Like the other communities in the region, the area of Claremont was first inhabited by Serrano Indians. However, here, a Serrano village has been discovered just northeast of Route 66 (Foothill Boulevard) and Indian Hill Boulevard. Much of the area within Claremont became part of the Rancho San Jose in 1834. Eventually, the coming of (you guessed it!) the Santa Fe Railroad led to the creation of Claremont in early 1887. In 1888, the Hotel Claremont was sold to Pomona College, which may have saved Claremont and certainly sent it on its future path.

On September 23, 1907, the residents of Claremont voted 73 to 49 to incorporate as a city, and that incorporation was officially recognized on October 3 of that year. Growth continued both through the Claremont Colleges and the creation of an early citrus cooperative.

While Interstate 10 to the South was the first freeway through the area, in an interview in the early 2000’s the Wolfe family noted that the opening of the Foothill Freeway (I-210) extension in the area actually IMPROVED their market business as people had an easier time getting in and out of their parking lot. This increase in business activity can be seen along not only the Foothill Boulevard / Route 66 corridor, but also in Downtown Claremont itself.

By Scott Piotrowski