It was once a busy, prominent building, next to Ontario’s largest private employer. But after the Hotpoint factory closed in 1982, its clubhouse, where employee functions had taken place since 1917, began its slide into obscurity and neglect. In the early morning hours of Aug. 14, it burned down, cause currently unknown. I write about the building and its history in Friday’s column.
Did you know an escalator at ONT has been broken for six months? And if you did, did you know the escalator has its own Twitter account? (Probably you didn’t; it has only 92 followers.) Having taken the stairs myself coming back from my recent vacation, I write about the situation, which is not escalating, in Sunday’s column, along with items about a conversation on “Jimmy Kimmel” about Ontario, a Mini Cooper in the news in Rancho Cucamonga and more.
La Luz del Mundo’s construction in Ontario has been going on for years. With the parent church’s unwelcome appearances in the news, I figured it was time to check in on the local congregation’s incremental progress in building a house of worship on Mountain Avenue. I write about that for Friday’s column.
Farewell, Citizens Business Bank Arena; hello, Toyota Arena. I lead off Friday’s column with a few words about the change, then present items about the Pomona High fire of ’56, an early ’60s flight from ONT to Blythe, my race to get a Restaurant of the Week completed and the end of a short-lived Claremont restaurant.
I write about the silliness and seriousness of the latest Ontario council meeting in Friday’s column. Above, Kingston mugs at the Ontario Council Chambers lectern moments before the meeting begins, as Nancy Bumstead reacts.
I write about Pat and Virginia King, who gave up their Ontario home 39 years ago to buy the house next door. After that come a bunch of items from Pomona involving Mexico Lindo, the redwood grove, an art exhibit, two Big Boys and the 1956 Pomona High fire, plus a plug for my next author talk and a note that I’m leaving for vacation, all in Sunday’s column.
When I toured the Paul R. Williams house on Ontario’s Sixth Street in late 2017, I was surprised to see a sign from Oxnard’s old Wagon Wheel restaurant complex decorating the kitchen. The homeowner said he’d picked it up before the complex was demolished in 2015.
I found the photo recently and, since I’d always meant to share it, decided to go ahead.
Do you recall the Wagon Wheel ? Built starting in 1947, the complex consisted of a motel, restaurant, bowling alley, roller rink and more and was a quaint sight along the 101. Says Wikipedia: “One of the most recognizable features of the motel was the giant neon sign that included an animated stagecoach driver and galloping horses.”
I got to bowl at the bowling alley a couple of years before the end. If I remember correctly, I came in third against two friends who rarely bowled. It’s a good memory anyway.
Veteran travelers through Ontario International Airport may recall the stained-glass mural in the old terminal from 1978. Few have seen the mural since the new terminals opened in 1998, but it’s still there, and the artist, Mike Hill, now 78, returned for a rare visit. I was there too. That story is in Sunday’s column.
The venerable retailer, which was located in Ontario from 1929 to 2015 before moving to Upland, is closing this summer. Also: Fox 11’s Matt Johnson reflects on his Ontario childhood, and more items from around the valley, in Sunday’s column.