If you’ve taken Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line, you may have noticed the neat silhouettes of lions and tigers atop the platform shelters at the El Monte Station. I knew they were a nod to the old Gay’s Lion Farm attraction.
A few weeks ago I drove to El Monte and checked out the station in person (10925 Railroad St., north of Valley Boulevard) rather than for a few seconds out the window of my train as it stopped.
Each of the four shelters has a slightly different piece of art.
Some mix in a movie camera, a microphone on a stand or a director’s chair with megaphone. Animals from the farm were loaned out to Hollywood, including Numa, a performing lion who was in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus.”
A well-worn bench has the years of operation and a ballyhoo quote about the attraction, obviously long gone. In yet another fun touch, paw prints are laid into the concrete.
Artists Victor Henderson and Elizabeth Garrison created the station art in 1996, according to a very readable history of the farm by KCET in 2015, “El Monte’s Wild Past.”