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Highlights from the 1920s and 1930s

1920s-1930s

It is my hope that the property that kind Providence has brought me may be helpful to many others, and that I may be found a faithful steward.

- W.K. Kellogg

 

1925
W.K. Kellogg standing beside two foalsBreakfast food magnate W. K. Kellogg purchases 377 acres for $250,000 in Pomona as the site for his Arabian horse ranch. Over the next two years he builds a mansion on the north end of the property, a manor house, stables, a training ring, a courtyard and a rose garden. He soon adds a large grandstand for the public to watch his Sunday Arabian horse shows.

Rudolph Valentino1926
Rudolph Valentino rides Kellogg’s Arabian Jadaan in “The Son of The Sheik.”

1927
Spirit of St. Louis plane flying over the stablesReturning home in the Spirit of St. Louis after crossing the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh flies over the W.K. Kellogg Airport, the first of its kind in the Pomona Valley.  The airport, little more than a large landing strip, is officially dedicated a year later.

Clara BowHollywood’s elite discover the ranch and take in performances by the Arabian horses. “It Girl” Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan are among the stars who visit in the coming decade. The public turns out as well, with some assistance from the Automobile Club of Southern California, which promotes the ranch and provides road signs to direct visitors.

Charles Voorhis and wifeMarch 1927
Charles Voorhis, an executive of the Nash Motor Company, buys 157 acres of land in San Dimas and starts the Voorhis School for Boys. It operates from 1928 to 1938, when the Voorhis family donates it to the state.

Aerial viewApril 1930
W. K. Kellogg buys an additional 425 acres, more than doubling the size of the ranch.

Kellogg Ranch Presentation CeremonyMay 17, 1932
W.K. Kellogg donates his land, 87 horses and a $600,000 endowment to the state. Will Rogers is the master of ceremonies at the announcement, which draws nearly 20,000 people, including Governor James Rolph Jr., to the ranch.

 

Arabian horses1936
Several Arabian horses appear in “The Garden of Allah,” starring Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer.

Charles VoorhisSeptember 1, 1938
The Voorhis School for Boys, consisting of 157 acres, is given to the state by Charles Voorhis and his son, former Congressman Jerry Voorhis.

September 15, 1938
The Voorhis Unit of Cal Poly (a southern branch of the San Luis Obispo campus) opens in San Dimas with 80 students and five faculty — all men. The college offers majors in agricultural inspection, citriculture, deciduous fruits and landscape gardening.

Students and Faculty Picture

Julian McPhee, who has developed a “learn-by-doing” method of education, serves as president of both campuses.

1939
Fall quarter enrollment is 103.

The campus store is the social hub on campus. It has a radio, a pool table and ping-pong tables.

Pushball, a spirited contest between freshmen and sophomores, becomes an annual tradition. Dozens of men on each team try to push an eight-foot-diameter ball over the opponent’s line. It is described as “one of those clean games where nothing but skull cracking, gouging and shin busting is permitted.”

April 29-30, 1939
The first Poly Vue is held as an open house for parents to learn about the campus and meet faculty. The crowning of Miss Poly Vue, Jackie Anabel Rahn, and the coronation ball close out the program. (Miss Poly Vue and her court are drawn from local colleges until 1961 when women are allowed to enroll at the college.)

The basketball team finishes with a record of 3-4.

The baseball team, also in its inaugural season, finishes with a record of 7-1-1.

Spring quarter enrollment stands at 82.