This Haunted Mansion Provides a Window to the Pomona Valley’s History

Once the community centerpiece, a Pomona home and its original town are largely forgotten.

In the late 1800s, Louis Phillips was one of the richest men in the country. A merchant and prolific landowner, Phillips played a huge role in the development of the Pomona Valley. Not a fan of the city of Pomona itself, he and his wife built a spectacular house in nearby Sparda in 1875.

According to a story that ran on LA Curbed, “Phillipses built a grand mansion, for $20,000, near the site of the old Vejar adobe. The bricks used to build the house were made onsite by Joseph Mulally of Los Angeles. More befitting a French home in New Orleans than the Wild West, the 12-room home featured cherry and maple interiors and was ‘lighted throughout with gas manufactured on the premises.’ The rooms were bright and cheerful, with a fireplace in almost every space.”

Phillips and his family would live in the mansion until his death in 1900. While the home would remain in his family for many more decades, the town of Sparda was already in decline and would eventually be gobbled up by Pomona in 1964. While the city also saved the decaying mansion, it mostly sits abandoned with an occasional historical tour.

You can read more about the home and the history of the Pomona Valley here.

Photos courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library photo collection and USC Digital Library

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