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Carson Local History Information
Claremont Local History Information

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Scripps College, one of the Claremont Colleges, c. 1990s

Located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains along the eastern rim of Los Angeles County, Claremont has been called by some "a bit of New England with a sombrero." For hundreds of years, Serrano Indians made their homes on its soil, only to be driven out by the Spanish missionaries, Mexican ranchers, and American settlers who put down roots there during the 1800s. The arrival of the railroad late in the century signaled the eventual departure of grazing cattle and herds of sheep meandering through clumps of sagebrush. Land developers invented Claremont in the 1880s, assuming the need for a town at its specific location along the gleaming tracks of the Santa Fe Railroad's newly opened Chicago to Los Angeles route.

Map of Claremont townsite in real estate brochure, 1888

A real estate bust threatened the town's future, but also led to the relocation of Pomona College to the unused Claremont Hotel. With a handful of professors committed to the college and its community, Claremont grew stronger. A blossoming citrus industry provided additional inhabitants and income and the town would eventually benefit from its role as a station on a passenger rail line heading into Los Angeles. As the twentieth century reached middle age, the railway shut down and the citrus groves gradually vanished. But Pomona College gave birth to five sister colleges during the 1900s, further solidifying the educational focus of the community, and Claremont grew larger and more populous after World War II, helped by new highways and industrial and residential growth in the greater Los Angeles area.

Website Links:

Original Santa Fe Depot in Claremont, c. 1889

Print Sources:

  • Citizens National Bank, Claremont, California. Claremont ... Then and Now. Claremont, CA: 1954.
  • Claremont, Profile of a City. Claremont, CA: League of Women Voters of Claremont, 1994.
  • The Historical Volume and Reference Works: Los Angeles County. Arlington, CA: Historical Publishers, 1962-65.
  • Wright, Judy. Claremont: A Pictorial History. Claremont, CA: Claremont Historic Resources Center, 1999.
  • Pictorial Memories of Southern California's Inland Valley. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Marceline: Heritage House Publishing, 1995.
  • Drake, Frances Bernard. Two Men and an Idea: Robert Bernard with James Blaisdell, Partners in Pioneering the Group Plan of the Claremont Colleges. Claremont, CA: Claremont University Center, 1996.

College Heights Orange and Lemon Association packing house, c. 1920

Places to Visit:

    Claremont Heritage Historical Society
    590 W. Bonita Avenue
    Claremont, CA 91711
    (909) 621-0848

Images:

  • Scripps College, one of the Claremont Colleges, c. 1990s
    [Courtesy of Claremont Heritage Historical Society]
  • Map of Claremont townsite in real estate brochure, 1888
    [Courtesy of Claremont Heritage Historical Society]
  • Original Santa Fe Depot in Claremont, c. 1889
    [Courtesy of Claremont Heritage Historical Society]
  • College Heights Orange and Lemon Association packing house, c. 1920
    [Courtesy of Claremont Heritage Historical Society]
  • The Claremont High School building, built in 1912. Photographed in 1985.
    [Courtesy of Claremont Heritage Historical Society]
  • Claremont residence, 1913
    [County of Los Angeles Public Library]
  • Claremont Library, 1930
    [County of Los Angeles Public Library]
  • The sign in front of the Claremont Colleges, 2000
    [County of Los Angeles Public Library]
The Claremont High School building, built in 1912. Photographed in 1985.
Claremont residence, 1913

Claremont Library, 1930        The sign in front of the Claremont Colleges, 2000

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