Dec 122013
 

rancho-cucamongo-preservation









The preservation of the Richfield Gas Station in Rancho Cucamongo CA.

I posted back in March of this year the work to restore the historic Cucamonga Service Station on Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga CA.

The Route 66 Inland Empire California nonprofit group owns the propery after it was deeded to them by the Lamar sign company.

The nonprofit was formed to save the structure and members intend to renovate and rebuild the gas station to what it looked like during its business heyday in the first part of the 20th century.

“It’s really exciting to see the community want to see this gas station, this service station, come back to its golden years,” said Anthony Gonzalez, president of the Route 66 IECA.

A main goal of the organization is to turn the site of the old Richfield service station into a landmark Rancho Cucamonga tourist destination and museum for Route 66 fans and travelers from all over the world.

Known as the Cucamonga Service Station, it opened in the 1910s and provided service up to the 1970s.

The group plans to bring back the old gravity-fed pumps from the 1930s, and possibly have old signs, oil cans, souvenirs, and literature related to Route 66 for visitors and the community.

The group’s members had been concerned about the fate of the old building in recent years. A larger adjoining garage in the rear had been demolished in the recent past.

Group members say the plan is raise money with the help of the public to restore the gas station and rebuild the demolished garage. The hope is to have something open by 2015 in time for the 100 year anniversary of the station.

Lamar has donated the land to the nonprofit, and the company should get a tax break from the deal.

The group will also look to the state and federal government to assist in available grants.

I am so happy to see another historic property being not only saved – but restored to its former glory.

As we all know – I am about preserving history! ESPECIALLY Route 66 history…

 

You can visit their website at http://route66ieca.org/ or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Route66IECA

Jun 012013
 





I do hope they reopen the restaurant (and orange juice stand) one day in the near future as I know EVERYONE will want to stop and get a chance to experience this place….

On a day when Fontana was celebrating its 100th birthday, Joe Bono on Friday did just what his family has done for the last 77 years: He offered his hospitality to tourists traveling on Route 66.
Sitting along the parking lot of Bono’s Old Route 66 restaurant on Foothill Boulevard was something Glen Heitritter and Linda Swenson of Omaha, Neb., had not yet seen on their ride down the Mother Road.

They stopped to take a look at the Big Orange, a 7-foot-high stucco ball from which thirsty travelers could buy glasses of fresh orange juice before the age of the freeway.

After the couple posed for the requisite photo, Bono gave them a tour of his place.

An attorney and former deputy district attorney, Bono grew up at the rear of the property at the corner of Sultana Avenue. A neighbor suggested to his mother in 1936 that she ought to sell juice to travelers along Foothill, which at the time had plenty of vineyards but was short on any places to stop for refreshment.

“It was all you could drink for 10 cents,” he told me in an interview some time ago.

That evolved into an Italian market and ultimately a restaurant. Especially during the Great Depression, Mama Bono would hear lots of hard-luck stories from many weary, and penniless, travelers seeking a new life in California and often fed them for free.

For Heitritter and Swanson, the Big Orange proved the perfect Route 66 distraction.

In their striking red Pontiac GTO — naturally, a 1966 model — they have traveled what remains of Route 66 since picking it up first in Carthage, Mo.

Among the notable experiences they’ve had was spending a night in one of the storied Wigwam Motels — with rooms shaped like teepees — in Holbrook, Ariz. They had passed the Inland Empire’s Wigwam Motel on the western edge of San Bernardino a few moments before pulling into Bono’s parking lot.

Before leaving for the end of the road at Santa Monica Pier that afternoon, they viewed Bono’s restaurant and its array of photographs and mementoes.

On a wall is a picture of young Joe and his father working in the vineyards not far away.

“Everything you see out there was vineyards,” he told the visitors, pointing out the windows toward Foothill.

But now Bono has big plans for his landmark business.

Looking over architect’s drawings, Bono said the restaurant, whose front windows are just a few feet shy of the now-four-lane Foothill Boulevard, will be moved south back from the highway. This will accommodate widening of the street as well as the construction of a huge warehouse planned on the other side of Sultana.

He said he was confident that Bono’s restaurant would reopen in the near future, to accommodate Fontana’s next century and for future travelers seeking the romance and adventure of Route 66.

By Joe Blackstock – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Apr 242013
 




SAN BERNARDINO — Two months after the annual Route 66 Rendezvous car show stalled out, one of its organizers said she’s jump-started the show – and is moving it to Ontario under a new name.
Shelly McNaul, who previously served as the director of special events for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, announced the move Saturday on the Route 66 Rendezvous Facebook page.

