The Historical Society of Pomona Valley

The Historical Society of Pomona Valley The Historical Society of Pomona Valley, Inc. was organized on March 2, 1916, and now protects, promotes, and preserves the history of the Pomona Valley in Southern California.
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was organized on March 2, 1916 in the committee room of the Pomona Public Library with a charter membership of 28. The organization came as a result of the vision and inspiration of Mrs. J.W. Wilkinson, who recognized the importance of the history connected with the lives of the early settlers of this valley and the distressing lack of recorded data concerning these people. Miss Sarah Jacobus, the Librarian, was the driving force behind the creation of the Society. The Society set about collecting and preserving these important documents and photos. The Society quickly gathered a vast collection of manuscripts, documents, papers, maps, books, and photos which were placed in the Pomona Public Library under the protection of the Librarian who was also the Curator of the Society. The materials were made available for reference. Today, these materials are still available in the Special Collections section. In the early years the Society held public meetings at which noted individuals were invited as speakers. Once each year a dinner meeting, now our Annual Meeting, was the social event of the year for members and their friends. The Society maintained a courtesy booth at the Los Angeles County Fair with members always being present to extend greetings. Today the Society continues to be very much a part of the Fair with a booth in Heritage Farms providing activities for children. In the 1930's and 40's, each year the Society hosted a tour of the various historic spots in Southern California. Descriptive data was provided concerning the places visited. The Society's albums contain many photos of the annual tours. In 1936 the Society sponsored an historical pageant in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Fair depicting the life for one hundred years in the Pomona Valley. The pageant was performed in the grandstand with all of the Pomona Valley communities participating. Markers placed by the Society at historic sites can be seen today, the most significant being the monument in Ganesha Park honoring the memory of the three original owners of Rancho San Jose-Ygnacio Palomares, Ricardo Vejar and Luis Arenas- which was placed on Oct 13, 1934. The first major restoration project undertaken by the Society was that of the Adobe de Palomares in the late 1930's. The Society did a great deal of research and carefully drew plans so that the home would stand authentically restored as the "House of Hospitality" of by-gone days. The plans are available for viewing in the Museum. The restored and authentically furnished home was dedicated on April 6, 1940. the grandson of Ygnacio Palomares, Don Porfirio Palomares, and his wife were the first resident host and hostess. During the first year 13,500 visitors from 46 states and 8 foreign countries toured the Adobe. In 1966 the Historical Society purchased the Phillips Mansion and, after minor restoration opened it to the public in 1974. Since the 1990 earthquake the Mansion has been closed and in the process of restoration. The Society purchased La Casa Primera and restored it, in a joint effort with the City of Pomona in 1973. In 1975 the Pomona Unified School District deeded the Barbara Greenwood Kindergarten to the Society. The Kindergarten was moved to the Casa Primera property and was enjoyed as a field trip for Pomona kindergarten students for many years. In 2005 the building was completely restored through a grant obtained by the City. In 2004 the Historical Society was given the Currier Ranch House by the City of Industry, who also paid for the cost of relocation. The building was relocated to the Phillips Mansion property and almost immediately was the setting for the Tobe Hooper film The Mortuary. In October of 2004 the Society conducted a Haunted Mansion with a thousand people touring the Mansion and the event generating $8,000 profit and a lot of interest in the history. The Society will again conduct a Haunted Mansion in the Phillips in October with a Victorian theme of premature burial. In 2005 the Historical Society was given the Pomona Ebell Club Building and in April opened the Pomona Museum of History. The Ebell Building has allowed the Society to support the museum and has generated funds for the maintenance, restoration, and preservation of the Ebell and for the other sites. The history of the Historical Society includes the preservation of many beautiful old buildings. Most recently the City approved the plans for the adaptive re-use of the Hugues Winery for which the Society applied for single Historic Landmark status in 2003. The Society is very proud of our work and of our many accomplishments. Of the many advantages of being an active part of the Historical Society, the greatest advantage, as has been true throughout the ninety years of the existence of the Society, is the association with the wonderful people who are involved. The Society is made up of people of vision, dedication, commitment, passion, tenacity, energy, and creativity. We welcome all to become an active part of the Society and to share our rich and productive history.

Operating as usual

Hello again, history buffs. So many folks enjoyed learning about Kathleen and Thomas Wing, so this week we’d like to sha...
04/23/2021

Hello again, history buffs. So many folks enjoyed learning about Kathleen and Thomas Wing, so this week we’d like to share their parents’ immigration stories. Through them we can learn much about the history of Asian Americans, California, and immigration to the U.S. in general. Kathleen Kong’s parents immigrated to California from China in the late 19th and early 20th century, as did Thomas Wing’s. They came to America shortly after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 forbade further immigration of Chinese laborers, and anti-Chinese sentiment was high. Their families faced prejudice and discrimination. They continued to work tirelessly, however, and gave their children and families social mobility.

