Preserving Rockhaven Sanatarium – You Can Help!

Rockhaven Sanatarium is best known to Marilyn fans as the place where Marilyn’s mother, Gladys, lived for many years.  Marilyn was able to provide for Gladys’ stay at Rockhaven from the time that she really began to make it as a star and could afford to cover the fees.  She provided for Gladys continued stay there in her will, allowing her mother to live in comfort in a place designed for women with mental illness.

Gladys (right) at Rockhaven with Inez Melson, who became her guardian after Marilyn’s death.

Rockhaven is more than just the place where Marilyn’s mother lived; it was a unique concept that was born of the need to create a place where women suffering with mental illness could be treated with kindness and compassion.  Founded in 1923 by a psychiatric nurse by the name of Agnes Richards, Rockhaven was a rare sanatarium owned and run by women, for women.

The gates at Rockhaven today.

The beautiful grounds.


After decades of treating and caring for women like Gladys, Rockhaven closed in 2006 and has since been in danger of destruction.  The historic importance of the buildings and the stories of the women who founded it, worked there, and lived there are all in danger of being lost to time.


Immortal Marilyn is proud to support the work of Friends of Rockhaven, a group dedicated to preserving the buildings and their history.  As part of our support, we are calling on all of our members to join us in a letter-writing petition campaign to the city of Glendale asking them to restore and protect Rockhaven as a place of historical importance.

This is where you come in!  Immortal Marilyn is preparing a letter that you can print off, sign, and send off to City Hall to lend your voice to the effort to save Rockhaven.  All it takes is your signature and a stamp to help us let the Mayor and the city council know that we believe this is a place that deserves to be preserved for future generations.

Download the letter from Google docs here, or contact us for a copy.  Simply fill it out with your name, sign in, and mail it to the address on the letter!

You can visit the Friends of Rockhaven website to learn more about who they are and their work, and you can follow them on Facebook to keep up on the latest news!

Please help us in this important effort to save a historic place!!