“I will be continuing under another name called the ‘Route 66 Reunion’ that will be a three-day car show modeled after the Route 66 Rendezvous scheduled for the same weekend, Sept. 20 to 22, 2013,” her post read in part.

The event, which pays tribute to classic cars, hotrods and the famous Mother Road itself, has been huge in San Bernardino for more than two decades, drawing thousands of visitors from outside of the city, filling local hotel rooms and filling local businesses with customers.

Jim Gerstenslager, chairman of the board for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau – which stopped day-to-day operations in March – said the Route 66 Rendezvous is San Bernardino’s signature event and nobody ever talked to him about it.

“We can’t stop people from having their own event as long as they don’t infringe on our trademark,” Gerstenslager said. “Our Convention and Visitors Bureau owns the name and Stater Bros., as title sponsor, owns Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous. We’re sticking to it and it’s absolute. “

In Ontario, which is actually a few miles south of the original Route 66, Gerstenslager’s counterpart was already gearing up for the launch of an Ontario event, which the city sees as its own way to attract visitors.

“We’re finalizing details on bringing it to Ontario under a different name,” said Michael Krouse, president and CEO of the Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Krouse went on to say, “It’s a great opportunity to bring visitors to our city, and the goal is to make it bigger and better. “

McNaul had hoped to move the event – which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to San Bernardino each summer – to Glen Helen Regional Park, she wrote, but will instead be moving it to Euclid Avenue in Ontario. McNaul has been hired by the Ontario Convention Center and Visitors Bureau, she said. The San Bernardino convention center announced in February that, after 22 years, this year’s Route 66 Rendezvous was canceled because of a lack of funding. In early 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown shut down redevelopment agencies around the state, and redevelopment funds had previously been used to help cover clean-up and security at the event. Several months later, the city declared bankruptcy.

“The challenges with doing the car show on the downtown streets of San Bernardino became greater with an unpleasant element at night,” McNaul said. “We want to give the car enthusiast back the freedom they once had to relax and enjoy the reunion of family and friends while sitting next to their babe. “

Public safety staffing has been an issue in the city.

Between declaring bankruptcy in July 2012 and March 2013, the city lost 285 employees, nearly one in four, including dozens of police officers. Police emergency response time has risen 30 seconds, to 5.4 minutes, and non-emergency calls now average a 30-minute response time.

That hasn’t stopped San Bernardino organizers from organizing something.

Meanwhile, an alternative car show, Rendezvous Back to Route 66, is scheduled for the same weekend at San Manuel Baseball Stadium in San Bernardino. The car show is being planned by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce and car clubs, including Over the Hill Gang, according to chamber president and CEO Judi Penman.

“It’s already on the car club calendar,” Penman said. “We’ve had a great response so far, with people coming forward to participate.”

Ontario organizers are keeping the spirit of the original Rendezvous.

In her post, McNaul wrote that the Route 66 Reunion will have the same “elements” as the Rendezvous, with vendors, entertainment and a continuous three-mile cruise route looping around Euclid Avenue, from Holt Boulevard to 6th Street.

She added that the surroundings are ideal, with Euclid having three lanes to park cars on both sides and cruise down the middle. Businesses, historic homes and a grass median provide trees for shade for the crowd.

“It really has a great feel, and I think it would be a perfect location for the car participants,” she wrote.

McNaul will be mailing out vehicle entry forms in May, she wrote.

By Beua Yarbrough and Michel Nolan – The Sun

Mar 202013
 







GLAD to see this thing coming all together – wished I lived a LITTLE closer to it!!

RANCHO CUCAMONGA–Work to restore the historic Cucamonga Service Station on Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga is revving up after a kick off ceremony held on Wednesday.

The Route 66 Inland Empire California nonprofit group now owns the the propery after it was deeded to them by the Lamar sign company earlier this year.

The nonprofit was formed to save the structure and members intend to renovate and rebuild the gas station to what it looked like during its business heyday in the first part of the 20th century.

“It’s really exciting to see the community want to see this gas station, this service station, come back to its golden years,” said Anthony Gonzalez, president of the Route 66 IECA.

A main goal of the organization is to turn the site of the old Richfield service station into a landmark Rancho Cucamonga tourist destination and museum for Route 66 fans and travelers from all over the world.

Known as the Cucamonga Service Station, it opened in the 1910s and provided service up to the 1970s, he said.

Gonzalez said the group plans to bring back the old gravity-fed pumps from the 1930s, and possibly have old signs, oil cans, souvenirs, and literature related to Route 66 for visitors and the community.

The group’s members had been concerned about the fate of the old building in recent years. A larger adjoining garage in the rear had been demolished in the recent past.

