Horsey Ontario and Pomona

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Following up on her hard-hitting Stinky’s query, Mary Simon socked me with another set of recollections and questions for the readership:

“I have another question or two, one of which I KNOW that no one but me will remember.” [Don't be too sure, Mary. -- DA]

“When I was 4 or 5 years old (late 1950s), there was a pony-ride place called Woolery’s. I’m pretty sure it was on Euclid, in south Ontario. There were two paths you could ride in — the walking lane or the trotting lane. As young as I was, I always chose the ‘walking’ lane.

“In later years, I showed hunters and jumpers through southern/central California. I trained at a place in Pomona — the Parnell girls academy. It was a residential school for girls, but also a riding school where peasants like myself could take lessons. Does anyone remember Parnell?”

I’m not sure which one Mary assumes no one will remember. Just to be safe, let’s try to dredge up anecdotes about each, OK?

* Update, May 2011: Parnell now has a Facebook page. And I’ve added photos here courtesy of Bev Chauvet: from top, the lower ring in Pomona circa 1969; the school’s main house; and the school’s owner and principal, Miss Yoder, with student Trisha Lane Bowler.

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  • Dee

    According to the Chino Champion, May 3, 2008, Parnell Girls School was located “in a small valley west of Highway 71 and Riverside Drive, behind where the Great Indoors store is. It was razed in 1981 to make way for Rolling Ridge Estates.”

    I used to work across the street, where Home Depot is now, between 1979-1988, and don’t remember seeing anything there except some stones and rose bushes that led me to believe something had been there once.

    [Dee, thanks for the info. Funny timing that Parnell would have been mentioned so recently in the Champion. -- DA]

  • Mary Simon

    David Allen — You’re my hero! And, Dee — thanks for the note on Parnell Girls School. Now I know that at least I’m not hallucinating about my experiences there, all those years ago!

    [At The David Allen Blog, we live to serve. -- DA]

  • Jim Halvorson

    I had a girlfriend who went to Parnell…1968(?).

    Then later I had a friend whose mother worked there. My girlfriend had been sent to Parnell to put some distance from me as our hormones were being a little too active.

  • Mary Graves

    Mary: I was just remembering Parnell with a friend who also rode there.

    I remember it very well, my mom would drive me and a friend from Glendora over the road at Puddingstone dam and down Kellog hill to the 71. You entered onto a dirt road and drove back past a grove of trees (eucalyptus?) south of where the 60 crosses the 71 now. We went on Sat’s for lessons and would stay most of the day, this was in 1965-67? All the stalls were under this huge building, indoor ring, 2 rings outside, cross country course, you could ride the hills forever, it was beautiful. The trainers were Roy Traylor and Jane Arrington.

    I was not sure about the school though, it was up on the hill away from the stables, wondered if it was a boarding school or ?. It certainly was not very large, but had some dorms. I too went on to show Hunter, jumpers in S Ca after that, could we know each other?

  • Kim Shields

    I was a student at Parnell from 1969 to 1971 and have fond memories of the school.

    The actual address of the school was Hwy 71 & Riverside Dr. at Garey Ave. The stable was Rocking RT Ranch and the school was located a little bit up the road from the stables. It was a boarding school which grades 2-12 were taught. It had two dorms, a meeting hall/kitchen/dining room, administration building, several classrooms and a pool.

    When I attended I was in 5th, 6th and 7th grades and Parnell had a great academic program. Smaller classes, more 1 on 1 attention for all the students. The greatest thing was for PE you rode horses, what more could a girl ask for?

    My second year there I started showing horses for the school. Hunters and jumpers mostly and we went to shows from Santa Barbara to Del Mar and many places in between. I even purchased a horse from Roy Traylor named Parnella. The training we got from Roy Traylor, Jane Arrington and Jocko was a great and I continued showing horses after leaving the school.

