Local myths of Fontana that are quite real....

We often hear rumors about who or what might have lived, or died or has family in an area.. Below are some figures, some most noticeable and others not so notorious that once had something to do with the city of Fontana.

Gangster Al Capone once had a home in Fontana, which was notable for the initial "C" displayed on one of the home's chimneys. It was rumored that Capone had secret passageways or tunnels built under the house that led out into the back yard making for a quick escape in case his place was ever surrounded by the fuzz. No tunnels were ever found though after the home was torn down. And we all know what happened to Al after he left Fontana.

The Crlenica Brothers, a local Slavic "Tamburitza" musical group, lived in Fontana, had a music store on Arrow Blvd., and played music locally for Fontana's large Slavic population. Unbeknownst to most Fontana residents, they also did some movie work in Hollywood, performing on the soundtrack of "Dr. Zhivago", and also in the movie "Patton," near the end of the movie in the Russian dance scene.

Shelton Brooks, legendary songwriter and bandleader of the early 20th century, spent several decades in his later years living in Fontana. The writer of such hits as "Darktown Strutters’ Ball" and "Some of These Days," he would buy a new Cadillac every year with his songwriter royalties.. As a leader of his own successful big band, he hobnobbed with the Hollywood elite and became especially close to torch singer Sophie Tucker, known as The Last of the Red Hot Mammas.
Whitman Mayo, the actor who played Shady Grady in the TV series "Sanford and Son," moved with his family from New York City to Fontana in 1967, when he was 37. While living in Fontana he attended Chaffey College in nearby Cucamonga.. He once served as the Grand Marshall in the Fontana Days parade.

Legendary motorcycle builder Denver Mullins was from Fontana.. He started a bike shop, Denver’s Choppers, in San Bernardino in 1967, where he was the first to toy in the building of custom bikes and replacement bike parts. The shop later moved to Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas, where it still operates to this day. Denver died in a racing boat accident in 1992.

Henry Kaiser’s steel mill in Fontana was the only steel mill west of the Mississippi River.. During WWII Kaiser shipbuilding contributed hundreds of naval and merchant vessels.. The steel mill scene in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie "Terminator 2" was filmed in the abandoned Kaiser Steel Mill. Robo Cop was also filmed at the old steel mill as well as many sci-fi and police movies.

What ever happened to Ro-Val’s automobile museum, located on Foothill Blvd on the western outskirts between Fontana and Cucamonga? It was for a while the home for many classic automobiles of the 20’s and 30’s, including a huge vehicle once owned by screen actor Fatty Arbuckle. When the Ro-Val museum closed, the vehicles were sold to Bill Harrah, a Nevada casino owner and automobile collector, who placed them on display in the museum located at his casino.

In the 1950’s and 60’s Fontana was home to a famous drag racing strip that was a significant venue in the NHRA circuit. Known officially as Mickey Thompson’s Fontana International Dragway, it was also referred to as Fontana Drag City or just plain old Fontana Drag Strip. The original Fontana strip closed after several serous accidents and deaths to the drivers ad the NHRA deemed the track to short and narrow for safe racing.

Comments

can you verify two more myths for me i hear a that one of the red hot chili peppers lived here and the KKK's(grand imperial wizard) leader lived here also not to far from AL capons home

Al Capone lived in Fontana, but where exactly did he live?

Al Capone's home is on Tamarind just north of Merrill in Fontana California. It has not been torn down and the chimney still has the C on it. It has a large heavy front gate and sits back off the road.

You are absoutly right. It has not been torn down.

yeah i went excactly to his house and the KKK home a few weeks back! Its a great experience :))

There may not be "tunnels" under the house, but there is quite a large "garage" under the house. My friend lives around the corner, and has been underneath the house. Old light fixtures from way back still hanging from the ceiling!

Al Capone had three homes located on one lot on Randell near Alder, it had tunnels connecting all three homes, it also had a four car under ground garage. A friend of mine rented the 2nd house around 1975. They are gone now and a neighborhood is there.

Yes, Al Capone's house is still here.

8775 Tamarind Ave. Fontana, CA 92335

when I was a Sr in high school there was a classmate that lived there and we went to his house, saw a few doors that led nowhere and story was his dad blocked many of the tunnels...kinda creepy cool...and the year was 1981;)

Al Capone's house in Fontana, address is 8775 Tamarind Ave.

