Route 66 in La Verne, California

Updated on May 14, 2020
paperfacets profile image

Sherry has been writing about home, family, and pets since 2008. She enjoys retirement, traveling, reading, and crafts.

Starting in the late seventies, the city added trees to almost every boulevard.
Starting in the late seventies, the city added trees to almost every boulevard.

You are near the end of your Route 66 journey when you descend the San Bernardino mountains into the Inland Empire of Southern California. The drive is easy now, and in another 50 miles, you will start to feel the cooler weather of the Pacific Ocean.

One of the first cities on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County is La Verne. Foothill Boulevard is Route 66 through this southern California suburb. The route runs straight through the middle of town, which incorporated in 1887 as Lordsburg by the land speculator Wilson Lord. The name changed after Wilson Lord died. This photo scrapbook will take you down Route 66, starting on the east and ending at the west end of the city.

U.S. Route 66 Through La Verne

The entire stretch of Foothill Blvd has been redeveloped in this LA suburb. Only a couple of buildings still stand that would have been part of a traveler's experience in the 30s and 40s.

La Verne has decided not to actively commemorate Route 66, so you will not see many signs like other cities along the route. The city has pretty much cleared the old, and the road looks late-20th century now.

Traveling through today, you will find a tree-lined boulevard with condos and shopping divisions. There is an Old Town along D Street about a mile from Foothill. There you will see turn-of-the-century buildings and commemoration of the old orange groves. Old Town is also 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.

Two blocks south of Foothill on D St. is the United Methodist Church, site of the closing scene of 1964 movie The Graduate.

Read "Remembering Mt. Baldy Drive-In" for more information about the immediate area on Foothill.

Movie Church on D st.
Movie Church on D st.
A
La Paloma Restaurant:
2975 Foothill Boulevard, La Verne, CA‎

get directions

B
D's Restaurant:
919 Foothill Boulevard La Verne, CA 91750-3235

get directions

C
In n' Out Hamburgers:
2098 Foothill Boulevard, La Verne, CA‎

get directions

D
United Medodist Church:
3205 D St, La Verne, CA 91750, USA

get directions

E
Hertiage Park:
5001 Vía De Mansion, La Verne, CA 91750, USA

get directions

Your Route Starting From the East End

At Gary and Foothill past the Jack in the Box is the oldest-looking building on Foothill. Look for a good view of the San Gabriel Mountains with the "L".

As you travel down Foothill Blvd, look for this original native California Live Oak tree behind the La Paloma sign. Before the citrus groves were planted, this tree dominated the area.

Williams Avenue

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 farm property was divided and sold in the sixties, but this building remains. The original Tom's Cafe's stained glass windows were retained for a popular Mexican eatery established in the sixties.

Window Tom's Cafe
Window Tom's Cafe

An old photo appearing in the local newspaper showed a double window where the side door is now. The window invited travelers into a comfortable family eatery. The original family farmhouse still stands on Williams Ave.

The city has preserved a small orange grove at Heritage Park. A California live oak that is endemic to the area is there as well (see above). A creek runs through the park. Orange groves could have been seen from Foothill all the way to the base of the foothills. The groves are tract homes now.

The Mansion

The DeWenter Mansion, built in the 40s, is still the grandest house in town and sits on a knoll about a mile from Route 66. Henry DeWenter was able to build the gem from the earnings of his 299-acre orange grove and ranch. The traveler would have seen the house above the orange groves from Foothill Blvd. Built for grandeur and entertaining, there is an indoor pond/pool under a glass atrium on the south side and a two-story-high living room with views facing the mountains on the north. Actors and the rich enjoyed stays and entertainment in this impressive 10,000-foot house.

In 1986 the Heritage Foundation of La Verne offered tours. The neighbors enjoyed seeing fairy-tale decor, such as tasteful wood trim, stairs, and windows of the early 20th century. A patio setting with concrete banisters lines 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 with wood banisters and a cozy view of the living room below. A doorway from the loft leads to a castle-like stairway to the atrium and pool below.

By the early nineties large tract homes and a new elementary school circles the property. The school is to the west of a creek that runs past the house. This picture is a view from the school grounds. It is visible from Heritage Park, as well. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and owned by a private resident.

This turn of the 20th century house is at Foothill and Moreno.
This turn of the 20th century house is at Foothill and Moreno.

West End of La Verne

Half a mile west of the Mansion is a house still standing from the early 20th century. It is a restaurant at the corner of Moreno and Foothill and a couple of blocks from the Hormel House (the food-processing family).

The Hormel summer house now 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 style.

Hormel House Near the Stainless Steel Diner
Hormel House Near the Stainless Steel Diner

Department of Water of Power

In the 20s and 30s, this was orange-grove country. By the 40s, the trees started to fade and began to be bulldozed for tract homes.

Just a half mile south of the boulevard on Moreno, the Department of Water and Power built a water processing plant in 1940. This concrete structure is an Art Deco gem and is still processing water for the area for the county. Designed by Daniel Elliot of reinforced concrete, it is a substation of a 392-mile aqueduct.

DWP water plant
DWP water plant
DWP
DWP

How About You?

Have you enjoyed traveling on Route 66?

See results
West End of La Verne
West End of La Verne

Stainless Steel Restaurant

At the western border of the city is the stainless steel Denny's Restaurant with a Route 66 sign. Around 2014, this diner became a Mr. D's Restaurant with Greek-inspired American menu items. It has been immensely popular since.

The contractor reused the very tall palms from the shuttered fast-food drive-in 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.

A rare dusting of snow on the foothills above Route 66 in La Verne. Feb. 10, 2010. The "L" is clearly visible.
A rare dusting of snow on the foothills above Route 66 in La Verne. Feb. 10, 2010. The "L" is clearly visible.

Postcards From the Past

Small orange grove maintained by the city. An old farmhouse, barn, windmill, and farm equipment is located here at Wheeler and Via de Mansion.
Small orange grove maintained by the city. An old farmhouse, barn, windmill, and farm equipment is located here at Wheeler and Via de Mansion.
A citrus grove tractor. La Verne, CA. Half mile from Old Route 66.
A citrus grove tractor. La Verne, CA. Half mile from Old Route 66.
Route 66 in Southern California
Route 66 in Southern California
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.
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.
Winter Sunset in La Verne, CA
Winter Sunset in La Verne, CA

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 Sherry Venegas

    Tell Us Your Story on Route 66

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Hi Going to take a trip in June, for my 60th birthday eastward on route 66 starting at Santa Monica Pier. I was born in Ohio and traveled west on 66 when I was 12, and fell in love with CA. Moved here when I was 21. The road is vintage, and now so am I I enjoyed your blog. Helpful

      • Joan Haines profile image

        Joan Haines 

        8 years ago

        Back in the 60's my family took extended trips, driving while towing our camping trailer. We were on Route 66 a lot.

      • OhMe profile image

        Nancy Tate Hellams 

        9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        I don't think I have ever traveled on Route 66. I sure enjoyed seeing and reading about La Verne, California. I love the way you framed some of your photos. Really nice.

      • profile image

        resabi 

        9 years ago

        I jumped into this lens because I have cousins who live in Laverne and so I've spent some time there. Remembering visiting Claremont for the first time when my daughter was about 7 months old. It's a really pretty area (although that drive from Encinitas has that one patch where the pig farms are that smells really intense (and not in a good way...).

      • profile image

        grannysage 

        10 years ago

        I loved the old tv show and have traveled quite a bit of the route on the way to Kansas one time. I even think we ate at that Denny's, but I'm not sure. You have some great pictures. Boy, I miss California and the ocean.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)