Read more on our blog at https://www.pomonahistorical.org/post/the-wing-family-s-ancestors-an-immigration-story

For this week’s Found in Collections Friday, we’d like to share with you the story of the Wing family. Thomas Wing and K...
04/02/2021

For this week’s Found in Collections Friday, we’d like to share with you the story of the Wing family. Thomas Wing and Kathleen Kong Wing were both prominent community members in an era in which many minorities were barred from public service. Dr. Wing was a ham radio enthusiast and techie in general who pioneered the use of pager technology. His wife Kathleen, whom he called Cinderella, worked with him tirelessly. They were a real Pomona Valley power couple!

For more information and photos, check out our blog entry at https://www.pomonahistorical.org/post/found-in-collections-friday-the-wings.

The job of a historical society is to keep history for its community, all of it. The Pomona Valley has been the home of ...
04/01/2021

The job of a historical society is to keep history for its community, all of it. The Pomona Valley has been the home of a multi-ethnic community since the day the Vejars and the Palomares stepped into the valley. Indigenous peoples, Mexicans, Spaniards, Europeans, African Americans, Asians, Muslims, and more have made their lives here, raised their families, and worked hard. All of them contributed to the growth of this city. All of them are our history.

It is easy to talk about the "good old days," but have we done ourselves a disservice when we don't remember the unfairness, the cruelty, the poverty? History is supposed to teach us so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the past. While we want to commemorate the beautiful parts of history, we must look unblinkingly at the parts that weren't good. As citizens of Pomona, we cannot change the past, but we can change the future. We can use our history to learn how to treat everyone fairly. As we move forward, the Historical Society of Pomona Valley will do its best to provide all of you a clear-eyed view of our history to do just that.

03/30/2021

We're pleased to share this event hosted by Dr. Jose Calderon of the Latino and Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley. Dr. Genevieve Carpio is a terrific presenter and was a longtime volunteer for HSPV!

"You are invited to a presentation by Genevieve Carpio, a former Pomona College student, who is now an Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles this Wednesday, March 31 at 3 PM. The presentation, part of Professor Jose Calderon’s Rural and Social Movements class, can be accessed through the zoom link here: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/86987777594

Professor Carpio is the author of the renowned book: Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race. This book focuses on how restrictions of free movement and settlement catalyzed racial formation in the Inland Empire and how policies (such as bike ordinances, immigration policy, incarceration, traffic checkpoints, and Route 66 heritage became part of how local power authorities constructed racial hierarchies that allowed some people to move freely while placing limits on the mobility of others (primarily people of color).


Genevieve's focus on new people-centered "modes of moving" based on transit equity and social justice, based on accessibility, inclusivity, and process, are examples that connect to new pedagogical and democratic approaches of engagement that serve excluded communities. In addition to presenting on these topics, Professor Carpio will speak to her journey in growing up in the city of Pomona, working on a senior thesis about racial segregation in Pomona, obtaining a B. A. from Pomona College, a Postdoctoral Fellow award from Yale University, and a doctorate from USC. Professor Carpio is the recipient of two Ford Foundation Fellowships, the Hellman Fellowship, and the UCLA Faculty Career Development Award. She has also received a USC Provost Fellowship and recognition as PAGE Fellow by Imagining America, a consortium of universities dedicated to public engagement.

After Professor Carpio’s presentation, a group of students will use their creativity in responding, in asking questions, and in drawing out comments."

Thank you to everyone who attended History at the Drive In this Sunday, and thank you to Renee Barbee of La Nueva Voz, P...
03/10/2021

Thank you to everyone who attended History at the Drive In this Sunday, and thank you to Renee Barbee of La Nueva Voz, Pomona for these beautiful photos!

If you haven’t seen the African American Advisory Alliance - Pomona page, please check it out! They’re sharing trivia an...
02/26/2021

If you haven’t seen the African American Advisory Alliance - Pomona page, please check it out! They’re sharing trivia and highlights from African American history, plus entries from local students in the “I am Black History” project.

Brooklyn (15) - I Am Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was an American trumpeter, songwriter, and vocalist among the most influential figures in jazz. Born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Louis’s career began in 1919. During his time as a musician, he was awarded many accolades including three Grammy Award nominations. He was mainly known for his recognizable rich, gravelly voice and for being one of the first popular African American entertainers to “cross-over” to wide popularity with white (and international) audiences. His genre of music ranged from jazz to swing but later became apart of popular music in general. Louis passed away on July 6, 1971, in Corona, New York, NY; and was given the honor of being inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2017.

