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

So who is this... "pastor"?

I've met that pastor befor hes alright in my book. Helped me and my family out when we needed food. And even helped me and my girl with clothes for our two year old. God bless all of you, looks like all of us need it

People love to talk about things they dont know and what they dont know they make up... Here alot of hate here. Im born in raised in fontana and my parents and grand parents were born here. Im not gonna lie, befor i gave my life to Jesus i was running these streets and yes i was white power and hated everybody. All i really hated was myself. The hood pastor might not be perfect but are any of you? And the domestic violence, i've know him for a few years and his walk speaks for itself. I dont see him bashing anybody but i see you guys bashing him. The funny thing is no matter what goes on i still see him caring for everybody. God bless his work! Im saved and got my life back, thank God! But i know i couldnt go into the places he goes just to tell some one Jesus loves them. Like always God bless all of you

The domestic violence case wasnt his fault or in any way did he cause it to happen, as a matter of fact, Hood Pastor was doing his best to protect a 16 year old pregnant girl from getting beat by her abusive gangster boyfriend and his father.

So how did he get arrested for it if he is defending a 3rd party? Did she turn on him too when it came time to testify?

Well lets see, i was never arrested and she didnt want to send her boyfriend to jail because she lived with their family and was scared they would hurt her even more if she pressed charges. And just for the record i've never been arrested by any police officer in fontana. So please get ur facts st8 because you just make yourself sound foolish. God bless you :)

Lol you thk i would interview a black cop that wld admit he was BPP or a chicano cop that was BB or a white cop that was KKK and put it out there on this lil web site. Come now, the last march was held rt down sierra in 85. Yes times have changed but what was here 13yrs ago is still here today. Are the ranches still here were the meetings were, no torn down and homes buitl on that land, is the black panther bar, or chicken coup where the HAs started still standing-no. Fontana is rich in history but acting like its not there because we like our two story summit homes. Facts are facts, i can only continue to do what i do and pray for our citys leaders. Because the cops and lord knows were praying for their safety, but like a marine we do what were told and are taught not to question. And just like one man like MLK, CHAVEZ, GHANDI decides to stand up and say enuff. Than things will continue to get worse. God bless you

Fontana PD does not have 261 sworn personnel. There are more than 1 that is black, including 1 captain, which is pretty high ranking. There are also a lot of other minorities in the department, including a Puerto Rican lieutenant, and lots of Hispanic officers. The ones I know are all very good guys.

Personal means all workers. And mexican cops they have alot of. But mexicans arent blacks. They used to be 3blk cops about 4yrs ago. I interviewed them. Two left and one stayed. He doesnt know how long he can though. Because the mex and anglo cops treat him like an out sider. Theres sum good cops and theres sum bad cops. And theres still cops working today, born in raised in fontana that are in different leadership positions that were active members of the KKK. HOW DO I KNOW U ASK, I DID AN INTERVIEW WITH ONE. And for the record, the racisism doesnt go away in a city that has had the KKK since the end of the civil war...

And by the way if i saw a cop or cops beating sumone i would step in and protect the citizen. Same goes if i saw a cop getting jumped i would too step in and get the cop to safety. I've actually done both. Im a pastor befor my ethnicity...

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