On December 9th, 2007 I posted this postcard of Griswold's. A few days ago I got an email from Karen Loparco about this restaurant and she was kind enough to send along some pictures. Please scroll down to see what Karen wrote.
She writes: "I am a freelance writer and have written several articles for Route 66 Magazine. In 2005, I wrote about the stretch of Route 66 that goes through twelve tiny towns in Southern CA. One of those towns is Claremont, former home of Griswold's. I did some research on the place. George Griswold and his family arrived in Claremont around 1915 and began turning the bounty of the area citrus into a thriving candied fruit and preserves business. Route 66 drivers enjoyed a stop for his treats and sent packages to family and friends.
Griswold's legacy grew as subsequent owners expanded the business, but retained the name. Griswold's Smorgasbord became a Route 66 landmark and eventually included a dinner theater in the old high school gymnasium adjacent.
Times and tastes changed and by 1998, all that was left of the once thriving complex was a scaled down restaurant building and the old gymnasium building which was sold in a trustees sale. The new owner bulldozed the monument that proclaimed the building "Griswold's Old School House," and renamed it simply "Old School House Center." The name of Griswold, that had been a Claremont mainstay for over eight decades, was wiped away.
The Shadowlands index of haunted places in California indicates that Griswold's Old School House is haunted by several ghosts. "Several people have heard children's voices when no one is around, and others have seen a white mist walking around. Doors fly open by themselves. Also, there is always a feeling of being watched." Maybe George is there watching.
This is a photo of the restaurant that is on the property currently:
This is how the old school house looks:
There is still a dinner theater nearby but not in the old school building and there is a hotel next door, as well, which may be what one of the comments was referring to...... Hope this satisfies some of your readers' curiosity about the old place."
Karen also writes in a later email that if anyone would like to contact her for more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all the great information and pictures Karen. We appreciate it all very much.