted from durable granite and sandstone. Its regal presence was further accentuated by seven electric lights and an American eagle with an impressive four-foot wingspan. The base bore four tablets, inscribed with the words “Elysian Park” on one side and “Fremont Gate” on the other. In honor of John Charles Frémont’s widow’s request, the entrance was renamed Fremont Gate.

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