Group members say the plan is raise money with the help of the public to restore the gas station and rebuild the demolished garage. Gonzalez said the hope is to have something open by 2015 in time for the 100 year anniversary of the station.

“We open the door to whoever would like to come in and assist us and bring this dream, this historic station, back to its golden years,” Gonzalez said.

Lamar has donated the land to the nonprofit, and the company should get a tax break from the deal, Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said his group will also look to the state and federal government to assist in available grants.

By Neil Nisperos – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Mar 182013
 






Route 66 Rendezvous volunteers got the bad news on Thursday: The classic car show, along with the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau that produced it for 22 years, is going the way of the horse-and-carriage.

The CVB had been funded since 1988 by a 2 percent surcharge on hotel stays.
But when the city hit hard times, it had the redevelopment agency take over funding the visitors bureau.

Of course, when Gov. Jerry Brown decided redevelopment must end in California, the city of San Bernardino had inadvertently left the CVB up a creek without a paddle.

CVB Special Events Director Shelly McNaul had put off announcing the demise to her Route 66 volunteers until she was sure no other organization was going to step forward to produce the event.

“The SBCVB Board of Directors and staff… have explored numerous options to make the SBCVB self-sufficient to no avail,” McNaul wrote.

“Therefore, the SBCVB Board voted to begin the process of closing the SBCVB, relinquish(ing) the franchise of the California Welcome Center and eliminat(ing) production of the 2013 Route 66 Rendezvous.”

The Welcome Center, opened just in 2007, handed out maps, brochures and tourist information at a pit stop off Interstate 10. The state only allows a handpicked few, and now San Bernardino will lose its center.

In a letter to the mayor, SBCVB Chairman Jim Gerstenslager reviewed the bureau’s accomplishments since 1988: publishing an annual visitor guide, hosting the Rendezvous, forming a Youth Sports Alliance to bring soccer and Little League tournaments to the city.

Losing the funding for the bureau puts one more nail in the bankrupt city’s coffin.

- By Cassie Macduff

Feb 012013
 



It’s about time!! I know they have been struggling for years trying to get this historic old Richfield Gas station – and now it is finally a reality!!

Rancho Cucamonga – Ownership of a historic Route 66 gas station near the northwest corner of Foothill Boulevard and Archibald Avenue was granted this week to a nonprofit historic preservation organization.

A main goal of the organization is to turn the site into a landmark Rancho Cucamonga tourist destination for Route 66 fans and travelers from all over the world, said Anthony Gonzales, president of the Route 66 IECA.

The gas station, which was opened in the 1910s, had provided service to the community up to the 1970s, he said.

“We have Route 66, the ‘mother road,’ and it’s been around since the 1930s, and it’s representative of an era back in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s,” Gonzalez said. “For people from the middle part of the country, the road they used to travel to California was Route 66.‘ Several times, walking past this gas station, I started wondering to myself, who was here, what famous people were here who traveled this road and stopped here. There is a lot of history.”

Members had been concerned over the fate of the old building in recent years. A larger adjoining garage in the rear had been demolished in the recent past. The group initiated efforts to acquire the property from the Lamar advertising company, which also owns tall electronic billboards near the site.

Lamar has donated the land to the nonprofit, and the company should get a tax break from the deal, Gonzalez said. Gonzalez had the grant deed signed by county officials on Thursday.

The Route 66 IECA (Inland Empire California) nonprofit group hopes to gain community and corporate support for money toward architectural review, renovation, marketing, and future upkeep.

“The desire is to try to restore it to a period of time in the past that would bring a little historic site to Route 66 and have the community have a treasure like this historic gas station, come in, visit and learn about the history of the gas station and learn about the history of Cucamonga as a whole.”

Gonzalez said the hope is to turn the place into a museum where travelers and locals could come and learn more about the history of Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga.

“The desire is to have the city become a partner with us in whatever they can,” Gonzalez said. “As far as soliciting funds from the city, the city is faced with financial issues. Our hope is to have the city as a partner to look for community sponsors and corporate sponsors.”

Gonzalez said his group will also look to the state and federal government to assist in available grants.

Neil Nisperos – Inland Newspapers

Nov 082012
 

 


Ron ‘The Tattoo Man’ Jones is pretty much known for one thing – his over 100 tattoos, and almost ALL of them are Route 66 related…

I (have known) of Ron for a while, but never really met him or even spoke to him. Then I found out he was going to attend the Route 66 International Festival in Victorville CA – and I knew I had to contact him.

Seeing I was just coming off the final trip to Needles CA to get the 66 Motel sign completed and lit – I thought it would be a great idea not only to have this sign immortalized, but also give Ron another excuse to add another tattoo of a Route 66 icon.

