Historic Site Marker Program

CHPS has had a formal Historic Marker Program since 1996. Twenty-one historically significant sites have been recognized by a bronze or granite plaque placed on the wall of the building or by a monument bearing the plaque. All but six of the markers have been placed by Boy Scouts as part of their requirements to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

 

The collaboration between local Boy Scouts and the Corona Historic Preservation Society has been a very productive one over the past nineteen years.

# 1. -- The Historic Civic Center on West Sixth Street, between Vicentia Street and Buena Vista Street, served as Corona’s second high school from September 1923 to December 1960 and as Corona’s  City Hall from 1962 to Spring 2005. A Marker Plaque was placed July 2, 1996 as a part of Corona's Centennial celebration. The structure was subsequently named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and a second bronze plaque was placed to the left of the front doors beneath the arcade, to commemorate that event.

 

# 2. -- The First Congregational Church, at the southeast corner of Eighth and Ramona Streets, organized in 1887, was Corona’s first church. It initially met in a small wood frame building on the same site. The initially met in a small wood frame building on the same site. The existing building was built in 1911. A Marker Plaque was placed in July 1996 during a dedication ceremony as a part of Corona’s Centennial celebration.

 

# 3. -- The location near East Sixth Street and Howard Street where, in 1913, Marshal G. C. Alexander, the only Corona peace officer to be killed in the line of duty, was ambushed and killed while responding to a late night noise complaint.   (This monument was designed and built by Life Scout Blaine Winn, Troop 533, as his Eagle Project). The monument and marker were dedicated and placed July 10, 1996 as a part of Corona’s Centennial celebration.

 

# 4. -- Thomas Jefferson Elementary School was built in 1927 at Tenth and Vicentia Streets and was recognized in 1998 for continuously educating the children of Corona for over 70 years.  (This monument was designed and built by Life Scout Kirt Smith, Team 533, as his Eagle Project).  A public dedication ceremony took place on the school’s front lawn and the monument and marker dedicated and placed March 13, 1998. This school was subsequently listed in the National Register of Historic Places, September 28, 2017 and a granite marker was placed facing Vicentia Avenue on the same monument as the Historic Marker 4.

 

# 5. -- Corona’s first Fire Station, built in 1898, was located at 717 Main Street,     near the northeast corner of South Main Street and Eighth Street.  A brass fire hydrant and four granite plaques on the monument’s concrete base mark the site. The plaques commemorate the centennial anniversary of the founding of Corona’s fire department, the appointment of Benjamin E. Savry as Corona’s first Fire Chief, the establishment of Hose Company Number 1, the site itself and the alarm bell that summoned volunteer firefighters to the station to respond to each fire incident.  (this monument was designed and built by Life Scout Christopher Jensen, Troop 251, as his Eagle Project with the assistance of members of the Corona Fire Department ). A dedication ceremony took place and the monument and marker plaques were placed October 2, 1998.

 

# 6. -- Site of the South Riverside School (1889-1896), Corona Grammar School (1896-1911) and first Lincoln School (1911-1913), which backed up to Tenth Street, and second Lincoln School (1914-1950), which faced Ninth Street, (now Victoria Park between 9th and 10th streets and Victoria Avenue and Howard Street). A portion of the second Lincoln School building still remains at the park along Howard Street south of Ninth Street.  (Projects to raise funds for the marker and placement of the marker were coordinated by Life Scout Vess Pearson, Troop 233, as his Eagle Project). Monument and Marker placed November 7, 1998  on the south end of the remaining structure.

 

# 7. -- The Hotel Del Rey, built in 1904, once stood at the southwest corner of East Sixth Street and Victoria Avenue.  It was originally built as a two-story structure, but by 1907 more public space was needed and the original structure was raised up and a new first floor including lobby, registration desk and a dining room was built underneath. Over its more than ninety five year history it had a variety of names in 1998 the three-story Victoria Hotel (as it was then called) was dismantled and placed in storage with the intent of restoring it at Corona’s Heritage  Park, located in South Corona. (monument was provided by the Bank of America). Monument and Marker placed during a dedication ceremony May 7, 1999.

