About Glendora California
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 774 ft (236 m). Population 50,073 (2010).
Time zone: Pacific (MST): UTC minus 8 hours. Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7).
Glendora is a city located on the 1926 and 1933 alignment of Route 66 in Los Angeles County in southern California on the San Gabriel Mountains' foothills; it is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. (Map of Glendora).
A view of Glendora from South Hills, looking northwest:
The History of the city of Glendora, California
This part of California has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. The Spanish explored the area in the 1600s and met the "Tongva" natives, which they called Gabrielino or Gabrieleño (after the San Gabriel Arcángel Mission that they established nearby in 1771).
The Mission owned a vast area of land which after Mexico became independent from Spain in 1821, was carved up and granted to local citizens.
The Mexican Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted part of this land in 1837 to Ygnacio Palomares and to Ricardo Vejar who formed the 15,000 acre "Rancho San José" which covered what is nowadays San Dimas, Covina, Walnut, Azusa, Glendora, La Verne, Claremont and Pomona.
After Mexico lost California to the US during 1846-48 war, it became a state in 1850 and following the death of Palomares (1864) and Vejar's bankruptcy, the land was sold to other investors like George Whitcomb, a wealthy Illinois business man.
Two former Civil War soldiers also settled there in 1874, John Bender and Bryant Cullen, staking their homesteads.
In the meantime, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, linked the line that crossed the U.S from the Mississippi River to a new line built in 1887 from San Bernardino across the San Gabriel Valley and into Los Angeles.
The area was developed by the San Jose Ranch Company in 1887, setting up a station there and changing its name to San Dimas after the local Canyon, north of the tracks.
Whitcomb developed the townsite as an agricultural community, which by the early 1900s had become a center of the citrus industry.
The Name: Glendora
George Whitcomb created the name by blending the word "Glen" (a long deep valley) with his wife's name "Leadora" (Leadora Bennett Whitcomb), which is a Greek name "Eleodora" meaning "she who came from the Sun".
The USGS survey along the Santa Fe railroad of 1915 says the following about the town and its surroundings: "... From Glendora to Azusa and in a wide area on the south are numerous orange groves and other orchards, most of them irrigated by canals from San Gabriel River, which comes out of a Large canvon a few miles to the northwest. Pumping plants also add to the supplyfor there is considerable water in the sand and gravel under the plain. Near Azusa the railway is within a mile of the foot of the steep southern front of the San Gabriel Mountains, which has been followed all the way west from the mouth of Cajon Canyon and continues to Los Angeles..".
National Old Trails Highway (N.O.T.) in Glendora
By 1915, use of the automobile had grown greatly and the National Old Trails (N.O.T.) Association had been formed to promote a highway link between Los Angeles and New York. In California, Arizona and New Mexico the road was built running close to the Santa Fe railway. In 1912 map by the Automobile Club of Southern California published a map which shows the highway running from through Glendora, crossing the tracks there (28 mi.) and then going throughAzusa (26 mi. from LA), where it crossed the S. Fe railroad again.
1926: Route 66 in Glendora
In 1926 Route 66 was created and it was aligned using the N.O.T. highway in California. It ran along Foothill Blvd. into Glendora. When Route 66 was widened into a four lane highway in 1933, the new road (Alosta Ave.) was built south of the town, with a straighter course (Read more below) into Azusa.
The "Guide to the Golden State" written by the WPA in 1939, described the Glendora section of Route 66 as follows:
"GLENDORA, 25.9 m. (776 alt., 2,761 pop.) another citrus-packing community, was founded in 1887 by George Whitcomb, a Chicago manufacturer, who coined the name from the word "glen" and his wife's name, "Ledora." The first commercial orange grove here, planted by John Cook in 1866, is still productive."
The 1940s Caltrans road map shows Azusa and Glendora as separate towns, with an open area between them. A few years later in 1946, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse rode the whole of Route 66 and wrote his "...Guide Book to Highway 66" in which he points out that the towns here "... are so close together as to be practically indistinguishable from each other..." adding "More towns you pass through include LA VERNE at 336 mi., GLENDORA, 241 mi.; AZUSA, 343 mi...." and did not add any further details.