    It was sad when I learned the school had been torn down and there was nothing left of it but memories…

    [But thank you for yours, Kim. -- DA]

  • Michelle Sapp

    Kim,

    I too attended Parnell School for Girls. I was in 9th grade. My experiences were far from yours though.

    I don’t have the fond memories of the place like you do. The place is like you said. I lived in the dorm on the left as you would be driving up the road towards the school.

    Roy was notorious for trapping the girls in the corners of the stalls and would try and get them to kiss him. Scary, is how I remember it.

    Miss Yoder who was in charge of the girls was so old she would talk to herself and always got the girls’ names mixed up.

    Trust me it was not a great place to live. It was more where parents sent their daughters when they didn’t want them living at home. At least that is the way it was for us older girls.

    Yes, the only thing that was good and kept a lot of us going was the horses, and of course going home on the weekend for the month. That is if you were lucky enough to go home.

    Sorry, don’t mean to darken your memory.

    Regards,

    Michelle

  • Randi Madden

    Parnell was a nightmare. There were mean girls there of whom, to this day, I would seek revenge. It changed my life. Leave me alone with them and only one of us would come out breathing.

  • Linda Dunagan

    My parents wanted my sister to go to school there, but it never happened for some reason. I don’t thing she wanted to go.

  • Roxey Smith

    I, too, was one of the “peasants” who took lessons at Rocking RT in 1969 and 1970 (Hi, Mary!). Overall, I have wonderful memories of those days. That said, I can say that there was a definite “class” system in place: if your daddy had money, and there was a possibility that Roy could sell you a horse, you got treated better.

  • Jan

    I remember my sister and I riding there on Saturdays, also did a little showing. I have mixed memories; great horses, facilities and training for the most part. But Roy, that was a different matter. He also tried to treat me inappropriately. Always wondered if the resident girls had the same problems. Wonder whatever became of the instructors from there.

  • Christy Eastburn

    Always looking for former Parnell students. Visit Classmates.com (Whittier & Pomona sites) and add your name. We have had two reunions. Also on Facebook.

  • CAROL RYNDERS COLLINS

    I also was a student at Parnell. I think i was the last graduating class (64) while it was still in Whittier. We used to go to the “ranch” in Pomona to train for upcoming horseshows and Roy Traylor would come down to the school regularly especially to load up for a horseshow.

    I have good and bad memories of the school. Miss Yoder was a tough old gal but I have fond memories of her. Miss Baker was the unliked old fashioned secretary who would correct you at meal times and try to have you say “prisms & prunes” to correctly shape your mouth. It was hysterical.

    I loved the riding and have many a tale to tell of my experience at this boarding school which I would love to share and hear others.

  • Dorothy R. Woolley

    Parnell Girls School. Is there a school reunion planned soon??? Thanks Christy Eastburn. Will check out Class Mates & Facebook.

    I thank all of you for remembering Miss Yoder & Miss Baker the two gals who ran the boarding school. They were next door friends as kids & had this dream of the school; when they each inherited their parents’ property they joined the land together to form the school.

    I enjoyed training and bonding with the horses, wild cats & blue berries by the rail road tracks. Miss the train sounds. Jogging to church once a week! Lots of extras in summer; pottery making. etc., trips to LA Philharmonic, Jhonnie Green conducting. LA Tar Pits, Farmers Market, Pomona Fair, wow, when you’re age10!

    I have lots of good memories from age 10 in 1952 to 1957. Can share more if you are interested? I still have lots of photos from that era. It was located at 10711 Scott Ave., Whittier CA. It is now Parnell Park. I looked it up on a website. As a treat we went to the rocking R ranch for a camp-out weekend occasionally as It was a hour & a half drive, up in the Pomona hills. Also recall going to the Pomona College for the Horse show.

    Where are you Liz & Diane Olds? More names in my photo album. Anyone remember me? Short blond Dot..still.

