Fontana (CA) (Images of America)
The self-proclaimed "City of Innovation" has a great tradition of reinventing itself. Today's Fontana was once known as "Rancho de San Bernardino." The first recorded owner, Don Antonia Maria Lugo, passed the land down to his sons, and in 1851, the Lugo brothers sold their stake to Mormon settlers, who soon relocated to Utah. Various agricultural developers, including A.B. Miller, saw potential in the land, changing its name to "Fontana" from its earlier railroad name "Rosena." But citrus and grain were not the main exports for long. During World War II, the city switched gears to become an industrial powerhouse as Southern California's leading steel producer. At the junction of Interstates 10 and 15, modern Fontana is a vital nexus of transportation and commerce, with the legendary Route 66 passing through its well-preserved downtown district and Route 99 through its southern boundary.
looking northwest. Sierra Avenue is the dark diagonal street at the lower right, and the reservoir at left is on Juniper and Valencia Avenues. Notice that there are no buildings between Juniper and Sierra Avenues and Valencia and Orange Way. At the upper left is the Fontana Poultry Plant. The Fontana Producers Egg and Supply Cooperative is at the bottom center. Arrow Highway runs across the center. Weirs like this one brought water to properties in Fontana. They were along all the streets in the
and George Calkins. This original hose rig used by the Fontana Farms Company, a volunteer unit, before the new fire station and firemen were put together. In March 1928, residents realized that they did not have a way to save any commercial or residential buildings, so county supervisors voted to create a fire district. The Fontana Theatre was built in 1937 by the Fontana Farms Company at a cost of $45,000. It was the first true theatre in the area, though movies were shown in the Fontana
down to make way for the new city hall. This is a 1923 photograph of Fontana Junior High School on Sierra Avenue and Upland Avenue, where city hall is now. The first unit of the four-part Fontana Junior High School was completed in the spring of 1928 in Fontana with a total cost of $150,000. The first unit was a three-arched center section with two wings of nine arches each. It is located on the northeast corner of Arrow Highway and Mango Avenue. It had a red tile roof with stucco walls and
after him in the Village of Heritage. When A.B. Miller died, his right-hand man, Mr. Richard E. Boyle, took his place. He was born in Camp Point, Illinois, on July 15, 1876. He came to California as a young man and settled in Woodland, marrying Catherine S. Gwinn in Woodland in 1898. In 1921, Mr. Miller employed Mr. Boyle as superintendent and ran the Fontana Farms Company for years until Mr. Miller died. Mr. Boyle died on May 1, 1952. A.B. Miller and Swift owned the Montezuma Ranch. It was a
the eastern branch of the Canaigre Ditch (1897–1930) looking northwest to the east of Riverside Avenue. Its concrete lining was mixed with stones and cement. The western branch still exists, but will be lost to development like the eastern portion was in Rialto. Fontana has the western branch. This aerial view shows the main Grapeland Irrigation District that ran along Summit Avenue, which was a dirt road at the time. The ditch (at about center left) had a concrete pipe inside to carry water to