The expansion of Los Angeles soon included Glendora, and the growing freeway system after the 1950s moved traffic away from Route 66 which was bypassed in 1964. Glendora incorporated as a city in 1911.
Where to Stay in, at Glendora
Lodging near the City
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>> Check out the RV campground near Glendora, in Pomona
The Weather in Glendora
The weather in Glendora is warm Mediterranean (Continental Mediterranean climate), which is semi-arid, it has hot and dry summers with cool - chilly winters.
The town has an average of 289 sunny days yearly. During fall (autumn) the strong hot and dry Santa Ana wind blows from the desert, through Cajon Pass increasing the risk of wildfires the San Gabriel Mountain foothill communities.
During summer the average high is 90°F (32°C) and the average low is 62°F (17°C).
During winter, the average high (Jan) is around 68°F (20°C) and the average low is 43°F (6°C). The peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains receive plent of snow, but none falls on Route 66 in Glendora.
Rainfall averages 18.2 in. per year (461 mm), with the period May to September being the driest one with less than 0.3 in. monthly (8.4 mm) and mostly 0.01 in (0.3 mm).
Glendora is located very close to the Pacific Ocean and well beyond the Rocky Montains (western limit for tornados) so there is no risk of tornados in town.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
The "Colby Fire" in Glendora lasted for 9 days in January 2014 and burned 1,992 acres fanned by the Santa Ana winds, 5 homes were burned and it led to the evacuation of 3,600 people.
Wildfires are not common during winter, but a dry season led to an excess of dry brush in the foothills which later fed the fire.
Getting to Glendora
You can reach Glendora along old Route 66 which here is "Alosta Ave." or via Interstate 10, 15, 215, 610 or state higways 57 and 210. All of them are freeways.
The Map of U.S. 66 in Glendora, California
See the alignment of US 66 in Glendora, on our California Route 66 Map, it has the complete alignment across the state with all the towns along it.
The following color key applies only to Glendora.
Pale Blue: the 1933 - 1964 Route 66 through Glendora.
Black: the earlier, 1926 to 1933 Route 66 through Downtown Glendora.
Route 66's alignment in California: the Historic Route 66 into Glendora
Route 66 across California
U.S. Route 66 does not have any Byway or Historic designation in California despite the survival of long sections of original roadbed between Needles and Santa Monica.
Click Here for an overview of Route 66 across the state of California.
Below you will find detailed information on Old Route 66 in Glendora.
Glendora's Sights and Attractions
Landmarks and Classic US 66
Glendora and its Route 66 attractions
Pride of the Foothills on Route 66
Glendora's Route 66 landmarks include an Art Deco Vintage US Gas service station, the Neon sign at the Golden Spur, the Alta Dena Dairy and the sign plus diner at The Hat Pastrami. Two motels, the Palm Tropics Motel and the 20th Century Motel plus modern attractions like Flappy Jack's Pancake House and the Flashback to the '50s Classic Car and Motorcycle Show.
Downtown Glendora lies on the original 1926 alignment of Route 66, which shifted just south of the central part of the city in 1933. There are many classic sights:
Route 66 returns
Glendora was the first city in California to change the name of its main street - which until 1964 was U.S. highway 66 and also known as Alosta Avenue, back to Route 66.
Vintage US Gas service station
Northeast corner of Route 66 and Glendora Ave.
The building at the back of the property is an original Route 66 gas station. Although it now has a modern canopy, the food mart and cashier is an Art Deco styled building with neat geometric lines from the 1930s.
US Gas Station, ca. 1930s
Golden Spur Restaurant
1223 E. Route 66 and Hunters Trail.
Vintage Route 66 sign: Golden Spur, by Todd Barneck
This restaurant has been here for over 80 years. It's name hints at its origin, a hamburger stand that served meals to horse riders. It now also sells steaks and seafood.
The best part is the neon sign, a classic along Route 66 with its boot sporting a large spur.
Alta Dena Dairy
437 E. Route 66
A building from the 1950s, which was the Alta-Dena Dairy. The company was founded in 1945 by the Stueve Family, and they became a "certified dairy" in 1953. This used to be one of their stores.
Alta Dena dairy, built in a Swiss cottage style
The Hat Pastrami
611 W Route 66
The Hat opened on Route 66 in 1951, and is still going strong with its pastrami sandwiches.