 

# 8. -- Corona’s first General Hospital was located in the 800 block of South Main Street from 1933 to 1963.  The parking lot for Corona Regional Medical Center currently covers the site.  (monument was designed and built by Life Scout Scott Milligan, Troop 533, as his Eagle Project). Monument and Marker placed November 6, 1999.

 

# 9. -- Corona’s first High School, built in 1907, once stood at 1230 Main Street, between Grand Boulevard and Olive Street.  By 1923 the high school student body had outgrown the site capacity and the students were relocated to a new school located at 815 West Sixth Street. The original HS site then became Corona’s first Junior High School from 1923 to 1978.  In 1941 the original building built in the Neoclassical or Classical Revival architectural style was demolished when it became unsafe.  The site is currently the campus of the Corona Fundamental Intermediate School. (projects to raise funds for the granite marker, and placement of the marker were coordinated by Life Scout Robert Skaggs, Troop 233 as his Eagle Project). The granite Marker Plaque was dedicated and placed May 12, 2000 as a part of a school assembly.

 

#10. -- The single-most significant events occurring in Corona in the 20th century were the world-class Road Races of 1913, 1914, and 1916 that were run on the circular Grand Boulevard roadway.  A circular raised monument, on the south side of Grand Boulevard marks the location of the Start/Finish line of the 1913 and 1914 races. It is located just west of Main Street, on the south side of the “Boulevard” near the intersection with Washburn Street.  (Monument was designed and built by Life Scout Scott Brown, Team 533, as his Eagle Project). The original marker was a bronze marker placed in the ground October 18, 1986. It was elevated onto circular monument March 23, 2002 along with two small explanatory plaques. Video documentarian Huell Howser brought a TV crew and documented the dedication event.  The location of the 1916 race Start/Finish Line, at the intersection of Third Street and West Grand Boulevard was not identified until 2015 when a copy of the newspaper with an image of the race course became available on the internet.

 

#11. -- The First Baptist Church, at the northwest corner of South Main and Eighth Streets was organized in 1891.  The first wood frame structure, was built in 1895 and served until January 24, 1937, when a fire destroyed the main building.  The existing chapel structure, completed in 1938, was designed by David McClellan and built by the Pinkerton-Jameson Company, and remains in use. (Monument was designed and built by Life Scout Josh Lang, Troop 54, as his Eagle Project).  The monument and Marker were placed January 27, 2005.

 

#12. -- The Corona Foothill Lemon Company home ranch headquarters located at 510 West Foothill Parkway (formerly near the corner of old Chase Drive and Taylor Streets at 1 West Chase Drive) celebrates Corona’s rich citrus heritage and is now known as the Corona Heritage  Park and Museum.  (monument was designed and built by Life Scout Barret Roloson, Troop 107, as his Eagle Project).  The used brick podium styled Monument, topped by a water valve, and bronze marker were dedicated October 15, 2005.

 

#13. -- The Santa Fe Railroad Depot in Corona, located at 150 Depot Drive (formerly Railroad Street), south of the Santa Fe tracks, north of east Grand Boulevard and just west of the Main Street grade separation over the railroad tracks. It celebrates both the first (1897 – 1937) and second (1937 to present) depot structures marking the arrival point for passengers and settlers and the departure point for Corona’s citrus harvest.  (The building exterior was refurbished and granite marker was provided and installed by Life Scout Cameron Blair, Troop 399 as his Eagle Project) Marker was placed  March 5, 2007.

