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Over a century ago, when the first inhabitants arrived in the area, they immediately set about improving it. As a result of their labor, Claremont, located near Pomona, is home to many of the amenities that visitors enjoy today. Around this point in time, the height of the trees that were planted at the turn of the century exceeds that of any of the nearby mountains. It is common knowledge that the Claremont Colleges have become nationally recognized as some of the most prestigious educational and cultural hubs in the United States.

The historic center is one of the few “downtowns” that still exists in the region, and it continues to be a flourishing business and residential core today. Citizens of modern-day Claremont are just as engaged as their forebears were, working to build on the city’s previous successes in order to secure a stronger future. This level of engagement is inspired by the town’s historic “town meeting” method of self-governance, which dates back to the 19th century.

As shown by the discovery of a Tongva-Gabrielino town on a mesa a few hundred yards northeast of the intersection of Foothill and Indian Hill Boulevards, the Tongva-Gabrielino were the first known occupants of the Claremont region. The town was discovered on a mesa a few hundred yards northeast of the intersection of Foothill and Indian Hill Boulevards. In 1771, at the beginning of the Spanish era in California, the San Gabriel Mission was constructed in an area that extended from the San Bernardino Mountains to San Pedro Bay. Claremont was a town that was a part of this large land mass; many of the native Tongas and Gabrielinos lived there and worked as shepherds for the padres.

After the Mexican government secularized the missions in 1834, the majority of the land that is now contained within the municipal boundaries belonged to Rancho San Jose, which was owned by Ricardo Vejar and Don Ygnacio Palomares. Maria Barbara, Ygnacio’s sister, and her family used to live in an adobe house that was located in the area that is now known as Memorial Park. Tongva-Gabrielinos continued to provide services to Spanish colonists until smallpox outbreaks in 1862 and 1873 wiped off substantial portions of the local population. During this time, the Tongva-Gabrielinos died out. By the year 1883, the very last of the Tongva and Gabrielino peoples had long gone left the region.

In the year 1826, Jedediah Smith, who was the first European to arrive in California by way of the land route, traveled through the Claremont region. W. T. “Tooch” Martin, who was the first Anglo-European to settle in Claremont, made a claim to 156 acres of land in the area that is now known as Indian Hill Boulevard in the year 1871. Martin maintained his subsistence by the hunting of wild animals and the maintenance of bees, but as the town grew, he was forced to look for a new spot to call home.

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