The year was 1929 and Ernest Eloy Montoya was fourteen years old. He was energetic and ambitious. He recalls selling newspapers in downtown Bakersfield in front of the Southern Hotel and watched the construction of a new building, later to be known as The Fox Theater. As a young man, he worked as a laborer carrying cement to workmen who were installing Mission Tile on a new construction site now known as The Bakersfield Inn. This massive undertaking made claims of being the largest Motel of its kind in the world. It would have 312 rooms. Ernest felt honored to be a part of it’s history.
There was plenty of work for Ernest and his brothers, Louie, Frank and Nick. These four young men worked together to ease the financial burdens of their family.
In 1939, Mr. Montoya married Alyce Lopez. They were blessed with six children; Jo Ann, Patty, Jeanie, Ernie Jr., Rick and Beth. Life was simple growing up in the 1950’s. Alyce was the “lace” around her husband’s life and the very heart of the family. She was a loving mother, caring wife, resourceful and creative financial manager, but above all else, she was a wonderful friend to Ernest. There were many parties and a yard full of toys. (Mr. Montoya’s favorite was the go-cart) He was finally able to enjoy a childhood he had missed, due to early responsibilities. The marriage of these two honest and enterprising people has proven to be Ernest’s most successful partnership.