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Route 66 in La Verne, California
Route 66 in Southern California
For the traveler of Route 66 you are on the last leg when you descend the San Bernardino mountains into the Inland Empire of Southern California. The drive is easy now, level and in another 35 miles you will start to feel the cooler weather of the Pacific Ocean.
One of the first cities on the eastern edge of LA County is La Verne. La Verne is just north of the LA County Fairgrounds and I am sure many traveled Route 66 to get to the Fair in September before there were freeways.
Foothill Boulevard is Route 66 through La Verne. The route is 7 miles straight through the middle of the city which was incorporated in 1887 as Lordsburg by land speculator, Wilson Lord. The name was changed after Wilson Lord died. This photo scrapbook will take you down Route66 starting on the east end of La Verne to the west end.
Route 66 starts in La Verne at Williams Ave. on the east to Canyon Park and Baseline on the west, near the spot where the stainless steel restaurant is. (Click the dots to get info bubbles.)
The V shape wedge at the top of the map was all planted with citrus up to the mountains, the last of it in the area of Lowell Brandt Park, was divided into streets and homes in the mid nineties.
Route 66 California
The whole stretch of Foothill has been redeveloped in this city and only a couple of buildings still stand that would have been part of the traveler's sights when the route 66 was new.
Traveling it today you will find a tree lined boulevard with condos and shopping divisions.
La Verne has decided not to actively commemorate Route 66 so you will not see many signs like in Glendora the city next door, to the west. La Verne has pretty much cleared the road and it looks well established in the later part of the 20th century. La Verne has been my home since 1984 and I can see what may have been. There is an Old Town La Verne, which is along D Street about a half mile from Foothill. There you will see turn of the century buildings and commemoration of the orange grove city it used to be.
Old Town La Verne is home to La Verne University, a popular private college. It is a small college situated on old town city blocks and blends in with the neighborhood. The La Verne University is a mile from Route 66.
East end of Route 66 in La Verne, CA.
The official website. City of La Verne, CA.
One aspect of La Verne that many enjoy is the political stability of the city.
East End Of La Verne, CA - Route66 in La Verne
At Gary and Foothill past the Jack in the Box is the oldest looking building in the area on Foothill. Also is a good view of the San Gabriel Mountains with the La Verne "L".
This is Pomona a block from the La Verne city border.
As you travel down Foothill Blvd.look for the original native California Live Oak tree. Before the citrus groves this tree dominated the La Verne area.
First north/south street in La Verne
The first street in La Verne coming up after the landscaping place is Williams Ave. A big citrus grove lined Foothill during the late twenties owned by the Williams family on the north side. When the road was designated Route 66 the family started with a citrus stand and then expanded to Tom's Cafe.
The property was divided and sold in the sixties but this building remains. The original Tom's Cafe stained glass windows were retained for this popular Mexican eatery established in the sixties.
A photo appearing in the local newspaper shows a double window where the side door is now. The window invited travelers in to a comfortable family eatery. The original family farmhouse is north on Williams Ave.
The California Live Oak pictured above is behind the La Paloma sign.
a/o Summer 2014 the La Paloma got a new coat of adobe brown paint.
Orange groves lined the Boulevard
The city has preserved a small orange grove at Heritage Park. A California live oak that is endemic to the area is here. A creek runs through the park. It is retained by concrete. Orange groves would have been seen from Foothill all the way to Golden Hills Rd. My house stands near the Los Angeles National Forest on an old orange grove ranch along with other tract homes.
Postcards From the Past by Sherry VenegasClick thumbnail to view full-size
Old growth live oak tree. There are others in the foothills above this location. Some were moved and preserved by the builders of tract homes that came in the eigthies and later. More foothill pictures are at Charlie and Barkley: Dogs of Suburbia. If you like start at Dog Walks for the info on La Verne.
The knoll made it visible from the boulevard
The Mansion is still the grandest house in town and is situated on a knoll about a mile from Route 66. The traveler would have seen the house above the orange groves. At 10,000 square feet it was built for entertaining with indoor pond under a glass atrium and a two story high living room with views facing the mountains. Actors and the rich and famous are said to be entertained in this impressive house.
In 1986 the Heritage Foundation of La Verne offered tours and it is appointed with wood trim, stairs and windows of the early 20th century. A patio setting with concrete banisters line the north side of the house. The front of the house faces the San Gabriel Mountains. The high windows you see on the left is the beautiful living room. The two small windows on the second story seen at the corner of the house is an open loft appointed with wood banisters, stairs and walls with a cozy view of the living room below. A doorway leads to a castle like stairway to the atrium below.
The mansion had serious repairing in the early eighties but not much has been heard about it since. By the early nineties it was totally hemmed in with large tract homes and a new elementary school. The school is to the west of a creek that runs past the house. This picture is taken near the school grounds.
West End of La Verne
Half mile west of the Mansion is a house still standing from the early 20th century. It is restaurant at the corner of Moreno and Foothill and a couple of blocks from the Hormel House (the food processing family). That house faces a 20 foot wall for the 210 freeway. It probably had a beautiful lawn facing Foothill at one time.
A glimpse of the living room, dining room and kitchen at an antique sale confirmed that this is a lovely example of Spanish Mediterranean.
Department of Water of Power
In the 20's and 30's this was orange grove country. By the 40's the trees started to fade and they were being bulldozed for tract homes.
Just south of the boulevard a half mile on Moreno, the year 1940, brought the opening of a water processing plant belonging to the Department of Water and Power. This concrete structure is an Art Deco gem and is still processing water for the area. Designed by Daniel Elliot of reinforced concrete it is a substation of a 392 mile aqueduct.
I am interested in Art Deco and got lost in taking pictures from outside the fences. Before I even knew it the guard was asking me, "Can I help you?"
West end of La Verne, CA. Route 66. Looks pretty much like the East end. The city has lined the whole route with trees.
Stainless Steel Denny's
The D's photo is in the intro.
At the west border is the stainless steel Denny's Restaurant with a Route 66 sign. Around 2014 this diner has become a D's Restaurant with Greek inspired American menu items. It has been immensely popular since.
A view of the mountains is behind it. The peak behind the first ridge is Mt. Baldy. A glimpse of the old route visible for a few yards. The contractor reused the very tall palms from the shuttered drive-in fast food place that used to be on this location.
If you should take a Route 66 road trip I hope this will make your trip through La Verne a little more enjoyable.
Aug. 2010 Update
At this spot the mountains are no longer visible from the road. A new preschool has been built in the big chunky style that is popular in the 21st century.
How About You
Have you enjoyed traveling on Route 66?
Driving Route 66
Winter in La Verne
A rare dusting of snow on the foothills above Route 66 in La Verne.
Feb. 10, 2010. The el is nicely outlined.
One of Ten Best Cities for Families
For the year 2010 La Verne, CA was picked 10 Best Towns for Families: 2010, by Family Circle Magazine.
We are very proud of our town and excited about this wonderful designation.
© 2009 Sherry Venegas