Fontana (CA) (Images of America)
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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.
stops along the Southern Pacific Railroad Tracks called Ailea and San Sevaine. Declez was also a railroad stop with another settlement a mile south on a spur line called Declezville, a quarry town. Both of these towns were named for William Declez, who had owned the quarry and settled the area years before. One of the earliest Los Angeles skyscrapers, the Brison block at 3rd and Spring, was of the quarry rock found in Declez. Other structures as far as San Francisco and many public buildings and
(facing) side of the mountain at the canyon of Declezville. The workings of the 1888 period are still visible. This aerial view of the La Vesu Winery shows its size. It had beautiful rockwork in its construction and storage vats for storing wine that were half out of the ground with a covering over the top. The road at the top of photo goes to the family quarry, and the vineyards were all over this area. The Filippi Winery was a few miles away. This view of the Declezville Quarry is looking
rubber ball and wrapped string around it until it achieved baseball size. In 1899, the Perdew School District combined with the Grapeland School District, and the school was moved to the corner of Summit and San Sevaine. Its closing was a blow to the community. The plot sheet of Grapeland is shown in this image. Pictured are tunnel sketch drawings of Grapeland in the Lytle Creek. This plaque is all that is left on the land that was owned by Conrock. The La Questa development wanted to buy the
Avenue ran north to south through the area. The County of San Bernardino Supervisors changed the name in June of 1927 to Sierra Avenue. Creating the roads in the town site was a big job. The rocks from clearing the town site land was put into the streets to make a sound, deep bed to put the dirt or asphalt on. But in the future it was a mighty task to put water lines and other pipes in the streets, having to go through all that rock. A.B. Miller, founder of Fontana, frequently needed a horse to
The new community of Fontana needed important buildings to support the growth brought by citizens from all over the United States and the world. Mr. Miller had an eight-millimeter film made on five reels that was shown to prospective buyers in Los Angeles at the sales office of the Fontana Farms Company It covered construction of the city and planting crops. Residents came from places like India and Europe, and they all blended together to make Fontana a success. Mr. Miller would sometimes donate