 

#14. -- The Corona Woman’s Improvement Clubhouse, located at 1101 Main Street (the southeast corner of South Main and Eleventh Streets) was built in 1913 after the style of an old Welsh church, and is the oldest secular assembly building in Corona. Marker was placed April 28, 2009. The clubhouse structure was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

 

#15. -- The site of Corona’s Carnegie Library located at 805 Main Street (the southeast corner of South Main Street and Eighth Streets).  The library  was built in 1906 with a $10,000. grant and $1,500. supplement from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation and about $500. in locally raised funds. It served as Corona’s public library until 1971.  It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  Sadly, rather than repurposing this iconic and treasured building, it was abruptly demolished in to make way for a Pioneer Chicken franchise, which was never built. The site remained vacant for more than 30 years. A medical office building now occupies the site. This monument was conceived, designed and constructed by Life Scout Spencer Eccles, Troop 399. Unable to obtain permission from the landowner to place the monument and marker on the property, due to planned construction, Marker No. 18 was placed to complete his project and the monument stored.  Subsequently, the City of Corona approved an alternate proposal to place the monument in an empty historic tree well in the sidewalk in the public right-of way.  CHPS member Richard Winn excavated the hole and the monument and marker were placed August 19-20, 2013. When the Carnegie Medical Plaza office building was completed, the marker plaque was then relocated and affixed to the Main Street side of the building..

 

#16. -- Lemonia Grove, located at 2750 Rimpau (formerly the northwest corner of Lester Street and Lemon Street [now Chase Drive]). In 1893, world traveler and businessman Oscar Thieme  purchased a sheep pasture, planted Lisbon lemons, built the beautiful Victorian styled carriage house, a citrus curing shed, and had plans drawn to build a home.  He planted the area around the homesite with a wide variety of lush specimen trees, rare ornamental shrubs, colorful flowering vines and multitudes of flowers obtained during his world travels. After financial reversals resultant of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Thiemes returned to Germany and W. H. Jameson bought the property, preserved the gardens and opened the estate for family social events.  The city of Corona has recognized this site as a landmark property and as an historic district. This marker was designed and installed by Life Scout Joey Clark, Troop 421.

 

#17. -- In 1892 a group of Corona citizens met and organized the South Riverside Cemetery Association, which incorporated under the state Laws. It opened as a non-profit local cemetery called Sunnyslope Cemetery, with a “Potters Field” area for the interment of the poor or Indigent. More recently, it is known as Corona Cemetery. It is the only cemetery in Corona.  The city of Corona has recognized this site as a landmark property and as an historic district. This marker was designed and installed by Life Scout Jacob Delgado, Troop 999 as his Eagle Project.   Monument was constructed December 2, 2012 and the marker placed the following week.

 

#18. -- The Corona Theater was constructed in 1929 in a Spanish Colonial Revival/Italianate style of architecture.  The Corona Theater exhibits an extremely rare, and possibly unique, example of an Italianate façade within the 300 or so theaters designed by nationally prominent theater designers Carl and Robert Boller.  This beautiful facility, with store fronts sited at 201 E. Sixth Street, offices at 517 Ramona Avenue and the theater at 211 E. Sixth Street, was Corona’s first theater to show movies with sound and screened movies from 1929 to 1982. The Sixth Street portico was removed and the original rectangular marquee was modified in 1956 when Sixth Street was widened.

 

A Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places was submitted in 1991, but declined by the owner at that time. It still remains eligible for national listing. This site marker was conceived, by Life Scout Spencer Eccles, Troop 399, who raised all the funds, solicited donations of materials, and managed  the monument’s construction as the concluding element in his Eagle Scout Project.  He was unable to obtain permission from the landowner for placement of Site Marker No. 15, on the monument he constructed and it was placed in storage, to be used on another project. Placement of this Site Marker plaque, No. 18, was attached to the building on December 8. 2012, completing his project

 

# 19 –  The site of the hot spring located near Coldwater Creek in the Temescal Valley, south of Corona, was a focus for worship of the Great Spirit by early Native-Americans of the Luiseño tribe.  Captain James Wheate Sayward homesteaded the land in the early 1880s and utilized the spring’s waters to treat his wife’s circulatory medical conditions.  He subsequently commercialized the site with a spa and resort called Glen Ivy Hot Springs. Glen Ivy Hot Springs grew and flourished with changes  of ownership, and during the 1920s and 30s the resort enjoyed a reputation, as a destination resort for rest and relaxation, among local  and national celebrities, that was second-to-none. It now consists of the Hot Springs, a sustainable farm, resort retreat and a connection to  nature. This marker was installed on a large rock monument adjacent to the parking lot with the assistance of the management of Glen Ivy Hot Springs on July 24, 2013.