He lived on Tamarind between Arrow and Merrill. Where Tamarind ends at the railroad track on the right side of the street while facing north. His lawyer lived there for sometime and my husband delivered papers to him.

On tamarind avenue (: !

Yes George Pepper lives on the street that runs straight into what was Capone's house.

KKK's grand imerial wizard did live in fontana, anistasia in the big white house with colums (like the white house in dc)

Ive seen a home like that going up sierra passing the 210, going towards the 15.

actually the old sierra house first let me dispel any myths concerning it... my first boss Rick owned it before the current owner having spent many a thanksgiving and christmas inside it is not haunted actually its quite cozy and invting inside it belonged to a judge and was move in from out of state

My friend and I used to talk about buying that old house when it was vacant. Is it still up there? I can't remember how to find it anymore if I even tried.

Mr. pepper

What was the name of the KKK's grand imperial wizard that lived in fontana on anistasia in the big white house?

George Pepper

that big white house on anastasia, the kkk house is fuckin creepy! ive been inside and its gorgeous but fuckin creepy my friend that was with me hadnt known what had gone on in there till we had left but the whole time we were in there she kept sayin somethings not right i keep getting the chills and when i told her after we had left she refuses to even drive past it on palmetto

George pepper was the kklaus wizard from fontana

George pepper

His name was George Pepper and yes he lived in a big white house near the old YMCA.

George Pepper

Is it true that the mexican-americans living in fontana in the 60's and prior were not allowed to attend Fontana High School?

Not true. I have yearbooks dating back to 1955 and there are many Mexican-Americans attending.

the KKK house on Anastasia is quite real. My church is right next to it. The people living in it now are very nice though. Ive lived in Fontana all my life, and it is indeed an interesting town... :)

is it George peppers house?

My aunt lives there and I've heard it was the kkk house from back in the day it's huge inside and it was haunted we had to take a priest yo bless the house.

I had done some "research" on my own through Google about Al Capone's home in Fontana and "learned" that the house of Al Capone was "torn down"... Turns out its not, its very much still there and STANDING with the prominent "C" on the South side of the Chimney. Its NOT torn down! I found out about this through the Fontana Historians at the Fontana Library at the top floor. I could see how Al Capone liked that house at the time, being that its isolated on a dead end street. No other car would travel there unless your house is on that street. But if you look at Google maps and click "SATELITE" you'll find that Capone's house is HUGE, not to mention the lot and how many acres it is from a Google Maps view. Ofcourse Al Capone no longer owns the house, but its surprising to see such a Grand house tucked away in Fontana.

I've lived in the area all my life. The house that was torn
down was located on Randall, I know that house had an underground garage. the Church of latter day saints was built on that property

I attended Fontana High from '62 - '66. Far from there being no Mexican-Americans allowed, many were among
the most popular kids, from student body officers to homecoming princesses to atheletes. There was easy dating
between these kids and the anglo kids, too. You didn't ask, but there were lots of black kids, too.

ITS FUNNY HOW YOU MAKE FO-HIGH SEEM LIKE THE ALL AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL MELTING POT. BUT I WENT TO CHURCH IN UPLAND AND I NEVER PASSED THE 15 GOING EAST. ALOT OF THE ANGLO OR WHITE PEOPLE AT MY CHURCH HAD FAMILY IN THE CLAN AND GREW UP IN FONTANA. THIS WAS IN THE LATE 80S TO EARLY 90S WHEN THE PW's WERE ALREADY RUNNING THINGS. AND ALL OF THEM WILL TELL YOU FO-HIGH WAS A FAR-CRY FROM A MELTING POT. MOSTLY WHITE AND THEY HAD PICTURES AND STORYS JUST LIKE YOU. ONE WAS OVER MY HOUSE JUST THE OTHER DAY SHARING WITH ME SOME STORYS. AND ALL THESE PEOPLE I GREW UP WITH, WELL ME AS A KID AND THEM HIGH SCHOOL AGE AND OLDER ALL TELL ME THE OPPOSITE FROM YOU, JUST SAYING...
CANT HAVE TWO PAST'S NOW CAN YOU???

I remember rideing my bicycle on sierra blvd. in the mid 1970's and all the white people were on one side, and all the blacks on the other. There was supposed to be klan march, and the blacks wanted to protest. My older sister told me about riots at fontana high between the whites and the blacks. I tried to be a racist, but it's unrealistic, good is good , bad is bad , no matter a persons race or religion. Wrong is wrong , rite is rite. I have friends and have known people from all over the world. There is something about the town and the area that is kind of bizarre I must admit, and there is a book called city of quarts about the area and its history some might find interesting. One thing is true for sure, there were plenty of empty backyard swimming pools in fontana and the surrounding area with great transitions....anyone remember juniper pool, great times there. Peace and Love to all i have known or know there......That town is TWISTED!

