When taking photos recently of the property around Rancho Cucamonga’s Sycamore Inn for which development is proposed, I paid a visit to the Bear Gulch monument and historical marker, on the western edge of the restaurant property.
The monument was erected in 1932 to mark a resting point of the 18th century. The two overland expeditions by Juan Bautista de Anza from Mexico to Northern California stopped there. Bear Gulch is the local name for the area where, evidently, bears had been spotted on numerous occasions in olden days.
You can check out the plaque below. It’s listed online in the Historical Marker Database.
My colleague Joe Blackstock explored the marker in a column in 2014. He wondered why the marker cites the minor Father Pedro Font when he was accompanying the better-known de Anza, and why the marker says 1779 when the expedition was actually in 1776 — and de Anza had previously been there in 1774.
More whimsically, reader Will Plunkett says he refers to the statue as the Monkey Bear because the bear’s face has a simian aspect.
Check it out sometime when you’re driving past on Foothill Boulevard or eating at the Sycamore, and maybe give a little growl.
Friday’s column may give you an ice cream headache: Farrell’s has left the Inland Valley for the second time. First it was Montclair in the 1980s. Now it’s Rancho Cucamonga this month. Plus: two more items, and a valley vignette. Above, a thwarted diner reads the message Tuesday afternoon about the closing.
If you want to read about the old Farrell’s, I posted about it here.
The Richfield sign atop the restored Cucamonga Service Station was put back in place Friday morning. Reader Diego Ramirez contributed the two photos above. The gas station, now a Route 66 museum, was built in 1915 and stands on Foothill Boulevard just west of Archibald Avenue.
You might recall that the rooftop sign was taken down in February until its height could be lowered by a couple of feet. Its placement interfered with the electronic billboard next door, and its owner, Lennar Advertising Co, had after all donated the service station to the nonprofit Route 66 Inland Empire California Association, so its request deserved consideration.
Below is a view of the newly installed sign on Monday, shot by me as a selfie out my window while stopped at a red light in the northbound turn lane! There’s a small shopping center going up to the west, as you can see.
The sleepy western entrance to Rancho Cucamonga may become home to 175 condos around the Sycamore Inn. My Friday column has some news on that, as well as other RC items, a Culture Corner and more.
On Sunday, I got to co-interview Billy Dee Williams onstage at Rancho Cucamonga’s Lewis Family Playhouse about his career as part of the library’s Star Wars Reads weekend of events. It was occasionally revealing, and occasionally tense. Read about it in my Wednesday column.
A gift basket of Frito-Lay items was delivered to our newsroom during my vacation. This was in response to my item March 27 about the Frito-Lay plant across the street from our Rancho Cucamonga office constructing an eight-story warehouse for its snack products prior to distribution. An editor kindly locked the basket in her office until my return today.
I’m not a big snacker, and even if I were I couldn’t eat all this, so I set it out for the staff, after taking a couple of items for later consumption. We’ll consider the basket a welcome gift from our new neighbors. No word yet on my idea of a chute to connect the warehouse to our breakroom…
In Wednesday’s column, there’s a short history of Rancho Cucamonga’s Red Hill Coffee Shop stretching back to the 1940s, followed by six items from around that city and a schedule for my movie nights in April at the Ontario library. Last column for the week as I’m on vacation. Back in print April 6.
Sunday’s column starts with a silly, but true, item about an expansion of the Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga. After that: four Culture Corner items, a plug for my blog and a Valley Vignette.
In Sunday’s column, we take a first look at some political news from Rancho Cucamonga, which may need to be split into City Council districts in response to a legal challenge. Other local cities may face the same issue. Upland’s council is scheduled to hear about it March 28, I’ve just learned.
Wednesday’s column pays tribute to Jerie Lee, a familiar face around Rancho Cucamonga council meetings and the senior center. She died last month. After that: Culture Corner items and a reminder of the Charles Phoenix slide show this weekend.