Don't miss the neon sign, which is a replica of the original one. See a vintage photo of The Hat, the original sign is clearly visible.
Vintage looking poster. By The Hat
Palm Tropics Motel
619 W. Route 66
The 1950s postcard below informed that the Palm Tropics Motel & Cafe on 557 W Alosta Ave. (different street name and number in those days) was "12 minutes to Santa Anita Race Track - A new, elegantly furnished fully-carpeted motel with singles, doubles and Pullman equipped kitchenetes. Full-tile baths, Panelray heat, radios. Excellent Cafe in Connection - open Early and Late", note there were no TVs in the rooms.
The place dates back to 1957 and was a "Cottage motel", it is still open, well maintained and receiving guests.
The Palm Tropics Motel and Cafe in a 1940s postcard
It seems to have kept its original apparance, the palms have grown to full size, and the old sign, which stood in the middle of the entrance has moved to one side, and is of course a "modern" sign.
Palm Tropics Motel nowadays
Flappy Jack's Pancake House Restaurant
640 W Route 66
This is not a classic as the shop opened in 2002, here in Glendora, but we include it because what is more American than waffles, crepes and pancakes and burgers? Check the menu at their website.
The sign is interesting too.
20th Century Motel
1345 E Route 66
As you can see in the postcard below, this motel, or, as the card says "Motor Hotel" (which is still operating) has been open for at least 60 years. Now it is the 20th Century Motor Lodge.
The 20th Century Motel in a 1940s postcard
It has its original apparance with the same builidings, nicely kept, a garden with less flowers, but very green.
The 20th Century Motel nowadays
the Flashback to the '50s Classic Car and Motorcycle Show
This is a end-of-summer party, which consists of a great car show with a broad selection of classic cars, motorcycles, trucks and also hotrods. They line Glendora Avenue and there is live entertainment, food and beverages (beer and wine). Read more at www.flashbackinfo.org.
The Glendora Fest
Autumn beer event with several local craft brews to enjoy, in its 3rd event this October. Read more at www.glendorafest.com/.
Tours & Itineraries
The two alignments of Old Route 66 in Glendora California
From San Dimas to Glendora
The first highway through the area built specially for cars, was the National Old Trails highway projected in the early 1910s to link Los Angeles and New York.
Route 66 in Glendora
There were two alignments through the town, the original one, followed by the N.O.T., and incorporated into Route 66 when it was created in 1926, and the newer one which replaced it in 1933, a shorter alignment, with less curves that bypassed the town (in those days - though now it is submerged in the urban sprawl around it):
Old Alignment from 1926 to 1933
This is shown in Black in the Map above. Driving east to west, coming from San Dimas, the old route 66 took a sharp right curve heading north along Amelia Ave. and then, a left along E. Foothill Blvd.
The road then headed west, went through the center of the town and then took a left on N Citrus Avenue - which marks the boundary with the city of Azusa - known in those days as Dalton), and then it heads west once again along Foothill until meeting Alosta Ave. (coming from the southeast, which later became the newer alignment of Route 66). See the Map of the 1926-33 Route 66 in Glendora.
New alignment from 1933 to 1964
This is shown in Pale Blue in the Map above. With the improvement of Foothill Blvd. all the way to San Bernardino, which began in 1931, the alignment of US 66 was widened and straightened out, to make it safer. So the tortuous road across the downtown area of Glendora via Foothill Blvd. was avoided. The new road kept west along the brand new Alosta Ave., after crossing the tracks of the Santa Fe Railway at the eastern tip of South Hills near Big Dalton Wash. Alosta crossed Barranca Ave. entering Azusa and both old and new alignments met at the junction of Foothill Blvd and Alosta Ave. See the Map of the 1933-64 Route 66 in Glendora.
The course of Route 66 between San Dimas and Glendora is a simple segment, because both towns are next to each other, and you will not notice where one ends and the other one begins.
Route 66 extends for 4 mi along Foothill Blvd. and Alosta Ave. N. Cataract Ave. and Barranca Ave.
> > See the previous segment Victorville to San Bernardino
> > See this segment San Bernardino to Pasadena (west)
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