Where can i find that book at

Sorry everything said above is false. I grew up in Fontana and this never happened!

House is still there. With the c on the souh side of he chimney. Im good friends with the owners kids. About age 17 saw the tunnels leadingaway from he home. To the field behind tangelo ave all the tunnels are still there. Some of them blocked off leadingto who knows where. that house is amazing so many secrete places in such a small house.

I used to live @ 8948 Redwood ave. was another one of Capone's houses. My aunts and I found $$ in one of the walls, my older brother found the bootlegging tunnels, and my mom found finger & toe bones under the tree stump that used to be there. I was woke up by the noise of the filming of terminator 2. I was that close.

You lived next door to the Kaiser Steel Mill ?

Thats amazing can you tell us and describe what you seen and if is the home still up...great stories thank u

The Capone house was not torn down- I can walk over there right now

good shit ive been saying that forever!

The house was never torn down. I live just around the corner from the Capone home. The C is on the chimney on the south side of the home. Some friends of mine living there have added a few things to the large backyard, including a pool that looks like a natural hot spring. They mentioned the secret tunnels found througout the home, but they have been covered up for some time.

I lived in a house on Anastasia and I remember the stories of Sammy Hagar practicing in the garage/carport there when he was a young musician breaking through. I also sat on the roof of that house when there was a KKK rally across the street when George Pepper and his associates in full KKK garb, with music blaring, burned 3 crosses in the backyard. I believe this was in either 1979 or 1980. Channel 7 news had the audacity to send Angela Black, a very young but accomplished African American reporter, to cover the story at the time. And yes, the Capone house still exists. There is a standing agreement that the portrait above the fireplace won't be removed ever by any new buyer. It may be a portrait of Al Capone's mother, is what I recollect, as well as other contingencies of "no changes" to any prospective new owner. The house seemed to change hands often, so who knows if it's haunted or just a freaky place to live.

I remember the KKK rally. It was probably the fall of 1980. I was 13 years old and was going for a jog that morning. I saw a sign that said Ku Klux Klan rally tonight. I knew what it was from school but history wasn't my favorite subject so I was a little confused. I thought maybe I had paid even less attention than I had. I went home told my mom about it and asked her about it. She said yes, that's what it is. I grew up in Fontana and couldn't believe it. I guess I had been sheltered. I had several Hispanic friends but there were only a handful of "blacks" in the whole town. Now I know why. And yes, I remember the black reporter on TV that night. They were burning a cross in the background. You could tell she was nervous but handled it with professionalism. I couldn't believe they would send her into that situation. Guess it was for ratings! I wonder what ever happened to her?

good stuff, my mother still lives in Fontana and i lived there for 18 years before i moved. A friend that i went to high school with lived in that house and i dont remember the whole having to leave the picture there and other stuff but i also know that its been ransacked and alot of the stuff inside had been stolen from the property. That also doesnt mean that you're incorrect because your very right about it not keeping any new tenants for very long. Great Job!!

Phuk the kkk

I wonder if the "tunnel" part of the Capone House story might stem from his (Al Capone's) involvement in the construction of the old hotel at the Arrowhead Springs Resort. I worked there in 2003, after a controlled burn destroyed several structures, including the entrance to the steam cave, located directly beneath the hotel. Before arriving there, I was told about rumors of a secret shaft which lead to the cave from the hotel above, providing for covert comings and goings. The cave entrance is at the top of a narrow canyon that goes down toward Waterman Canyon. There is a constant water source. The plant life in that canyon was already recovering rapidly. Before the fire there would have been ample cover for anyone wishing to escape to the highway unseen.
I had a chance to explore a little and, at the rear of the cave, there was what appeared to be a doorway which had been sealed off with cinder blocks.
At the time, the property was owned by Calvary Chapel. It was my understanding that they were looking to sell it. I don't know if that ever occurred. But there were guards posted and no public access to the grounds. I doubt that has changed, regardless of who owns it now. You can't miss the entrance though. Just drive up Old Waterman Canyon Road until you see the big indian pointing at it, unless it too has burnt since then, of course.

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