Information about Fontana, California

The City of Fontana is located in Southern California. We sit at the intersection of two major freeways, Interstate 10 and Interstate 210. Metrolink rail service to the greater Los Angeles area runs through the center of town, and we are only 10 minutes away from Ontario International Airport. The present population is estimated at 151,965 (Source: Claritas, Inc. 2005). The City's incorporated area is 36 square miles, with a sphere of influence of 56 square miles. The City of Fontana was incorporated in 1952. There are currently 39 park/recreation locations available to use within the City. Many classes and sports programs are available and 23 other sports organizations are currently active in the City. The earliest recorded landowner in the Fontana area was Don Antonio Maria Lugo, who received a land grant in 1813. A second grant secured the land known as Rancho de San Bernardino for his sons. The Lugo sons sold a portion of their land, which included part of what is now Fontana, to a group of Mormon settlers in 1851. The Mormon settlers eventually returned to Salt Lake City, and the Semi Tropical Land & Water Company gained control of the Rancho. Active development of the area, however, did not begin until the early 1900's when the Fontana Development Company acquired the acreage and began a community called Rosena a name that was changed to Fontana in 1913. A. B. Miller founded the town-site of Fontana in 1913 and built it into a diversified agricultural area with citrus, grain, grapes, poultry, and swine being the leading commodities. Mr. Miller played a foremost part in the development of agriculture in Southern California. The community faced a transition in 1942 when Fontana was selected as the site for a steel mill. The City was incorporated June 25, 1952 with a population of 13,695 and became Southern California's leading producer of steel and related products. The steel industry dominated the City's economy since the mill was built. However, in the late 1970's, Kaiser Steel began to cut down on production and manpower and the steel mill closed in 1984. The plate steel and rolling mill plant was acquired by California Steel Company, which continues to produce steel products. In addition, railroad and trucking operations, a number of medium to heavy industrial facilities, and several warehousing/distribution centers are located in Fontana because of its convenient geographical location and excellent transportation network. The City hosted a community-wide 50th Anniversary celebration on June 22, 2002.

A view of the past

The City's incorporated area is 36 square miles, with a sphere of influence of 56 square miles. The present population is estimated at 151,965 (Source: Claritas, Inc. 2005), with approximately 75,000 people living in North Fontana, many in master planned communities such as Village of Heritage and Hunter's Ridge. Sierra Avenue is the City's main thoroughfare and is quite heavily traveled. It is estimated that 48,000 vehicles drive daily between San Bernardino Avenue and the I10 Freeway. In the Inland Empire area there are many fine colleges and universities. Local communities (Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, & Mt. Baldy) offer some of the finest skiing resorts in Southern California and are easily accessible within one hour. Fontana has a large labor pool for industries coming into the area. All utilities are in place and freeways crisscross the area for easy transportation by truck, air, or rail to any place in the county.

Fontana City Hall Chain of Title

  • 1796 - King of Spain became owner of present city hall property upon Spanish occupation.
  • 1822 - Spanish rule gave way to Mexican rule by Declaration of Independence from Spain and establishment of sovereignty of the government of Mexico.
  • May 5, 1848 - California became U.S. territory following the Mexican War and upon signing the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • May 5, 1870 - Title passed to William C. Talbot, who deeded it to William H. Talbot, Frederick D. Talbot, Emily F. Talbot, Mary E. Dutton, Sophia Pierce, and Cyrus Walker on March 14, 1874.
  • June 1, 1888 - Deeded to Semi Tropic Land and Water Company
  • Jan. 1, 1897 - Deeded to Chicala Water Company
  • Mar.3, 1897 - Deeded to the San Francisco Savings Union
  • Dec.16, 1903 - Deeded to Fontana Development Company
  • May 16, 1912 - Deeded to Fontana Company
  • June 3, 1921 - Deeded to Fontana Farms Company
  • Oct. 3, 1924 - Deeded to Fontana School District
  • Apr.15, 1954 - Deeded to City of Fontana


