Tuesday, February 23, 2021

California's Oldest Winery

 

In its hey-day, this location was home to the Thomas Vineyard Company Winery which is located on the famous Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga.  Prior to the Thomas Vineyard Company, AKA Cucamonga Winery, this location still proudly features a number of the historic monuments to the original owner Don Tiburcio Tapia and the original wine barrel from 1849 (The oldest winery in California) that is visible from Foothill Blvd., and a historic Mission Bell recognizing the famous El Camino Real 1789 & 1906.

 


The original winery has been reinvented numerous times over 182 years to serve the community in a variety of ways such as a restaurant, coffee shop and a wine tasting room. The front porch of the winery is home to the original grapevine planted near the entrance and has grown to cover the entire veranda.  You can’t miss the giant wine barrel that flanks the front door and a few feet away is the original paddle wheel that was used for grape crushing and was powered by the Cucamonga Creek.  There is a California Historical monument at this location honoring the TAPIA  ADOBE  SITE as well as another significant California Historical monument to the CUCAMONGA  WINERY that was donated in 1950 by:  the Ontario Parlor No. 251, the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Los Ranchos Parlor No. 285 and the Native Sons of the Golden West.

 



 

Cucamonga's first large planting was in 1838 at the Cucamonga Rancho by Spanish land grant that was deeded to Don Tiburcio Tapia.  In 1859 rancher John Rains began large vine plantings (over 125,000) in Cucamonga and started a revolution by introducing agriculture on a large scale to replace cattle and sheep raising. By 1917, Secondo Guasti was advertising his vineyard as, "The Largest in the World." Cucamonga-Guasti vineyards spanned over 20,000 acres. Prohibition which should have hurt the Cucamonga Wine Industry during Prohibition (1919 – 1933) but due to a small variance, local vintner’s could produce sacramental wine as well as wine for personal use and were able to operate at a reduced production.

 


The Cucamonga Winery was started by Alfred Accomazzo and his brother Eduardo Accomazzo after Prohibition in 1933. The Cucamonga Winery is closely connected with the founding of the city of Cucamonga, California. The Accomazzo brothers came to the United States from San Desiderio in the “Asti “region of Piedmont in northwest Italy at the turn of the century, 1902.  

 


This previous winery location while historically was a landmark for people traveling the original Route 66, continues that legacy as an anchor for Cucamonga businesses.  This stop was the half-way mark on route from Palm Springs to Los Angeles and was where customers migrated to in search of purchasing cases of wine from this region.  The Thomas Winery Plaza retains the charm and pays homage to the past by preserving the rich history of the wine making business in the Cucamonga Valley.  What is your favorite memory of the Cucamonga Winery AKA Thomas Winery?  Please comment below.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

ETIWANDA PACIFIC ELECTRIC DEPOT along the Regional Pacific Electric Trail

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

Our next stop is our visit to the historic ETIWANDA PACIFIC ELECTRIC DEPOT

along the Regional Pacific Electric Trail

The Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot was built in 1914 as one of the first tilt-up commercial construction buildings in California.  The Historic Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot sits at the intersection of Etiwanda Ave and the PE Trail just a short distance north of Baseline road. It proudly resides in the historic Etiwanda neighborhood along with the Chaffey Garcia House across the street along with the Norton Fisher House and the Chaffey-Isle House.  The architect was Irving Gil who had the vision to create a multi-use train depot to carry passengers from the Inland Empire through the San Gabriel Valley on into Los Angeles and points beyond and transported fresh picked citrus and grapes that were harvested in the Cucamonga Valley.  In the early 20th Century, electric trolleys known as Red Cars connected people to previously isolated areas of Southern California. Freight trains delivered locally grown citrus and grapes to San Bernardino and destinations across the country. During the World War II era, the railway moved materials and troops to the ports of Los Angeles.                 


                               

The Pacific Electric Railway Company, nicknamed the Red Cars, was a privately owned mass transit system in Southern California consisting of electrically powered streetcars, interurban cars, and buses and was the largest electric railway system in the world in the 1920s. Organized around the city centers of Los Angeles and San Bernardino, it connected cities in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County. 





The Pacific Electric Trail is a 21-mile regional rail trail that has been constructed as a Rails to Trails conversion along the former San Bernardino Line and connects five Inland Empire cities:  Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Rialto.  The Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot is centered at the midpoint adjacent to the 21-mile regional trail making it a desired location for a trail head stop for pedestrians and cyclists to stop at for refreshment, socialize or put air into their bike tires. 


The historic Depot is charming with its’ Spanish Revival design by Architect Irving Gill. Commissioned by Henry Huntington’s Pacific Electric Railroad, it now sits in suspended animation waiting for its’ next role in the community. Like a blank canvas waiting for an artist to infuse life back into it, the Depot stands as a testament to the significance of preserving history for generations to come.  To be sure, this remnant of a bygone era has more to offer us in its’ future. We are all waiting for its’ next chapter to be fulfilled….

Do you wonder when the Depot will be restored comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail


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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Life Outdoors is a Life Well-Lived

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

At Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) they believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.  Since 1938, they have been your local PREMIER outdoor co-op, working to help you experience the transformational power of nature.  In 2005, REI built their newest location in Rancho Cucamonga and were successful even before they opened their doors.

 


REI supports community involvement especially when it comes to physical fitness and outdoor activities.  REI Rancho Cucamonga was “THE FRIENDS” first community partner and hosted our inaugural bike event in 2005.  They had barely opened and the stripes in the parking lot were still drying when they graciously opened their doors for our Poker Ride.  Participants headed out from REI over to the newly built Victoria Gardens and points around town then eventually returned to REI for food, fun, refreshment, and prize drawings.

 

Photo by Oziel G√≥mez from Pexels

REI believes in working with the community and developing lasting partnerships.  The Team at REI graciously gave us meeting space for several years until the point when we grew out of the space, thank you Team REI.  They have been our proud sponsor of the CUCAMONGA CHALLENGE for 14 years and we are grateful for their commitment to the Friends and their valued partnership.  Have you experienced their outdoor Team?  Please comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

 Victoria Jones of the Pacific Electric Trail

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

MARKS BICYCLE WATCHES OVER THE PE TRAIL

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail



Marks Bicycle moved to the corner of Baseline Road and the PACIFIC ELECTRIC TRAIL recently and the increased visibility and P E Trail traffic has been successful for the entire cycling community.  For many years, Marks Bicycle was located in the Sunrise shopping center and although business was good, Mark saw the opportunity to move his business to the corner of Baseline and Roberds street.  Marks Bicycles is the place to go for bike repair and of course, he offers an array of new bikes to select from if you’re in the market for a new ride.

 


Mark lives local and rides his bike to work daily.  He collaborated with a client that over the years became a good friend to design and build a custom mini-bike shop trailer that sits out in front of his shop.  He supports the community in various ways and always delivers the highest customer service for his customers.  Welcome to our neighborhood Mark.  Have you stopped by Marks Bicycle for a bike tune up?  Please comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail


 Victoria Jones of the Pacific Electric Trail

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