Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 1.
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 Route 66 travel
 Wigwam Motel
 Sycamore Inn
#23
Get your kitsch on Route 66.

The stretch of the fabled highway that crosses through Claremont and nearby cities as Foothill Boulevard mostly consists of stucco strip malls and other standard fixtures of suburbia. Don’t let that get you down. You can still find some roadside relics of another time if you’re willing to work at it.

The Wigwam Motel – The weirdest relic on Foothill Boulevard may be the Wigwam Motel in a shaggy section of Rialto. The “wigwams” are really cone-shaped concrete rooms meant to look like teepees. Dating back to 1949, this location was the last built of a series of Wigwam Motels across the country, of which only three remain. As Route 66 declined, so did the Wigwam Motel, and for many years the sign outside read: “Do it in a teepee.” But a new owner is fixing up the place, hoping to cash in on Route 66 nostalgia.

The Giant Orange – Decades ago, citrus groves lined the route through Fontana and growers set up stands to sell juice and fruit. This stand was shaped like an orange and dates back to the 1930s. As the groves disappeared, this stand has been moved around many times and now finds a home next to Bono’s Restaurant & Deli, 15395 Foothill Blvd., another interesting relic from the 1930s.

Rancho’s restaurants: A stretch of the road through Rancho Cucamonga offers interesting old-fashioned eateries. The Sycamore Inn dates back to 1848, when founder William Rubottom opened an inn along the dirt path from L.A. to San Bernardino. Murders, fires and floods followed. According to the restaurant’s Website, the current building went up in 1920. Two decades later a Dutch immigrant bought the place, turning it into an upscale restaurant. Just across the street, the 50-year-old Magic Lamp Inn steakhouse lures people in with its lamp-shaped sign—complete with burning oil—and its swanky fireplace lounge. For folksier fare, head next door to the Red Hill Inn and plop down on the swivel seats with taped-up vinyl. Gawk at the celebrity photos that cover just about every inch of the walls as you wolf down your five-egg omelette.
 
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