#bemore #bemorepomona #iamblackhistory #louisarmstrong

This weekend is our members-only Annual Meeting. We'll enjoy presentations on the Fox Theatre & the Ebell Club and an on...
02/24/2021

This weekend is our members-only Annual Meeting. We'll enjoy presentations on the Fox Theatre & the Ebell Club and an online auction. Would you like to join us? Visit our membership page at https://www.pomonahistorical.org/membership. HSPV members get advance notice of upcoming events, access to members-only events, and discounts on event tickets!

This weekend is our members-only Annual Meeting. We'll enjoy presentations on the Fox Theatre & the Ebell Club and an online auction. Would you like to join us? Visit our membership page at https://www.pomonahistorical.org/membership. HSPV members get advance notice of upcoming events, access to members-only events, and discounts on event tickets!

We're in the news! This afternoon, CBS visited the Phillips Mansion to interview HSPV President Deborah Clifford about t...
02/18/2021

We're in the news! This afternoon, CBS visited the Phillips Mansion to interview HSPV President Deborah Clifford about the Osgoodby Bell.

The interview will air on Channel 9 news at 4pm and Ch. 2 at 5pm and 6pm.

The attached photos are courtesy of Susie Russell-Wagner, descendent of the bell's creator and tireless advocate for this priceless artifact of early Pomona history.

Hey history buffs, it’s time for Found in Collections Friday! We are truly grateful to have received these items, artifa...
02/13/2021

Hey history buffs, it’s time for Found in Collections Friday! We are truly grateful to have received these items, artifacts from one of Pomona’s early pioneer families, the Washingtons.

In 1887, James and his wife Iona left Texas for California. Formerly enslaved, they had wished to move to Africa but Iona’s health problems made the six month journey by boat dangerous. Instead, they went by “steaming iron horse” west to Pomona. They brought with them 10 children and grandchildren, including Nancy Washington, who would later relay this story.

Before they could find a home, they lived in a tent in the vineyard of Tom Holliday, a friend of James’s, located at Park and Grand Streets. By 1896, the family had found their home at what would eventually be 1390 S. Main St. (Sadly, their home is no longer standing.) James began working in the vineyard, but city directories show that James later worked as a miner. The family attended the First Methodist Church (located at Third and Gordon Streets) until Alfred Baldridge established the African Methodist Church at the corner of 10th and Main (around 1895).

Ms. Washington would later recount happy years in Pomona, but they also faced racism and terrorism. Not long after the Washingtons had arrived, another African American family saw their house burnt down just as they were preparing to move in. In spite of this and other attacks, African Americans continued to move to area and establish homes and businesses. It would take a few more years for Pomona’s African American community to grow in earnest, but they remained an integral part of the Pomona Valley.

We are so fortunate to have these items from one of Pomona’s earliest pioneer families, especially since they are one of the earliest African American families to arrive. Unfortunately, the stories of Pomona’s African Americans and other minority communities have often been hidden and lost, but this only makes research and education more important. This February, let us remember that every month is in fact Black history month. Here’s to all of the hidden histories of our important community members, just waiting to be shared.

Great news! The Pomona City Council voted this evening to keep the Masonic Temple on the City’s Register of Historic Lan...
02/02/2021

Great news! The Pomona City Council voted this evening to keep the Masonic Temple on the City’s Register of Historic Landmarks.

This does not mean that the building cannot be altered, only that proposed plans will be subject to review by the Historic Preservation Commission to ensure that any changes preserve the building’s historic integrity. We will look forward to learning more about plans for adaptive reuse of this beautiful building.

We are truly grateful for those of you who contacted City Council and made the case for designation. Thank you, everyone. We could not have done this without you.

Great news! The Pomona City Council voted this evening to keep the Masonic Temple on the City’s Register of Historic Landmarks.

This does not mean that the building cannot be altered, only that proposed plans will be subject to review by the Historic Preservation Commission to ensure that any changes preserve the building’s historic integrity. We will look forward to learning more about plans for adaptive reuse of this beautiful building.

We are truly grateful for those of you who contacted City Council and made the case for designation. Thank you, everyone. We could not have done this without you.

UPDATE: City Council voted to maintain the Masonic Temple’s historic designation. Thank you to everyone for your support...
01/31/2021

UPDATE: City Council voted to maintain the Masonic Temple’s historic designation. Thank you to everyone for your support!

ACTION ALERT! Protect the Masonic Temple!
City Council Meeting Monday, February 1 @ 7pm

Historic preservation needs you. This Monday, Pomona's City Council will consider an application from the property owner to remove the historic landmark designation from the Pomona Masonic Temple at 395 S. Thomas Street. We need your support to make sure this doesn't happen.

