La Fetra Drive

This 1960 cul-de-sac honors a pioneer Glendora family. It all started in 1875, when Ohioans Lawson LaFetra (1844-1907) and his brother Milton (1846-1903) came to Los Angeles, reportedly for Lawson’s health. Their parents and most of their siblings soon joined them. Lawson co-owned a grocery store in DTLA while Milton co-owned a hardware store. In or around 1883, the brothers acquired 400 acres in present-day Glendora, sold their interest in their stores, and resettled here to farm – see Milton Avenue for more – but it’s another LaFetra brother, Tylee (1853-1930), a former schoolteacher in Chile, whose offspring left the biggest impact on the region: son Clem (1905-1963) and Clem’s wife Mary (1909-1989) founded the Rain Bird sprinkler company here in 1935. Their neighbor Orton Englehart allowed them to sell his invention: a pulsing, rotating sprinkler head that would revolutionize irrigation and make the LaFetras rich. Mary LaFetra served as Rain Bird’s president until 1978, when she passed the torch to her son Tony (1940-2021). He ran the company, now headquartered in Azusa, for the rest of his life.