Tuesday, January 01, 2008

In Search of the Goddess

I am the proud owner of the newly published, "Images of America, Early Pomona" by Mickey Gallivan and the Historical Society of Pomona Valley. I got this book at Barnes & Noble yesterday and would highly recommend it to anyone who knows and loves Pomona. They carry similar books in this series about Azusa, Covina, Glendora, Glendale and oh yeah the usual, boring places like Hollywood.

According to this book, there are actually 3 Goddess of Pomona statues in Pomona. Check out the first photo, which appears on page 50 of the book. This is the same white statue that's currently in the library's hallway, but it's pictured in Pomona's late, great Carnegie Library. As you can see and read if you click on the photo, the library goddess had a special room built just for her in the old library. As she deserves! She wasn't just stuck in any old midcentury hallway space as she is now.

The second photo which is on page 101 of the book, shows a Goddess of Pomona statue in Garfield Park. This goddess is sculpted in bronze and stands alongside a soldier, whom she appears to guide and protect. I just drove by, and this statue is still there, but honestly, even looking for her, this goddess is hard to see. Part of it is that looking at the statue from the east side of the park, she is blocked by the soldier. Looking at her from the west side, she is facing away from you as she looks toward the east. And there is always too much action on Holt Avenue to look at her from head on.

My friend K just told me that when her car recently broke down on Holt Avenue(no, this story will not end in a crime scene), she and her children happened upon the statute in Garfield Park quite by accident. She said that her eyes welled up with tears when she saw that it was none other than THE Goddess of Pomona standing there in the middle of the park. Only a fellow goddess of Pomona like my friend K would discover the silver lining to her car breaking down on Holt. Here's to you, K, another reader who never posts, but has a lot to say!

The third photo is on page 116 of the Early Pomona book and is the most mysterious of the goddess statues, mainly because, well, it's missing in action. Pictured is a smaller, gold-colored (?) version of the goddess, standing outside Pomona's oh-so-deco-lettered Chamber of Commerce building (also gone, I'm assuming, how sad). The text on this photo says that the Chamber has been unable to locate this statue. I could swear that I've seen this one at a local garage sale. Or perhaps in the billard room in a friend's basement? I'm told there's a bomb shelter in the house next door, maybe it's there? This one cries out to be investigated. I'll at least open up a manila file folder on it. Keep you posted. Any and all tips, anonymous or otherwise, will be accepted.

If you are at all intrigued by these photos, there's lots more to be had in this new book. The Early Pomona book is available at bookstores, as well as online and through the Historical Society. Proceeds will go towards renovations at historic sites owned by the Historical Society of Pomona Valley.


John Clifford said...


The middle photo shows the statue in Garfield Park with the goddess handing a sword to a young man as he heads off to war. However, if you visit the park you won't see the sword as it was vandalized some years ago.

The Historical Society has been raising money to replace the sword. The cost is about $3000 and they've raised about half. They've contracted with a well-known sculptor and plan to have the sword mounted VERY strongly.

Donatations can be made at the Society's Ebell Museum on Holt at Caswell, or you can contact Mickey Gallivan at pomonahistorical@verizon.net

Ontario Emperor said...

Fascinating probe into Pomona's history. I've seen some "local" books in Barnes & Noble, but haven't seen one for Ontario yet.

me said...

Can they really not find a local sculptor/tress willing to do it for the money raised so far? I would think that if a plaque accompanied the sword that most artists would jump at the historic chance.

and ontario emperor- I just looked and you're right, even ARcade Publishing hasn't done an Ontario book yet. Some day your prince will come (and I don't mean Walmart!)

G of P

MS said...

Goddess, I love Borders, but this book is for sale at the Historic Society Gift Shop at the Museum at the Holt & Caswell site. Any money they raise goes towards their preservation efforts in Pomona!

me said...

I'm with you that it is best to buy it directly from the source. In my case, I was pigging backing on my husband gift certificate at Barnes & Noble.

G of P