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.


One way to find out for sure which is his house, is to do a Title search. It shows all previous owners.

As far as the changes in Fontana. I was raised and lived there from 1956 to 1979. I go back from time to time because I have family there. I moved to the High Desert so I am not far away. I remember going into a store, Walmart, and no one around me was speaking English. Before anyone starts thinking I am prejudice, don't. My husband of 42 yrs is Hawaiian, people always think he is Mexican. My 3 of my 4 kids have olive skin, dark hair, dark eyes. Two of them are married to people that are Hispanic. But the influx of illegals has hurt all our lives. My best friends husband is Hispanic and he was born here and so was his parents. He has been a roofer his whole life. He gets paid less now, than he did 10yrs ago. He said, it is because the illegals get hired, and take less pay. But they don't have to pay taxes. They get paid under the table. He works all over Southern California. Their children get free education, free medical services, plus free food from the schools,(my daughter is a teacher) so she tells me all the free services that we pay for, for the kids that don't speak english. The schools also spend money on extra services to help these kids because they are behind the other students that speak and understand English. Think about all the businesses that supply everything in English and Spanish. It has to cost them money to do that. Who do you think ends up paying for that. This is not just a problem in Fontana. The things I just mentioned are in the High Desert. When there is a crime in the papers or on the news 90% of the time the name is a Hispanic. I think because they are undocumented they are bolder.

All races have bad seeds. Some more than others, but we won't go there. My point is our government has only put a bandaid on something that is hemorrhaging. So it amounts to, they have done nothing, to stop this influx of illegals. They could if they wanted to. How many of us know about illegals and where they live. Their kids are in the schools for gods sake. I have a family member that is a labor and delivery nurse, she says they deliver babies for illegal parents all the time. They are planting marijuana in our National Parks and shooting people that come near, and our government know about it. How did that happen?

So, I think what we should do, is make them legal. It's to late to do anything else. Make them have a Social Security card. Pay taxes like the rest of us. Can you imagine how much money that would bring in. Maybe our schools could actually provide good educations to all the students. Our cities would have more money. Place stiff fines on these businesses that are using the ones that aren't made legal. Stiff enough to hurt them big time. If they were legal citizens employers wouldn't give them a job instead of you, just to save money. They are hard workers, most of them. But it would even the playing field. The law, would be able to keep track of them. Deport any that choose not to become legal. Even if we have to go door to door. I feel that this is the only way to fix this problem. We are hemorrhaging here. I, for one am tired of the politicians constantly wanting more money from us. They complain they don't have enough money. Well here is the answer, kill two birds with one stone. Stop giving away our money. Spend it on us and our cities to make our lives better. Isn't that why we pay taxes?

Hey, you're stupid. I don't know how to put it lightly. Yes, there is an immigration problem in the U.S, and that's where it stops. Businesses higher illegals because it's cheaper? Of course they do, they are out for profit marings aren't they? So you should be mad at the businesses that hire illegals. You think they are taking our hard earned money? No, illegals don't qualify for wel fare and many other programs. In fact, everytime an illegal buys something in the United States, he pays taxes. The very little that do work in this country (it's rather difficult, you know about that, which i'm sure you do, right?) without a social secuirty card make very little, so little that if thwy dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow. Our economoy wouldn't even notice. You like to blane others for your problem. When the fact is you're laziness got you what you have today. If you weren't lazy, and actually were a player in our economoy, you would know illegals aren't hurting us. It's the major higher ups.

wake up 1000s of babies are being born from the illegal population!!tens of thousands

Amen!! You tell them.

Is this post from the leftie that claims to be "very educiated" an attends a too research university? Your calling names? I'd think with your top ranked education you could dish out somthing a bit more classy..backed by fact not peresonal opinion?

No that's me, wrong person.

Anyone that announces their education is not usually educated.

easy fix...no ss# no work(fine the piss out of the person hiring). no birth certificate,no benefits. one language(OR...all languages,zulu speaking people are no less human than spainish speaking,or tibet,ect..) All people should be able to go where they please, but if you visit the swiss alps it DOES NOT MEAN YOUR SWISS ! simple

The propagation of the word "illegals" is used in a very racist way. People are not "illegal" because they immigrated, but because of the implementation of laws and regulations that prevent people from attaining a legalized status in the United States. The automatic criminalization of people crossing the border allowed for a legal form of prejudice and racism to continue. Let's shine a light on this. White people have always been threatened by foreigners, and I don't mean territorial foreigners, but RACIAL. For example, the Native Americans forced to migrate from their lands, Californians denied citizenship and forced to go to Mexico because of their Hispanic roots in the 20's. Mexicans simply kept doing what they had done for many years when this was still Spanish Territory and the white folk hadn't found gold yet. Migration was normal. People came to the states like they had done for years, following family and following work. No surprise there, with names like Rancho San Bernardino and Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles, the Southwest will forever hold strong Hispanic Heritage. Mexicans are pretty much the excluded natives here, and if you're like me and like to start conversations with the elderly while visiting Mexico for a few months, you'll be surprised with the stories of natural US citizens who were not given their birth right through registration and were forced south because of their mestizaje. Our country has enforced a lot of exclusionary laws based on race and country of origin for legalization. Racism in this way is still legal, unfortunately. These laws exist not only to demonize certain ethnicities but also preserve the black market for illegal labor. As you probably don't know, the United States treasury earns an approximate $40 billion per year on interest on outsourced (unreported) legal tender. Not only this, but illegal immigration generates income that doesn't have to be paid back. Immigrants are the reason why you will still have your social security check, because in reality, the government spent yours. The exact millions that immigrants generate in taxes, social security and Medicaid is unknown but it's enough for the government to want to keep them in the shadows. You must understand that these are people who cannot get federal aid such as welfare or food stamps, or cash out their social security savings. They are however, probably the only reason why these services are still funded. Think before you speak and be nice because these people are marginized in many ways. They are America's greatest asset ;)

Don't kid yourself, the only reason social security, Medicaid or any other program where free services are provided is to provide more minority votes for Democrats. Yes, the reason is that simple. Also, the reason they are called “illegals” is when they cross the border without papers they are breaking US Federal Laws. If they immigrated properly with paperwork then it wouldn’t be "illegal". Do you really believe if you decided to sneak into Canada, Great Britain, Japan or any other country for that matter they would just let you live there with no documentation or approval? Heck no, they would throw you in jail and ship you back. Why shouldn't this country do the same. No one gives a good reason to keep "illegals" here. If the Mexicans and Central Americans banded together and fixed the corruption and problems in their own country they wouldn’t feel the need to immigrate illegally. But for the illegals that are here, why don’t they learn freakin English!


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