I Emailed him and we started going back and forth and I started sending him pictures of the sign and he picked one out. Now, there were only two rules with this tattoo – the first one being the tattoo HAD to be done at a tattoo parlor on Route 66. I started my research and found a few in Victorville and we agreed it would happen that friday of the festival. The second one was – I was paying for this as it was my honor to have him do this not only for me, or the 66 Motel, but for the entire Route 66 community.

The day came and Ron and I met for the first time in Victorville at breakfast. We talked about the plans for the day and when and where this was going to take place. Easy enough….

Then the unexpected. He received a phone call about his father not doing well, actually he was in dire condition health wise and Ron and his wife had to leave, at that very moment. I remember Rich Talley calling his wife Gail up at the Motel Safari telling her ‘..if Ron needs to stop and stay the night on his way home, please make sure he is taken care of…‘ Ron was going around the room saying his ‘goodbyes’ and he thoroughly apologized to me for not being able to have the tattoo put on that day. I told him family always comes first – I that I had no doubt in my mind we would see each other again soon and we can continue where we left off.

Off he went….

So, just a few weeks ago, I received an Email from Ron asking for my permission to go ahead and get the tattoo anyway. I told Ron to go right ahead and that I hoped it turned out well. So he did, and it did!

He then sent me an Email a few days ago asking for my address as he wanted to send a picture to me of the tattoo – I gave it to him and he sent me the picture. And now I just had to share it with you.

This really is about more than a tattoo – this is about the kind of people we have on the route. Ron knew me through my website but didn’t know the person behind it. I have read and heard stories of Ron, but never really knew the man.

We both met – albeit a short time – but I think we made long lasting impressions on each other… I like the guy! And I like what he is doing for the route!

So… if the planets line up and there is a chance – I wil be attended the 2013 International Route 66 Festival in Joplin, and you guessed it, Ron and I will have another date at a tattoo parlor!

Sep 162012
 





SAN BERNARDINO — Route 66 is more than just classic cars and motorcycles.

For decades, the historic highway served as an integral part of the nation’s transportation system.

And in an effort to raise that awareness, the Historical Society of Trucks sponsored a 40-truck convoy that traveled from Illinois along the old Route 66 Highway to the Rendezvous.

On Saturday, the society completed its inaugural Historic Highway Convey by joining the third day festivities of the 23rd Annual Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.
“We picked this destination because the event memorialized our Historic Route 66,” said Bill Johnson, executive director of the society.

The national organization, which aims to preserve the history of trucks as well as the trucking industry, began its trek in Illinois on Sept. 6 and drove more than 3,000 miles.

It began with 30 classic trucks in Morris, Illinois, and on Saturday morning they made their final stop of the tour, picking up 10 more vehicles in Barstow.

By 9:30 a.m., the convoy, which stretched about half a mile, were traveling down Old Cajon Boulevard, the original Route 66.

Ken Lund, of San Bernardino, worked with the society’s organizers to bring others from the local chapter to join the final leg of the jaunt.

Lund drove his 1953 GMC half-ton pickup truck but said the local chapter has models dating to 1916 as well as more modern models. A bulk of the trucks come from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

“It was interesting to see how far away some of these trucks came from,” he said about Saturday’s ride.

Lund was joined by Richard McNamara, 62, who rode into the festivities in his 1946 Mack tow truck.

“It was a lot of fun,” the Riverside resident said about the short road trip.

McNamara’s truck, of the faded orange paint coat is covered in rust, was once used by the American Automobile Club of Southern California. A faded image of the logo is still visible on the side of the truck.

It was used by Highland based company called Bell’s Garage and Tow Service. But for years, it sat in someone’s yard unused. In fact, it hadn’t been registered since the 1970s, he said.

“I just fell in love with it. It had my name on it – Mark,” he said. “These are rare to find on the West Coast, the models were made in New York”, McNamara said.

John Vannatta, current president of the society was among those who road the whole portion of the trip.

“It was it was great everybody has a bucket list, its something you always wanted to do,” he said.

Along the way, the convoy made nine stops different stops at local Travel Centers of America. It was then the public could meet the drivers, or for members to come out and support. The largest turnout was at the Albuquerque, New Mexico stop.

There were even portions of the cross country trip that the convoy was joined by other truck enthusiasts, he said.

Vannatta said it was a big commitment to drive across the country. He commended those who took part in the trip adding that they probably spent around $1,500 on fuel.

Aside from being able to commit about two weeks, most of truckers spent between $7,000 and $8,000 on the excursion.

“The idea of doing it was fun,” Vannatta says. “A lot of people always want to do this, here (was my) chance.”

