Duarte Historical Society
Former Miss and Junior Miss Duartes
Re-Unite at the Duarte Museum

It was a highlight in Duarte during the 1960s into the 90s, precipitating numerous events and culminating in a grand pageant. Before an excited audience and dozens of hopeful young Duarte girls, the winners of the annual Miss and Jr. Miss Duarte contest were revealed and lives were changed forever.

Relegated to history, the contests ended and are now just a memory. Had it continued, the current Miss and Jr. Miss Duarte would have undoubtedly waved from a retro convertible in our Route 66 Parade. Many neighboring cities continue the tradition.

A recent reunion of Miss Duarte contestants and winners recognized the pageant as a colorful time in Duarte’s history and gave opportunity for some of the young ladies to recall the pageant and its lasting affects.

An interview with many of the ladies was presented on DCTV.

January 8 Tour of Justice Brothers Museum

Click here for photos taken during our tour of the Justice Brothers Racing Museum in Duarte.

Duarte History

Duarte Historical Museum

bronze model thumbnail
Duarte in Bronze--The Statue Project

Activities  and Publications

San Gabriel Valley Museums


The Duarte Historical Society
is celebrating the publication in the Arcadia Book Series:
by authors
Irwin Margiloff & Neil Earle

To purchase a book mail check payable to
Duarte Historical Society c/o Claudia Heller
277 Opal Canyon Rd., Duarte, CA 91010
$22 per copy, tax included, plus $4 for packing and shipping.

The Society was formed in 1951 to record and illustrate the history of Duarte and nearby areas as a California rancho, a settlement, and most recently as a city.  It is entirely an unpaid, privately-funded, non-profit organization supported by membership dues, a small endowment, and contributions.   The Society is governed by an executive board of volunteers.

Activities of the Society include operation of the Duarte Historical Museum, craft and art fairs, educational interaction with local schools and the library, and bird walks in the adjacent course of the San Gabriel River. [Click here to see photos and statistical reports.]  The Society publishes a newsletter, the Branding Iron, participates in the work of the Foothill Curators and publishes their brochure "Locations and Operating Hours of the Historical Museums of the San Gabriel Valley".   Bimonthly programs open to the public are held in the Museum.

The Duarte Historical Museum

The main activity of the Society is the Duarte Historical Museum, located at 777 Encanto Parkway, Duarte, California.  [Mailing address: P.O.Box 263, Duarte, California 91009].  The museum is staffed by docents who open for the public on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 1 to 3 pm, and from 1 to 4 pm on Saturdays.  The Museum is also open by appointment for groups and individuals. It is closed Saturdays on holiday weekends.

Duarte History

The City is named for Andres Duarte, a Mexican soldier who obtained a land grant in the waning days of Mexican ownership of Alta California.  Andres Duarte ranched his grant well into the period of statehood for California but lost it in the 1860's. Duarte is now a residential community with a business sector, and is a City established in 1957. For more on Andres Duarte and his activities, see our separate page on Duarte History.
Duarte's 1843 brand
Andres Duarte's Brand, registered in 1843. It is used in the City’s seal and flag, and is reproduced on the hills overlooking the City


The Statue Project: Duarte in Bronze

Our major recent project has been to erect a large bronze equestrian statue, with Andres Duarte riding. The sculpture is installed in a new plaza---"Plaza Duarte"---located just north of City Hall. This is the largest public-art project in the San Gabriel Valley, and we expect the statue to become an icon for the City of Duarte. The dedication ceremony for the statue took place on March 31, 2007 with many descendents of Andres Duarte attending.

Here are further links to information about this project:

Duarte's Annual Salute to Route 66 Parade

The City of Duarte salutes its main street every year in September, with a celebration of City incorporation and an antique car show. The 2013 parade was held on September 28. Click here for photos from the City of Duarte's 2011 Annual Salute to Route 66 Parade.

Bird Walks at the Museum

Early-morning expeditions set out periodically from the Museum. Led by Ornithologist Kimball Garrett, the walks cover Encanto Park and nearby trails along the San Gabriel River.

The next birdwalk will be on April 13 at 7:30 am. Garrett is Collections Manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. “We are fortunate to have Garrett, an expert in his field, lead this birding expedition. The participants will learn a lot about our local natural history,” said Claudia Heller, president of the Duarte Historical Society, which sponsors these events at the Museum.

Click here to review the November 4, 2012 report of the species found. And here for the April 22, 2012 birdwalk report.