Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Glendora Bougainvillea

Los Angeles County, January 1, 1995 (and rainy)

Not far from the intersection of the 210 and 57 freeways is a landmark dedicated to vine. Kudzu with attitude, the Bougainvillea, and a great word for spelling bee fodder.

Photo: Glendora 1903

In 1885 the Santa Fe Railway Company began building their railroad line from Pasadena to San Bernardino and by 1887 two rail trains were operating through Glendora. Streets were laid out, lots plotted and the name "Glendora" was given by George D. Whitcomb, a large property owner. The name was derived from his wife's name Leadora and the mountain glen in back of their home

The California Historic Route 66 association provides the following information:

“The bougainvilleas, were planted by Reuben Hamlin, a former Canadian, who came to the area in the late 1800's. However, Hamlin's wife, Helen, is credited with having instigated the planting of the vines. According to information passed from owner to owner, and the recollections of residents still alive, the grove and palm trees were planted in about 1890 and the Bougainvilleas in the early 1900's.

Being sub-tropical to tropical, the Bougainvillea cannot be grown as a year-round outdoor plant in any part of the continental United States except along the coastal region of southern California and certain parts of Florida. Even in these locations, cold nights below 32 will cause considerable dieback of the smaller branches. One of the reasons for the great success of the vines at the Pittman ranch is the flow of warm air from the Dalton Canyon on cold nights. The air flows along a temperature slot less than 1/2 mile wide. The vines, being in the center of this slot, are seldom subjected to below freezing temperatures.

After seven months of preparation, the applications were filed on May 31, 1977. On September 1, 1977, by a unanimous vote of the California Historical Landmark Advisory Committee, the Glendora Bougainvillea became California State Historical Landmark No. 912”

The Hamlin’s home is now the California DAR’s state headquarters. The craftsman style house was begun in 1905, and completed in 1909 by Ruben Hamlin. Mr. Hamlin died in 1939, and Mrs. Hamlin continued to live in the home until 1961. After a series of owners, the California State Society National Society Daughters of the American Revolution bought the house in 1982. It contains the beautiful built-in cabinets and bookcases, sleeping porch, window seats, and beamed ceilings typical of a craftsman home.

On the left side is the porte cochier as a reminder of the time when guests arrived at the home by carriage. A carriage house sits at the rear of the house and is now the residence of the caretaker.

 NO. 912 GLENDORA BOUGAINVILLEA - Planted in 1901 by the R. H. Hamlins, early citrus growers, the Glendora bougainvillea is the largest growth of this exotic plant in the United States. The parent stock was brought to California by a whaling ship about 1870. The vines are one of the best remaining illustrations of the image of California as a paradise that was spread by early 20th-century promoters.
Location: 400 block of E Bennet Ave at Minnesota Ave, Glendora
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: GLENDORA
Google 34.139697,-117.860556

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