14 October 2014

Chino Hills Historical Society Presentation Last Night

Last evening's talk at the Chino Hills Community Center for the Chino Hills Historical Society by Champion owner and publisher emeritus Allen McCombs was filled with great photos of the Chino Valley from the 19th century to the very recent past and punctuated with interesting anecdotes and stories about the people and places of the area.

McCombs came to Chino in 1956 fresh from a three-year stint in the Navy and with a journalism pedigree and training, purchased the Champion, which continues now in its 127th consecutive year under the original name and still very much a viable paper (even in this technological period), thanks largely to his leadership.

His talk covered everything from Antonio María Lugo, grantee of the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino in 1841, to the creation of Chino in 1887 by Richard Gird, to early landmarks and significant residents in that town, to the development of Chino Hills in the last quarter century, and much else.

The one-hour presentation covered a lot of ground and some of the best parts were when McCombs shared his personal connection to people, buildings and locales, with some of the more humorous and telling recollections coming during the question-and-answer period after the formal part was concluded.

There is no one in the area with more knowledge of the community's development and, while McCombs has shared much of this through his paper and, specifically, his "Rolltop Roundup" column, there is clearly a great deal more information that has not been made public yet.   Hopefully he'll do so because he is one of the last living links to the small-town Chino Valley which predominated until probably the 1960s or 1970s.

It was fun to hear the stories and see the images--preserving as much of the remarkable store of historical material McCombs possesses becomes that much more important because we'll not see the like of him again in the Chino Valley.

The next presentation for the Chino Hills Historical Society is slated for Monday, 9 February 2015 when the focus will be on the archaeological work done in the area over the years.  That should be an interesting presentation on the unearthing of the previously-buried history via artifacts found at building sites in the valley.

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