Euclid ‘wearing a mantle of snow’ *


Betty Peters bought this postcard at a collectors’ show earlier in August and wonders when the photo might have been taken, and where. Euclid’s a long avenue, after all, traveling from Chino through Ontario and Upland and into San Antonio Heights.

I know, it says it’s a Daily Report photo, but we don’t have any archives other than microfilm from those days.

My colleague Joe Blackstock can’t immediately recall, in his joking words, “the great snowstorm of ’45” or some other such meteorological event. But he says snow isn’t uncommon in Upland’s northern reaches, which is where I’d guess the photo was taken.

Tranquil scene, isn’t it?

This weather report has been brought to you by the Jones Galoshes Co.

* UPDATE: See Gavin’s response in the comments section for the apparent answer to this minor mystery. He’s the Sherlock Holmes of local precipitation.

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  • Gavin

    This may address the when part of the scene more than the where. National Weather Service has this PDF document with historic weather in L.A./San Diego areas. Beginning on page 36, snow data show that we had quite a bit of snow in January of 1949, and snow to low elevations in 1962.

  • Dwain Kaiser

    Sounds like a snow job to me! Sorry I couldn’t resist.

    I remember two snow storms from my days in Upland, once every ten years or so seems about right.

    Dwain Kaiser

  • Jim Downs

    I have seen snow a time or two here in Ontario….usually does not last long, but it’s a pleasant surprise for the kids. (Not so, the drivers!)

    I recall one episode in 1993 when I had gone to Cagle’s to buy a new fuse for my microwave, and when I came out it was hailing. By the time I got back home, it covered the ground and the streets seemingly an inch or so, and it really looked like snow on the ground, When I got home my kids were throwing “snowballs” at each other and having a great time outside!

  • Warren


    I don’t recall any snow in Upland between 1962-1972 while I lived in Upland. However judging from the photo I suspect that it is probably above 19th Street. It was pretty sparse up there and not much development and the center of Euclid Ave looked more like a horse trail than anything else.


  • Bob House

    I’ve seen a Frasher’s postcard from the late ’40s with two girls in downtown Claremont in the snow, which would match Gavin’s report above. Other than a rare dusting on the Padua Hills, I don’t recall any other actual snow in Claremont since.

  • Linda Frost

    I remember a time in the late 1940s, 48 or 49, maybe, when it snowed so much that we had snowball fights in Ontario. My older brother made a huge cube of snow on the front lawn before he went to school, and it was still there when he got home.

    It was a particularly cold winter everywhere. I remember ranchers all over the West were airlifting hay to cattle on open ranges to keep them from freezing to death. There was even a movie made about it. Maybe some of you Hollywood buffs could dig and find something.

  • Pat Flinn

    I do remember the snow in January of 1949. I was a student at Vina Danks Junior High and lived in Ontario at the time. I remember the snow not only because it was so rare in Ontario, but also because it was such a surprise each morning for several days to awaken to a lawn still blanketed in snow.

    Now that I am an “old timer” it seems more appropriate to tell the story of how it snowed in Ontario back in “nineteen-ought-forty-nine.” However, I began many years ago telling that story to my children, newcomers to the area, and anytime the topic of unusual snows came up.

    I also have the story of the rain storms that inundated the area in 1969 in my memory bank.

    [Thanks, Pat. Regarding the ’69 rains, you should do a search for Kapu-Kai on this blog. There are some detailed comments there about one casualty. — DA]

  • Bob House

    Linda Frost’s movie was “Operation Haylift” from 1950 (“1,000,000 CATTLE DOOMED… The Headline Drama That Stirred The Nation!”). Starred Bill Williams who was later Kit Carson on TV. It’s mentioned on a Nebraska website about the “Blizzard of ’49.” Apparently, January 1949 was a very snowy month across the country.

    [They ask! They answer! And I watch in amazement and appreciation. — DA]

  • Derek Christensen

    As best I recall, we DID have snow (along with the heavy rains) during the winter of 1968/1969 and snow as far south as Vineyard Avenue and Interstate 10 in 1978, one afternoon.

