Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.
by Paul R. Spitzzeri
Here’s another entry in the “Time Capsule Tuesday” series, which is a prelude to the 60th anniversary of the June 1957 incorporation of the City of Industry. Today, we look at a pair of 90-year old photographs from the Homestead’s collection of a portion of the city and surrounding areas in Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights.
It can sometimes be very jarring to see what the rural hinterlands of what we at the Homestead refer to as “greater Los Angeles” before the march of suburbia came to the boondocks of the eastern San Gabriel Valley.
Ninety years ago, a traveler stopped along a road in the Puente Hills and snapped a couple of images of the undeveloped area. There don’t appear to be too many images like them around that show our local scene, so they are particularly interesting.
The first view looks as if the person stopped their car in the middle of the dirt thoroughfare to get a view of the road as it curved off to the right (south) on its ascent into the hills. A long sign in the distance may have warned drivers of the curve. Other than that, there are no signs of any structures or other development. A few trees along the roadside, the rolling hills, and stands of what are almost certainly oak trees interspersed in the hills are in the frame.
Based on other photographs and some maps that I’ve seen this looks to be the Anaheim-Puente Road, which came up from the Orange County city over what is now Harbor Boulevard to Fullerton Road and then made a sharp left (west) turn, where the car was stopped, roughly where Colima Road (known as Fifth Avenue years ago) is now. The road then made a right turn heading north along what is now Azusa Avenue.
A portion of Anaheim-Puente Road still exists, because Azusa veers to the right, while the old route continues straight. Where once the road ended at Valley Boulevard and the Southern Pacific railroad tracks, a dead-end exists just south of that. The Azusa route north of Valley was once known as Pass and Covina Road, as it headed towards the town of Covina to the north.
The second photograph is taken as if the traveler simply turned to the right (or stepped out of the vehicle to do this) and captured some of the grasslands in the foreground and then the gently sloping hills leading up to the summit of the hill range where La Habra Heights is located.
Again, presuming that the roadway is Anaheim-Puente Road on the east-west section that ran close to modern Colima Road, then the traveler appears to have stopped a bit west of today’s Fullerton Road just as the City of Industry intersects with Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights.
Check back next Tuesday for another installment in the “Time Capsule Tuesday” series.