    [If you'd like to e-mail me a good photo or two (david.allen (at) inlandnewspapers.com) I could include one in this blog post. It's proven unexpectedly popular. -- DA]

  • Debi Key

    I attended Parnell Prep for a year and a half. I really did enjoy it for the most part. I know Roy was a character, but I guess I was fortunate that he never tried to corner me!

  • Debi Key

    Hi Kim, I think I remember you. We were at Parnell at the same time. I pretty much had the same experience you did. Debi Key

  • Moira Valencia

    I was a riding student at Parnell in the mid 1970s — have no idea how we came across it, but I rode there for two years.

    I had I think four instructors there: Mr. Silva, kind of a Hispanic cowboy type; Janet (barely remember her brief stay); Jack Diamond, who used to keep his miniature horses along the back of the large barn and was an amazing horseman, despite that he was rather advanced in age; and finally Susan Derr, who then moved on to train in Diamond Bar and I went with her.

    I loved as my mom would drive me to my lessons at Parnell, as our old Chevy Impala would belt down the dirt drive, stirring up clouds of dust which would scare the ground squirrels sitting in the chain links of the fenceline.

    I was in love with one of the school horses, High Fleet (direct descendent of Count Fleet). I’d take the barn kittens and stuff them inside my jacket while waiting for my mom to come pick me up. I learned to jump there. I went to my first show — Chino Valley Riders — in 1975. We’d even get to take the horses out on trail rides.

    I had lots of friends from the school, despite that they were a few years older than me. Beverly, Cheryl, Gretchen..this is a shout-out to you! Always wondered if they still rode. After all these years, I still do!

  • Mary Simon

    I was also a riding student at Parnell, between 1967 and 1970. We lived in Upland and my older sister would haul my Appaloosa, Tarquin, and me out there in our dilapidated topless trailer for those Saturday morning lessons. Can you imagine?

    When I started, it was $7.50 for three hours. Remember the “jump chute”? The steep down- and -up hill over to the cross country. And how you could jump in or out of the lower ring if you wanted to?

    I was always in awe of Jane Arrington. (Or was it Errington?) She was an absolutely amazing rider. Anyone remember “Mr. Risky?” They could jump the moon together. And Stephanie Haymes — incredible rider. I have an old picture of her somewhere jumping a Saddlebred named “Mr. Boogie.” Wow.

    Before Tarquin was old enough to break, I took lessons on a pinto named “Hector” and a Thoroughbred (I think) named Bonanza.

    Roy was, indeed, a piece of work. He never tried to molest me, but I sure heard the stories! Does anyone remember the electric girth he’d put on a horse in training from time to time? He had a hand-held remote and he’d zap the horse right in front of a jump. That was darned scary, I’ll tell you.

    Jocko died sometime later. I think a horse flipped over backwards on her.

  • Ellen Winkler Ohms

    I too attended Parnell in Whittier from 1957-1959 I think…shucks I can’t remember what I did yesterday!! All the memories mentioned above are awesome…thanks for sharing. I remember Miss Yoder, Mrs. Baker & of course Roy. I especially remember a small horse named “Hole in the Head” Roy bought at an auction for a lesson horse. I was lucky enough to meet up with Roy and Jane in Corona in later years. They looked great. I’ll look up Parnell on Facebook. Thanks for letting me join in!

  • Leslie Gates

    Went there in 60-61. so great to read all your memories! Donna Dietz & I used to go out on the roof of the main house, facing the pool and horses, then smoke and listen to rock n roll. We thought we were sooo cool!

    We also would run out across the yard and put our feet on the railroad tracks. It was forbidden and soo exciting. This was in Whittier.

    Went to the ranch when it was just a ranch. Taking the truck up the hills to feed the cattle and the view of the mountains was just beautiful. Other stuff too!

    Looking for the Facebook page. Let me know if there is a reunion.
    So many memories!

