The Star has stood on the hillside overlooking Glendora Ave. for what seems like a lifetime. For many who came to expect it every Holiday Season, and as the first Christmas came and went after the fire, Glendora realized they have lost something special.
The aftermath of the Colby Fire in January 2014, Glendora found itself both cursed and blessed. The Colby Fire devastated the Hillsides above Glendora starting near the Colby Trail in Glendora and traveled west for 10 days before being contained. As the Fire swept through the Foothills above Glendora, 5 families lost their homes, but as devastating as it was for those 5 families, the damage to the community could have been much worse. One loss that seemed meaningless to the many who were affected by the Fire was the loss of the Glendora Traditional Star. Sometimes the Star was known as the Holiday Star or the Christmas Star, but unofficial writings about the Star refer to it as the “Traditional Star”. This Star has stood in the hillsides overlooking Glendora Ave for what seems like a lifetime for many who came to expect it every Holiday Season and as the first Christmas came and went after the fire, Glendora realized they have lost something special. The history of the Star is sketchy at best. There are a few written accounts of the beginning of the Star and until someone uncovers more accurate information, this is the story of the Traditional Star. News Clipping from the Glendoran The Star was built in the 1940’s by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, also known as the Jaycees, in the front lawn of June and Selwyn Eagle on North Cullen Ave. Selwyn was the President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce at the time. The Star was initially installed on the property at North Glendora Ave that was then the Brown Military Academy. Harvey Farrquhar, a local electrician and member of the club, did the original wiring and maintained the 20 foot tall Star for years. Other members who worked on the Star were Mac McGeehee, Gordon Stith, Jim Vincent and Richard Miller. They used three foot welding rods to form the corners and conduit to protect the wiring. During the 60’s, the Star fell into disrepair and was rebuilt by the Chamber of Commerce with donations from several civic groups. Fahrquhar again did the wiring. Those visiting Glendora Village during the Holidays continued to enjoy the Star for years. In 1980, the Star was moved to it’s current location which is on private property. Jerry Greeran, an employee for the City of Glendora’s Community Services Department took on the responsibility of making sure the Star was ready every Christmas and lit at the appropriate time. According to the Joe Willis, a local printer, Boyce Franks came up with the original idea of the Traditional Star. He mentioned it to other members of the Jaycees and the idea caught on. Initially, Mac McGeehee and Selwyn Eagle were welders at Rainbird. They constructed to original Star with 100 electric sockets and wired the Star to a private residence that sat near the top of Glendora Ave. The information shared above has been collected by a number of different sources and if anyone has any additional history of the Star, we would love to hear from you. With the history of the Star, we feel this history needs to continue. The private lot where the Star has resided for almost 40 years was recently placed on the market for sale. The ability to repair or replace the Star was limited because until the property was sold, we had no assurance the new owner would allow the Star to continue to reside on their hillside property. Well, this year, the property sold to a lifelong resident of Glendora who has agreed to allow the continuation of this long history. The Glendora Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club has agreed to take on the project of replacing the Star in order to have it lit again by the 2018 Holiday Season. What we are doing tonight is publicizing the fact that this project is in the works and we are sure that there are many members of the Community who may want to help. Help can come in a variety of ways. It may not appear to it from down the hill, but the Star is huge. Estimates to replace it have been placed in the neighborhood of $20,000. So, obviously, we need to raise money. We know that there may be residents with either skills or contacts to people with equipment or skills to help rebuild the Star in order to keep the cost down. Please take the time to give us your name and contact information if you would like to help. Even if you can’t afford a contribution or have the skills to help build a new Star, we would like to know that you support this effort as we may try to obtain some financing through Grants or Corporate contributions and the more support we can show, the better chance we have of securing funds to complete this project. Could the City help? Of course, but we would like to continue the history of creating and maintaining the tradition of this being a private contribution to Glendora by those who live or have ties in the community.
The Glendora Christmas Star has been a tradition for my family since we first moved to Glendora in 1980. From the stories I've heard, it has been damaged to the point that it could no longer be lit twice in its lifetime. I look forward to being part of rebuilding the Star to be enjoyed by generations to come. G. Boyer
I support the rebuilding of the star. I have lived in this city for over 30 years. K. Stel
The star was Christmas in Glendora. It was what we as well as the kids looked forward to yearly to mark Christmas. We need that star. S. Brown
My husband Charles Edward and myself would like to sign a petition in favor of bringing back the star. L. Chance
Yes, I support the efforts to restore the Star! L. Chance
Over the years looking at the Glendora foothills, and seeing the beautiful lit star during the Christmas season always gave me a special feeling and put me in the spirit of the holiday season, but never forgetting the significance of the star relating to the birth of Jesus. As we drive through the downtown village and looking up at the star, I look up and pray for peace and joy for the world. It would be special to see the star shine again. M. Boyer
c/o Glendora Rotary Club
PO BOX 776
Glendora, CA 91740