Colton High “Fact of the Day” – Sept. 25


Mateo Cisneros

The Whitmer Auditorium, recently updated with these distinguished site murals, has been standing since 1953, when it was constructed for dual use by the Colton community.

Alexander Sanchez, Pepper Bough Staff Writer

Colton High School opened in 1895. It is one of the oldest high schools in the Inland Empire. In this daily feature, we celebrate Colton High’s rich history.

The Whitmer Auditorium, covered in our first “Fact of the Day,” was built in 1953 and opened in 1954.

It was a historic moment for Colton High School and the surrounding community. By design, the Whitmer was built for dual use by both the high school and the city.

The auditorium’s namesake was Dr. Charles F. Whitmer. Dr. Whitmer was a part of the city school board from 1918-1929 and continued helping the school district after retirement.

“State of the art” was the goal for the auditorium, which cost in the neighborhood of $500,000. The stage included the latest light and sound technology for the 1950s, disappearing footlights, and a stagecraft room. In the foyer, a display case was installed for trophies.

According to the Pepper Bough records, construction went smoothly. The Whitmer was built on the site where the school’s tennis courts once stood, and drew lots of attention as the work progressed.

The only problems were “stray students who made their way through the construction site, whether on inspection tours or just taking a shortcut.”

Today the Whitmer still stands as the crown jewel of the Colton High School campus. It has been updated over the years as it continues to host events for both Colton High and the Colton community.