  • Jean Stewart

    I attended the summer camps in the mid-1950s, and just loved the swimming, riding, talent shows, crafts and eating in the big old dining room in the main house. The big girls would wash the younger girls’ hair once a week. We went to the “ranch” for an overnight. At the end of summer parents came for horse show & swimming races. Kathie Green (Johnnie’s daughter) was there. We looked up to the fabulous big girls and their riding skills. Would like to see pictures — I have strong memories. That beautiful pepper tree!

  • Leslie Harner Jacobs

    Hey Kim Shields, Parnella was my horse that I let Roy sell for me. I bought her in Oakdale Ca as a 3 year old off the track. She was a sweet honest horse…

    I went to Parnell Winter Quarter 1968 and Summer 1969. My roommates in School (8th grade) were Theo Brooks, Maureen Sweeny, Cindy Way, and Susan. I loved Parnell, Jocko, yes Roy was inappropriate but I stayed away. I rode Melody, showed Royal Order, Johnny Walker, Rode Little Risky once, still the highest jump I have jumped. He bucked on the other side. Loved the jumping chute, big ditch to the x country course. Do hope to hear more from the class mates.

    Leslie Harner Jacobs, now in Lander WY

  • Amy Olay Kaplan

    I started in 1956. My mom was friends with Kathe Green’s father and he recommended the place. I began with a mean old lady, Miss Fox, who slapped me across the face! I also remember a girl named Contay Elizabeth Ann Alexandria Worthington, can you believe it??? I also remember Miss Baker and Miss Yoder. I don’t have any bad stories to tell about them. Mrs. Culligan was nice. Her daughters Judy and Kathy went there too.

    Someone please write me because they are, after all, formative years with formative memories. Better remembered than forgotten.

    Amelia Olay Kaplan
    Oakland, CA
    510 698 4794

  • Cori Wright Brown

    To Amy…Hi! My name is Cori Brown (it was Corrella Wright when I attended Parnell). I adopted the nickname “Cori” the next year since I felt like “Corrella” was just too heavy for me to carry around.

    I attended Parnell for just one year, my 8th grade year – 1957-58. I was a day student only. It was a year filled with learning about life in some interesting ways. I remember being thrown off a horse. I was not a rider and didn’t know that pulling on the reins (out of fear) and nudging the horse’s sides with my heels would be most confusing to the horse. Poor horse!

    I remember Miss Yoder and Miss Baker, and also Kathe Green. Her father, Johnny Green, came to 8th grade graduation in his Thunderbird. I didn’t know Kathe well, she always seemed sad to me.

    I would often hear Miss Baker tapping on the window of her office as I walked up the sidewalk in the morning. I knew I had done something wrong, but usually had no idea what it was until she told me. I think one of the last times she did that she threatened to tell my dad and I said: “Okay.” She then informed me that I was “a strange little girl.” LOL! Looking back, I think she was right.

    I guess I’m at that “reflective” age and wondered what happened to Parnell. In the summer of 1958, my family and I moved to Europe, where my father worked for the military dependent schools during my four years of high school.

    I submitted a request to join the Parnell group on Facebook. I don’t have Parnell listed in my schools, so perhaps that is a requirement before they will accept my request.

    Nice to be in touch!

    Cori

  • Natasja Pieters Robbins

    Wow it was soo nice to see others who have gone to the Rocking RT Ranch. I don’t remember Parnell but I was fortunate to go to Roy’s and ride.

    I was always scared of Roy, I would go way in the back and hide from him when I would see him (out by the shavings). I learned a great deal from him and Jocko! He definitely could take some of the rankest horses and train them. I remember the electric cinch and the swing in the middle of the arena. Roy used to sit in his corner with a BB Gun and when my horse would refuse a jump she got tagged, needless to say she jumped every time after that. lol.

    Yes, Jocko was killed when a horse flipped over backwards and crushed her against the rail. I remember feeling the grief. She was an amazing instructor. I was very young, so my memories are vivid. It was a fun place to ride.

