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.


when is the next one

There is an old building foundation on the hill in old Southridge (Fontana). I was told it was Al Capone's or the klan.

Last i saw it ( 1995 ish). Its near the bottom of the hill right next to the big empty reservoir, i think it's the southwest end of the hill. . A trail leads to it. Theres a hole in the foundation where you can see into what looks like a room with stuff in it...

Al Capone also had a mansion that was torn down around the late 50,s early 60s off of Merril. It had a huge water fountain in mile drive way secret passage ways 2 flights below the ground. Several rooms were just like bared jail cells with numorous doorways that lead to multiple paths.

Who ever is saying the house was torn down is a fuckin lame, I am standing in front of the house as I type this, fuck off and worry about your own rich punk city, this is the city of felons and flat land's ,outlaws , doers not dreamers...from Hells Angeles, to the kkk from The east drifter With the big C in fron of his pad ..... welcome to the city of felons welcome to the city of felony flats (Fontana,Ca)

Fontana ain't so bad no more. It used to be felony flats or fontucky but now with all the strip malls up north and new developments everywhere, it's gotten to the point where the police sometimes get bored driving around with nothing to do.

Don't get me wrong. I would still not take strolls around at night but for the most part, it's not half as bad as it used to be. I think the last time I felt hinky around there was like at least 4 years ago with a few drunk punks who didn't know what they were starting.

You sound like a ignorant fool I live in fontana.... its not that bad you schmuck try living in a ghird world country... tough guy.... grow up

I grew up In Fontana in the 90's and have personally been inside the Capone house when another Italian family lived there (I wont say their name). My friend was friends with the girl who was going to RCC at the time and she needed a ride so she had us wait for her in the rumpus room upstairs. There was a poker and billiard table in it, so we played pool. One wall was mirrored and was actually the door to a bathroom. While I was taking my shot my friend went into the bathroom, I told her "You're up" and felt what I thought was her bump me but when I turned around she wasn't there! SUPER CREEPY! You can definitely feel the history in that house.

I remember that I really wanted to explore the house because I had heard about the tunnels and trap doors in it but her parents were home and wouldn't have been cool with that. Oh BTW, it was supposedly Al Capone's grandmother's house not his.

Oh ya and all the rumors about the Hell's Angles and the KKK are all true and some of them old racist PWT dwell up thar in Lytle creek now so BEWARE!

Did the KKK live in Fontana? If so where and did they ever do anything drastic to anyone?

The Grand Wizard had a nice southern plantation style mansion there. Driven by there a few times. They used to do big marches for white pride down Citrus or Sierra from what I hear.

I live and have lived in fontana for 28 years and I've been to the Capone house in the pool table room that is accessed by the very narrow stair case not sure how they got tge pool table up there and above the main staircase in the house hung a huge painting of Capones mo. or grandma its all still there and his other houses one on palmetto and one on tamarind and miller and the one behind alder middle school the kkk house is still there but I still have yet to find the h.a. house again I been there before @666 fontana ave. I'm looking for any houses or places to ghost hunt with my wife in or around Fontana if anyone knows of any please let me know somewher we can go on the dl and not have to get permission. thanks


Add new comment