Located just upstream from where the Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River merge, Mount Washington has been home base to a former mayor, a world-famous yogi and the official witch of Los Angeles County. The Arroyo Seco — which, after all, begins near a place called Devil’s’ Gate — has always been a location known for the offbeat, a neighborhood that was keeping it weird before Portland, Ore., or Austin, Texas, ever was. The origins of its name are unknown, but Mount Washington first entered the history books in 1909, when Robert Marsh built a hotel atop a mountain just a few trolley stops south of the ostrich farms and resorts of South Pasadena and Garvanza. Below the hotel, he plotted lots with spectacular views, lured potential buyers up to the mountain on his short-lived funicular train (its lower station can still be seen at the corner of Marmion Way and Avenue 43) and let the vistas of basin, mountains and sea work their wiles.