  • debbie lyons

    Does anyone remember me? I was at Parnell in 1972. I was a boarder and I have been looking for years to have contact with some of the girls and could never find anyone till now. Please write: dela5757 (at) yahoo.com.

  • chris simmons

    I went to Parnell from 1968-1971….Graduated as senior class President and as President of Toastmistress….I owned a buckskin horse named Sandy! Roc Royal was her neighbor in the barn….There were some bad times there and some great memories….riding and showing against some of the greats like Hap Hanson and we won (the school) over him at Flintridge….I had a room in the upper dorm, just me and one other girl named Dale…..I live in Grass Valley, Ca and still ride and have a new baby coming in June….:)

  • Trish Davey

    Hi All,

    I was at Parnell (boarder) in the mid to late 60′s riding and showing the horsies with Roy, Jocko and Janie Arrington. Yes, I have mixed memories… mostly good… and mostly about the horses and teachers.

    Ms. Yoder was a character….but the food was OK, the pool was clean, the tennis courts just “there” (who played tennis when you could ride a horse?), the teachers were tough but fair, and the horses were completely awesome!

    Does anyone remember me…code name “little tatters”? Approaching that era beyong middle age now but still love horses!

    Trish (Patty… little Tatters)

  • Beverly Chauvet

    Moira Valencia,

    We were at Parnell at the same time. Feel free to email me or contact me via the Parnell Facebook page.

    Beverly

  • Beverly Chauvet

    Moira Valencia,

    Hi! Here is my email address: bevchauvet (at) yahoo.com

    The Parnell Facebook page has about 42 members at this time, but no former students from 1974. It would be great to be in touch again! I remember Cheryl and Gretchen very well. Also, Vicki, but she was not there for very long, as I recall. I continued to show and train in hunter/jumper through college. Now, mostly back country leisure western.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Beverly Chauvet

  • Dee

    Seriously? The Parnell school here was the same as the one in Whittier?

    I remember admiring the school building on Scott Ave when we moved to the area in ’64. They turned it into a park about a year later, I went to the ribbon cutting. Years later I moved to the Chino area and used to wonder about the roses that grew along an unidentifiable concrete something.

    How weird that I’ve lived near both of them and never connected it.

  • Jacqueline (Stakes) Ross

    I am a former student of Parnell Preparatory School, Whittier campus. The alumni are planning to have a memorial to the school and its founders, placed at the Parnell Park. We are in desperate need to have the date the Whittier campus opened and closed. And the date that the Pomona campus was opened and closed. Any help that you would provide is sincerely appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help. My Email address: Stewedtom@aol.com Telephone # (310) 276 2289

    [You might try contacting the Pomona Public Library's special collections department, Jacqueline. They research local history and might be able to find something in their files. -- DA]

  • jacqueline ross

    Would it be possible for you to check with the City record to see if the land that is Parnell Park, and formerly Parnell Preparatory School on Scott Road, was originally land that belonged to Eliabeth Yoder and Gladys Baker?

    I have some information given me that said that land had been inherited by the two ladies from their parents. That they (the ladies families) had been neighbors, and childhood friends. Their dream was to start a school, and when the parents died they inherited the land, and built the school.

    I am hoping that a search of the deeds on that property would give us the history of the school. My understanding is that the School opened in 1937, and closed in 1964. I just would like the search to begin with 1937 and go back to the owners from that time….

    Any assistance you are able to provide is sincerely appreciated. Thank you, Jacqueline

    [You should probably first check with the library to see if they have any history of the school, such as in old Progress-Bulletin articles, Jacqueline. If that fails, perhaps they can help you pursue other avenues. Tracking property transactions is probably a function of the County Assessor's Office and it might not be a simple thing to go back to 1937; it's more work than I'd have time to do. -- DA]

  • Danette Templin

    I attended Parnell from 1969-1973. I cherish my memories of Parnell. The music, the laughter, the friends I made and the horses. Only Parnell students know the Parnell experience. The dorms, the different colored rooms and the dorm mothers. Each semester had its own flavor. Parnell wasn’t just a school it was an experience.

