History of Glendora - More Growth 1950-1990
Compiled by Culver Heaton, Jr.
Because of the rapid population growth after the war during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the City’s infrastructure needed to be expanded and modernized. During the late 1960’s and 1970’s, new buildings were constructed for the Police, Fire and Library Departments. Citrus College launched a new building program as well. In 1965, the City acquired all the assets of the Glendora Irrigating Company which included wells in the City of Azusa, an office building on Glendora Avenue and 650 acres of Wilderness Park land in Big Dalton Canyon. With this acquisition, the City now provides municipal water services to over 90% of its residents.
In July 1968, 23,000 acres of watershed were burned in the mountains above Glendora. During the following January and February, a torrential (once every 100-years) rain storm hit the Valley and the onslaught of flooding, mud and debris inundated many Glendora homes at the base of the foothills with such force that some were completely inundated in mud. Pictures of the floodwaters and damaged homes were featured in a story in the October 1969 National Geographic magazine.
In 1971, the City received a $300,000 Federal Legacy of Parks matching grant and purchased the initial 150 acres of the now 250 acre South Hills Wilderness Park and constructed the original Glendora Sports Park (now called Louie Pompei Sports Park) located in an abandoned railroad gravel pit formerly called Forb’s Pit. The Glendora Community Redevelopment Agency was established in the early 1970’s to assist in upgrading Glendora businesses and to attract new business to Glendora. Water Revenue Bonds were sold to provide funds to upgrade and expand the water distribution and reservoir system; parks, recreation and senior facilities were also upgraded and developed; and the Foothill Freeway was completed through Glendora in 1973 to connect Glendora with other Southern California cities via the freeway system.