    It didn’t last long, but it did “stick” from mid-day until the next morning / mid-day in the 1960s event.

  • Linda Frost

    Thanks to Bob House for the movie info. There was a big freeze in December of 1968. Snow was on the ground for three days, and many citrus growers went out of business due to crop damage. I remember December 18, the last day of school before Christmas vacation well. I was a first-year teacher in Etiwanda. We were in the middle of oral book reports when it began snowing during fourth period. My eighth graders and I went outside to play in the snow. Nobody missed doing book reports.

  • Eric


    I found this photo (also from Betty Peters) of the La Verne Lumber Co., taken in 1931 or 1932, with snow on the roof and ground. I don’t know if it was the same snowfall as the Euclid photo, but it seems like it could be.

  • Derek Christensen

    As I think about it (and per Linda above) it was more like 3 days in 1968. I was 8 years old then, and our house was surrounded by citrus groves (Rancho Cucamonga, north of Foothill).

    My “visual” memory of the event was how the front yard looked, covered several inches deep in snow, when we returned from dining out.

  • Charles Bentley

    I can recall the snowstorm that occurred while I was in third grade at Corona Elementary School. They actually allowed all classes to take a special recess so that many of us “SoCal natives” could have our first experience of playing in the snow!

    That aside, let’s take another look at the image. I believe I see the outline of the old gravity mule trolley tracks just beneath the snow. That would eliminate the southern Ontario and Chino portions of Euclid. In addition, the way the pepper trees are placed and spaced leads me to believe this image was shot somewhere north of Foothill and south of 24th Street in Upland.

    Is there any information available on the reverse side of the post card? Knowing what company printed it might allow you to narrow down the possible dates. Personally, just looking at the image here leads me to believe this shot was taken in the late 40s or early 50s, but someone with more expertise looking at the actual printed card could probably provide a much more accurate estimate.

    David, do you still have any contact with John Jopes? He might be able to offer some insight to this historical inquiry.

    [Betty showed me the reverse and it was blank, or nearly so. No help there. — DA]

  • Gavin

    Seeing this postcard mystery, I got curious and pulled the microfilm of The Daily Report to have a look.  Sure enough, the photograph was published on Wednesday, January 12, 1949, front page.  The caption reads:

    “What is possibly one of the best snow scenes on Euclid avenue was obtained by
    Daily Report Photographer Joe Wimer north of Foothill boulevard. The white blanket
    completely covered the green parkway and the green foliage of the pepper trees.”

    There were articles written about the snowstorm on the two previous days.   (The paper did not circulate on Sundays.)

    Monday, Jan. 10:  “Snow Blanket Big Area; Deny Climate Change”
    Tuesday, Jan. 11:  “Snow Last Night Kept Temperatures Well Up”

    Our little puzzle (and reminiscence) here is graced by Joe Wimers good work.  Thank you, Joe.

    For those who are interested, you can find the microfilm at the Ontario City Library (reel #75).  To this website, Ive uploaded a scanned image of a paper copy that captured a portion of that front page including the photo.

    [I don’t know how you did it, Gavin, or how long it took you to do it, but the thanks of a grateful nation are your due. Tell you what, the next snowfall is on me. — DA]

  • I went to Corona Elementary; it never snowed when I was there…lucky Mr. Bentley! Say, am I the only one who remembers the February 1979 snow in Montclair? My older sister and I were skating with friends at the roller skating rink across from the mall on Central (behind the Green Door bar). Dave, Joe…anything? -Dr. M

    [I wasn’t here in 1979 so I’m not a good one to ask. — DA]

  • Robin

    Oh goodie, another place to share these two images of Pomona taken from Ganesha Hill, Pomona, January 10, 1949.

    The first shows western Pomona and Chino Hills. The grass covered hills look pure white. The other shows the LA County Fair in the mid ground, north Pomona, and part of the mountains.