Liset Marquez – The Sun

Sep 162012
 





Nice way to start the last day of the event…

SAN BERNARDINO — Car enthusiasts at the Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous started the last day of festivities by giving thanks during a church service in downtown’s Court Street Square.

Preacher Ralph Provost, of Christian Rods & Customs, addressed a small crowd of attendees at 9 a.m. during the nondenominational service. Music was also provided during the service.

“We’re car enthusiasts that love the Lord. We do church services, hot rod church,” said Provost.

“Sometimes we call our cars a pulpit on wheels,” Provost continued. When people see our cars, “that kind of opens the door to share our testimony of Christ.”

By mid-morning, vendors were already setting up their booths and prepping for the crowds. Hot weather is forecast again today. The National Weather Service anticipates a high of 92 degrees today in San Bernardino, with a slight southwest wind.

The Rendezvous shuts down at 4 p.m. today.

Vehicle check-in for the Sunday classic car cruise began at 8 a.m., with the cruise beginning at 10 a.m. through downtown streets. Car owners can get a half-off, Sunday-only registration for $40, according to event organizers.

The Parade of Champions cruise started at 11 a.m. today. The burnout contest will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Fifth Street and Arrowhead Avenue.

The band Cold Duck takes the stage from noon to 2 p.m. at Court Street Square.

By Andrew Edwards – The Sun

Sep 092012
 




Rachel Pabon
Co-manager of Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain

Rachel Pabon, a manager at Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain, talks about how the business has been at its South Pasadena location for 97 years, predating the Mother Road.

The business opened its doors in 1915 and became a popular rest stop on the westernmost end of Route 66 in the 1930s.

Pabon, a manager of the business since 2005, said a lot of customers still use the pharmacy.

“We get people from every state. On the weekends, it’s hard to even get a seat. On Saturdays we’re completely full, with people waiting in line for old-fashioned ice cream. We’ve even had to double our outdoor seating,” she said.

The business, which has been featured on the Travel Channel, has recently started a Facebook page.




Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino

Co-owner Ramila Patel holds a U.S. map created from old license plates from each state while inside the Wigwam Motel’s lobby in San Bernardino. The motel is a classic Route 66 destination.

The Patel Family
The Patel family – husband and wife Jack and Ramila Patel, with sons, Kumar and Manoj – purchased the iconic Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino in 2003.

The Wigwam has stood for more than half a century as a monument to all that is unique – outlandish, wonderful, quaint and quirky – about the Mother Road.

“The whole essence of the culture of Route 66 is people are seeking the real America – the way it used to be,” said Kumar Patel.

Even during extensive renovations, the family did not close the business, but welcomed travelers while work gradually progressed.

The “village” of 20 concrete tepee cabins is now on the federal list of historic places.

This year’s Route 66 Rendezvous T-shirt design features the Wigwam Motel tepees.





Joe Bono is the owner of Bono’s Restaurant and Deli, which is located along Route 66′s Foothill Boulevard in Fontana. Bono’s Restaurant has been closed for several years and faces the threat of partial demolishment due to the city’s proposal to widen Foothill Boulevard.

Joe Bono
Owner, Bono’s Italian Restaurant and Orange Stand, Foothill Boulevard, a.k.a Route 66, Fontana

Bono, 81, uncle of the late entertainer Sonny Bono, owns iconic Bono’s Italian Restaurant in Fontana, started by his mother, Frances, on Route 66 in 1936.

A retired lawyer, Bono took over the restaurant and deli business after his mother died in the 1990s.

“I like to go out and talk to people who come here, because they are from all over the world,” said Bono, who has been instrumental in keeping Route 66 culture alive.

The restaurant, which has been closed since 2004, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

He has ongoing issues with the city regarding the widening of Foothill Boulevard in front of his property.






The Saga Motor Hotel is a Route 66 destination in Pasadena. The hotel has been a setting for film crews, including a recent episode of “CSI” and a variety of commercials.

Lori Bluemel and Melody McKinney
Co-managers of the historic Saga Motor Hotel in Pasadena

The Saga Motor Hotel, the rambling terra cotta-colored motel on Colorado Boulevard, a.k.a Route 66, is the quintessential “Welcome to California” to those arriving from other states or countries, according to manager Lori Bluemel.

The timeless motel, surrounded by lush, tropical landscaping, is an original along Route 66.

Because the Rose Parade passes by the motel, reservations are already being taken for New Year’s Eve 2012.

Busloads of international visitors also arrive from time to time, Bluemel said.

The motel has been the setting for film crews, including a recent episode of “CSI” and a variety of commercials.