One of the first items of business for the newly formed City Council in 1952 was to adopt Resolution Number 3 declaring that the seal of the City of Fontana, shown in the upper left corner of this page, was to be the official seal of the City. The design of the seal was created by A. W. S. Austin, an accountant, who resided at 121 West Arrow Route, Fontana. Stockwell and Binney Company in San Bernardino prepared a 2" desk model seal from Mr. Austin's drawings for $55.77, the cost of which was absorbed by Kaiser Steel, Inc. The design of the seal depicts the history of the Fontana community. Shown in the center is Kaiser Steel, which located in our area in 1952; it is surrounded by mountains illustrating that Fontana is in a valley. The grapes on the right of the seal are a tribute to the fact that Fontana had one of the largest vineyards in the world, however, it has now been replaced by housing, commercial, and industrial development. Also illustrated on the City seal are chicken ranches and citrus groves, which were the main source of income for Fontana residents in the early 1900's. The lovely fragrance of the blossoms on the citrus trees filled the air. The packing house (now housing the Fontana Unified School District Transportation Department) located on Mango Avenue, was alive with activity of workers busily packing the luscious citrus fruit which was available to the residents for about 50 cents to $1 a crate. On June 17, 1981, the City Council adopted Ordinance Number 693, upon the suggestion of the City Clerk to protect the use of the City seal, requiring that anyone wishing to display or use the symbol must first obtain official permission from the City Council. The City flag with the seal on it is located in the City Hall Council Chambers. It has been proudly used in many parades by Fontana school marching bands. The City Clerk is the official 'Keeper of the Seal." It is a symbol of the office affixed by the City Clerk to various legal documents.


Portions of Fontana's Foothill Boulevard remain as a legacy in providing this city with a firm link to the westerly migration of segments of the American population that sought relief from the Midwest dust bowl during the great depression. Locations such as the Wigwam Motel and Bono's Deli on Foothill Boulevard provide nostalgic reminders of an era still treasured by many visitors to Fontana and some of its 'old time' residents.
Map of Fontana


Why do they call it Fontucky?

Because back in the day it was filled with hicks. White hicks. Steelworkers, blue collar types from somewhere else. Now it's filled with brown hicks, so the nickname should be probably changed to Fontalajara.

to make fun of it another name for it is fonkaka

Fontana is know for the chicken farms ....

There are more, but these are the ones I've heard of. Sammy Hagar, graduated from Fontana HS Travis Barker, drummer for Blink-182 Troy Percival, well known relief pitcher for the Angels and the Tigers Sam Khalifa, once a shortstop for the Pirates Here the full list:

Bill Faggerbakke (of Coach and Spongebob Squarepants) is also from Fontana.

Fontanalajara? I prefer Fontapulco, it has a better ring to it and sounds more fun. Plus, it'll make it easier to set up the cliff diving events down in the south end of town.

Fontana is filled with mainly pan handlers strung out crack heads and full time Meth labs. It is very Ghetto. The are a lot of felons (Hence Felony Flats nickname) Sheriffs basically keep it under the covers and will retaliate against normal people who wish it to be cleaned up. Sheriffs are known to be very crooked and bust some people and redistribute the seize for profit with their buddies whom are dealing.
This is a very disgusting place to live. Fontana has various smells and one is called rentdue. no where near the smell of morning dew. this is a smell associated with rent being due!! people in fontana would rather manufacture than do decent legal work to pay their rent. it is disgusting sh*t hole than i wouldn't chose to live in even if i was given a house for free. I have had the displeasure of having to live there for 14 years.

the you must be a shitty crack head your self. I have lived here for 16 years and will not move if i had to. I have been paying my rent for 16 years now, i have a wonderful landlord and love it here, my kids love it here too!
i have also worked here in fontana for more than 17 years. yes there are panhandlers but that you can find anywhere! even in the O.C. so stop talking shit and move the fuck out already!

Wow! Where do you live????? I have lived in Fontana for almost 22 years & have never seen or been aware of a meth lab, nor any meth addicts. You must have a very, uh, interesting circle of friends.
By the way, Fontana has their own police department, so I'm curious as to what part of Fontana you're talking about if the Sheriff's Dept. is involved. I have never had any interaction with the Sheriff's.
Pan handler's? They are everywhere. The one time they were bothersome at Winco I called the police & let the manager know & haven't seen a pan handler again.
Everyone has to make choices as to who they are going to hang around with & if they are going to stand by or do something when things are not right.
Please don't make judgements about an entire city when it's just a street or neighborhood.


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