  • Trisha Lane Bowler

    I see you have posted the photo of me with Miss Yoder. Thank you for that! Of course my name was different then. I was Pat Pipkin. I attended Parnell Whittier from 1952 to 1957 from 4th to graduation from 8th grade. A wonderful experience! Loved it!

    [We're glad to have the photo (and the others) to illustrate this entry. -- DA]

  • Trisha Lane Bowler

    Dorothy Woolley,

    YES! Finally someone I remember! Dorothy you had very blonde short curly hair. We were in the Pink Room together. I remembered you spent so much time at school because your parents lived and worked in Saudi Arabia. Good memory, huh? lol
    Good seeing your post! I was Pat Pipkin back then. The photo posted here is of me with Miss Yoder. I am guessing it was 7th grade graduation day. Hugs!

  • Margie Young

    I attended Parnell School from 1962-1966. I went to both locations, the one in Whittier and the school in Pomona. I have good memories. Does anyone know whatever happened to Joy Cash? She was in Pomona in 1966. I would love to contact her as we were good friends.

  • Toni Endsley

    I went to Parnell 69-71. I remember when they put the Hwy 71 off ramp from the 60 fwy. We used to go over the hill during construction. I’m on the saddle read on the far right. I could probably name almost everyone in the picture. I was riding Murrieta Mike. I wish I had that picture.

  • Lynda (Wiggins) Bell

    I was a resident student at Parnell in 1963-64. For me it was a good experience. The academic studies were hard, but I loved having my horse “Cinco” there with me.

    Some of my classmates were Tomasina Evenson, Kathy Waite and Suzie Fuller. I would enjoy hearing from any of my classmates. I too believe that some of the girls residing there were there because their parents resided out of the area. I do remember Ms. Yoder as being very strict and not very compassionate if you weren’t feeling well. I also remember studying in bed with a flashlight. My best memories were my experiences with the horses, especially being with my own every day.

    Lynda (Wiggins) Bell
    Washoe Valley, NV

  • Laurie Watson Howard now Mortellaro

    Hi, I attended Parnell for 6 1/2 yrs. I am actually the one in the above picture, I’m on the 2nd horse on the left. It was a good school, I had a lot of friends and best of all I learned to ride horses and enjoyed it a lot.

  • Laurie Watson Howard now Mortellaro

    I was reading some of the stories and read one Mary Simon about a horse named Mr. Risky. I too rode that horse he was a great jumper, I won a lot of jumpimg events because of him, I also rode a horse named Sinbad and owned a horse by the name of Snippers. I have a lot of good memories and some bad. I hung out with some really nice girls, Susie Ransom, Carol Anderson, Barbara Gallup, Lindsey Teachnor and a Rebecca. Sure seems strange to be reading about Parnell.

  • Charlotte Rysanek

    I attended Parnell in 59-60 for one year. It was located on Scott Road in Whittier. I lived in the dorm in the back. My name was Charlotte Rolland at the time. I stayed in touch with one of my roommates, Chris Grubber, for quite a while and I also remember Janie Arrington, Nicki Ridley and Carol Claynorn. I knew Tay Worthington.
    I brought my pinto mare, Kandy Kane with me. I took lessons from Roy Traylor and showed Miss Yoder’s horse Ala Rif. at Kellogg’s and Scottsdale, AZ. In saddle seat competition. I loved all my time at the stables.
    When I left Parnell I continued taking lessons from Roy at the ranch in Pomona riding Robin Hood and Charlie Brown in hunter jumper classes.
    I now live in Chino Hills just down the 71 Freeway from the ranch. I now have two lovely Arabian mares and enjoy trail riding around the local areas including Noco.