Saturday, Feb. 14, I went to the Cooper Museum in downtown Upland for a book signing.
Images of America Upland, by Donald Laine Clucas with Marilyn Anderson and the Cooper Museum, takes you through the history of Upland in photos.
What a great life the people who lived here in the first half of the twentieth century had. Upland was a tiny agricultural community with a lively downtown and what seems like no shortage of town characters to keep everyone from falling asleep while they picked and packed lemons and oranges.
Here’s what the website says about the book: “Upland” tells the story of how a portion of the original Ontario colony, which had been established by George Chaffey in 1882, split off to become North Ontario in 1886. The foothill community enjoyed great success with its citrus production, and growers claimed that it was because the fruit was grown on higher ground. When an association of local citrus packers was formed in 1897, it took the name Upland Citrus Association.
The name was such a hit that in 1902 the community of North Ontario petitioned the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to change its name to Upland.
Cityhood came in 1906 when Upland voted to incorporate. The new city also adopted a nickname, “City of Gracious Living,” that residents still swear by to this day.
I got Don Clucas to sign my copy, as well as Marilyn Anderson.
I remember Marilyn, a talented graphic artist, from twenty years ao when she did brochure design work for First Financial Credit Union. I was advertising coordinator at First Financial at the time.
Marilyn, probably the only person I ever ran into who was actually born in Upland (besides my nephew, Jasen), is now director of the Cooper Museum in downtown Upland, over on “A” St. across from Boomers coffee shop and the Metrolink station.
You can see many of the original photos from the Upland book at the museum. There is a school photo, circa 1955, from a first-grade class at Upland Grammar School that, if you’re a baby boomer like I am, will tug at your heart strings and dust off ancient memories.