This iconic part of Downtown Pomona was built in 1909, designed by none other than preeminent Pomona architect Ferdinand Davis. Davis's work helped define early Pomona, but many of his other original buildings have been lost or have suffered significant damage or alterations. Here are just a few notable examples of his work:
*City Stables, Monterey Ave.
*Trinity Methodist Church, Gibbs St.
*Pomona First National Bank, corner of 2nd and Main.
*Greek Amphitheater of Ganesha Park.
*Pomona Ebell Clubhouse, Holt Ave.
*A. T. Currier mansion, now located behind the Phillips Mansion
*Barbara Greenwood Kindergarten (formerly part of Central School, then San Antonio, then Arroyo)

The City Stables are collapsing, Trinity Church was demolished, Pomona First National was also demolished, and the Greek Amphitheater is gone. Keeping the Masonic Temple on Pomona's Register of Historic Landmarks will ensure that the exterior features of the historic Masonic Temple are protected and this classic symbol of Downtown Pomona will receive the respect it deserves.

We must stand up for this beautiful building and important part of Pomona history. The City Council is very aware of the preservation community, but we need to make our voices heard to be most effective.

You can attend Monday night's City Council meeting on Zoom with this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85773677075?pwd=ZkZXZmpNbCt4OUlsTFRIODk3cTlxZz09 (Passcode: 331842). You can raise your hand or comment during the meeting to speak for up to three minutes. You can also submit a comment (no more than 200 words) to be read aloud by emailing the City Clerk at [email protected] no later than 6pm on Monday, February 3. State that you want to comment on agenda item #19. Ask the Council to accept staff's recommendation to deny the request to remove the Masonic Temple's landmark designation and protection. You can see instructions and the agenda by clicking here:https://mcusercontent.com/6b2e115138a27a391944fc545/files/4075048a-5c7c-42d0-9e9c-1ce78bcaf05a/City_Council_Agenda_Feb_1st_2021.pdf

We are counting on you to help protect the Masonic Lodge!

We at HSPV are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chief Ernie Salas of the Kizh-Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indian...
01/22/2021

We at HSPV are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chief Ernie Salas of the Kizh-Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians and his beloved wife Virginia.

For time immemorial, long before the Workman family settled the Homestead in 1842, the site was part of the domain of the indigenous people, whose village of Awigna was nearby. While it was assumed by many that they had vanished, their descendants are still here. A vital figure who fought tirelessly to honor and maintain traditions, and seek recognition by all forms of government has died. Ernie Salas, chief of the Kizh-Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians, passed away this week at the age of 88, just a few days after the passing of his beloved wife, Virginia. Chief Ernie’s dedication and devotion to his tribe, his insistence on the primacy of documentation of tribal history and cultural practices and of education, and his engaging of people of all walks of life in the understanding of the Kizh and their traditions and current activities, were essential in establishing greater recognition of the tribe. One such way was through a relationship with the Homestead that included sharing the story and culture of the tribe at special events, and in the Native Garden the tribe helped us to create. We are saddened to hear of the passing of Chief Ernie and Virginia and extend our sincerest condolences to their family and to the tribe, who have lost their spiritual leader, but gained so much from his continual commitment to the preservation and perpetuation of the tribe’s culture and educational mission.

In many cultures there is a celebration of light and hope and joy in the darkest part of the year. We decorate, we gathe...
12/24/2020

In many cultures there is a celebration of light and hope and joy in the darkest part of the year. We decorate, we gather family together for a meal, and we give gifts. This year I took no shortcuts in decorating the yard or decorating the tree. I am going to wrap packages instead of using gift bags and I am making real bows to boot. I am even sending Christmas cards for the first time in 30 years. I am determined to make my own island of normal, even though no family will be visiting, and I won’t be cooking for a big group.
So this December my wish for you is that you and yours celebrate this holiday whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or a quiet day in your own island of normal so that we can enter 2021 with the strength and the focus to make things better.
Enjoy some holiday pics from our archive.


Sincerely,
Deborah A. Clifford, President
Historical Society of Pomona Valley

It is with deep sadness that I share that long time member, writer, and supporter of HSPV Bob Smith has passed away. He ...
12/10/2020

It is with deep sadness that I share that long time member, writer, and supporter of HSPV Bob Smith has passed away. He was born in Los Angeles in September of 1930. He married Gwen Shockley in Pomona in 1952 and is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. He was a retired teacher of Art and Photography at Chaffey College, as well as a graphic artist known for his drawings of Claremont buildings. He wrote several books including “Redefining the Inland Valley: Illustrated History and Driving Tours” and “The Seven Lost Ranchos of Our Inland Valley: A Coloring Book and Local History”. His kindness, his sense of humor, and his stories will all be missed.

Deborah Clifford, HSPV President

Address

585 E Holt Ave
Pomona, CA
91767

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Hi, I am inquiring about the Norco Powerhouse. I need information regarding the plans of the building. Is there anyone that can assist me?
Hi THSoPV. A merely suggestion. How about considering holding the Spada Cemetery tour on November 2nd, All Souls Day.