 

#20. -- The third Corona High School site located at 1150 West Tenth Street.  This marker was partially funded by Corona High Alumni, who made generous donations at the school’s “all class” reunion held in the summer of 2014.  This marker was affixed to one of the existing walls from the original campus, facing Tenth Street. It was dedicated at a school assembly at the site on January 16, 2015.

 

#21. -- The site of the industrial processing facilities of the Exchange Lemon Products – Sunkist Growers campus from 1915 to 1983

comprised many acres and was located mostly on the west side of North Joy St. The monument is located near 235 North Joy Street, which occupies the southwest coroner of the site. This marker was designed and installed by Life Scout Carter Coggins, Troop 399 as his Eagle project. The monument was constructed April 4 to 10, 2015 and the marker placed April 20, 2015.

 

#22. -- Corona’s first American Legion Hall, W. H. Jameson Jr. Post 216. In 1927 Corona World War I veterans and others supplied labor and materials and constructed this reinforced concrete building in the Spanish/Mission Revival Style from the plans of architect Cuthbert Gully and under the supervision of Frank Pinkerton. Both were members of the Post.  It was dedicated in 1929 as Reveille Post 216, then it was re-dedicated as the William H. Jameson Jr. Post 216 in 1932. The marker was placed on the front wall and dedicated on November 7, 2015.

 

#23. -- Site of Corona’s Municipal Plunge (1925-1966) at the west end of City Park at 930 East Sixth Street.  The building itself was unique to Corona and indeed the inland empire with its eclectic Tudor Style castellations/battlements on the circular tower parapets and Mediterranean-Mission Revival Style tile roofs and roof lines.  It was constructed from the plans of noted Corona architect Leo Kroonen Sr. and under the supervision of George C. Berner. The elongated podium styled masonry monument was designed and constructed by Life Scout Emilio Martinez of Troop 251. Excavation and construction took place on July 15, 2017 and the granite marker was placed some two weeks later. This monument is located on the west side of City Park, near Sixth Street, in front of the very large and historic Moreton Bay Fig tree located there.

 

#24  Site of Corona’s second elementary school, George Washington Elementary School.  Local citizens decided by a vote that Corona’s second Grammar School should be sited on a 5 ½ acre parcel at the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard and Third Street (later 230 West  Grand Blvd.) The resulting Mission Revival structure incorporated one and two story elements and a 14,000 square foot basement existed from 1911 - 1950.  It could be considered the most beautiful structure built on Grand Boulevard.  The elongated podium styled masonry monument was designed and constructed by Life Scout Nicholas Russell of Troop 233. Excavation and construction began on June 30, 2018 and the granite marker was placed some two weeks later.

 

#25. -- The site of Corona’s Pacific Electric Railway depot was located at 301 South Main Street (1915-1945), at the southeast corner of Main & Third Streets. The Pacific Electric inter-urban railway system provided passenger, freight and mail service throughout southern California for more than 50 years. The system and its cars were often referred to as “Red Cars” because of their color. The Corona depot was the last stop on the line from the downtown Los Angeles main station. The monument previously used at the site of the Carnegie Library was reset at this location. Boy Scouts from Troop 54 excavated the hole to receive the monolithic concrete elongated podium styled monument and workers from Trench Shoring rigged and reset the monument. The marker plaque was placed_________________.

 

Additional Potential Markers:

 

#26  Site of Mabey Canyon Creek bridge built in the early 20th century of exposed river rock and concrete at the mouth of Mabey Canyon.

 

#27  Site of Hotel Temescal, Corona’s first luxury hotel (1887-1889) north of seventh street west of Main Street, between Main Street and Washburn Avenue

 

#28  Site of Corona’s First City Hall (1913-1962) at 719 Main Street

 

Corona Historic Preservation Society

P.O.  Box 2904

Corona, CA  92878-2904

 

Phone:  951.898.2044

© 2006 - 2018   •   Corona Historic Preservation Society (CHPS)