Fontana, California facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Fontana, California
General law city
City of Fontana
Fontana as seen from Mount Jurupa, looking north towards the Cajon Pass.
Fontana as seen from Mount Jurupa, looking north towards the Cajon Pass.
Official seal of Fontana, California
Seal
Motto: "City of Action"
Location of Fontana in California
Location of Fontana in California
Country  United States
State  California
County San Bernardino
Founded 1913
Incorporated June 25, 1952
Area
 • Total 42.432 sq mi (109.899 km2)
 • Land 42.432 sq mi (109.899 km2)
 • Water 3 sq mi (6 km2)  3%
Elevation 1,237 ft (377 m)
Population (July 1, 2013)
 • Total 203,003
 • Rank 2nd in San Bernardino County
20th in California
 • Density 4,784.20/sq mi (1,847.178/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92331, 92334–92337
Area codes 909, 951
FIPS code 06-24680
GNIS feature IDs 1652711, 2410517
Website fontana.org

Fontana (/fɒnˈtænə/) is a city of 203,003 residents in San Bernardino County, California. Founded by Azariel Blanchard Miller in 1913, it remained essentially rural until World War II, when entrepreneur Henry J. Kaiser built a large steel mill in the area. It is now a regional hub of the trucking industry, with Interstate 10 and State Route 210 transecting the city from east to west, and Interstate 15 passing diagonally through its northwestern quadrant.

It is home to the largest of the San Bernardino County system libraries, a renovated historic theater, a municipal park, and the Auto Club Speedway on the site of the Kaiser Steel Mill. Fontana also hosts the Fontana Days Half Marathon and 5K run. This race is the fastest half-marathon course in the world.

The United States Census Bureau estimated Fontana's 2013 population at 203,003, making it the second most populous city in San Bernardino county and the 20th largest in the state. The name fontana is Italian for fountain or water source, being in close proximity to the Santa Ana River to the west.

History

Fontana was founded in 1913 by Azariel Blanchard Miller. Within a few years it became an agricultural town of citrus orchards, vineyards and chicken ranches astride U.S. Route 66 (now known as Foothill Boulevard). The Fontana area was radically transformed during World War II when Henry J. Kaiser built one of only two steel mills west of the Mississippi River outside the city limits. To provide for the plant workers' health needs, Henry J. Kaiser constructed the Fontana Kaiser Permanente medical facility, now the largest managed care organization in the United States.

In the 1950s and '60s, Fontana was home to a drag racing strip that was a venue in the NHRA circuit. Mickey Thompson's Fontana International Dragway was also referred to as Fontana Drag City or Fontana Drag Strip. The original Fontana strip is long since defunct, but the owners of NASCAR's new Auto Club Speedway opened a new NHRA-sanctioned drag strip in Fontana in mid-2006 to resurrect Fontana's drag-racing heritage.

Ro-Val's automobile museum, located on Foothill Boulevard on the western outskirts between Fontana and Cucamonga, was for a while the home for many classic automobiles of the 1920s and '30s, 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.

As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 128,929, but the present population is now estimated to have reached over 200,000 (2013). This rapid expansion had much to do with the numerous large, new residential developments in the almost totally undeveloped northern part of the city, as well as with the city's aggressive (and highly successful) campaign to annex several unincorporated, but developed, San Bernardino county island areas in 2006–2007.

Geography

Topography

Most of the city of Fontana, like its eastern neighbors Rialto and San Bernardino, is built atop a geologically young, gently southward-sloping alluvial fan from nearby Lytle Creek, deposited mainly during the Holocene and late-Pleistocene epochs. There are also sedimentary deposits of similar age from Etiwanda Creek on the western edge of the city. However, the northern and southern edges of the city are formed by the much older San Gabriel and Jurupa mountain ranges, respectively. The Jurupa Mountains are composed primarily of Cretaceous and Paleozoic-era rocks, as are the San Gabriels, which also include even older, Proterozoic formations. The most prominent of the San Gabriel Mountains visible from Fontana is Cucamonga Peak, elevation 8,859 feet (2,700m). Additionally, the Cucamonga Fault Zone, contiguous with the Sierra Madre Fault Zone, runs through the northern part of the city, along the base of the San Gabriels, notably through the Hunter's Ridge and Coyote Canyon planned communities. It is estimated to be capable of producing earthquakes approximately of magnitude 6.0-7.0.

The city's listed elevation, measured from the northeast corner of the intersection of Upland Avenue and Sierra Avenue, downtown by City Hall, is 1,237 feet (377 m). However, the highest elevation within the city limits is approximately 2,600 feet (792.48m), in the northernmost part of the Panorama neighborhood of Hunter's Ridge. The lowest point within the city limits is approximately 840 feet (256.03m), at the intersection of Etiwanda and Philadelphia avenues, the extreme southwestern corner of the city. This difference in elevation is due to the southward slope of the Lytle Creek alluvial fan.

Climate

The city is frequently affected by the strong, hot and dry Santa Ana winds as they blow through the nearby Cajon Pass of the San Gabriel mountains, from the Mojave Desert. Fontana can also be extremely hot in summer, well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Climate data for Fontana, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 93
(33.9)
92
(33.3)
97
(36.1)
102
(38.9)
112
(44.4)
111
(43.9)
114
(45.6)
111
(43.9)
117
(47.2)
108
(42.2)
96
(35.6)
93
(33.9)
117
(47.2)
Average high °F (°C) 69
(20)
70
(21.1)
71
(21.7)
77
(24.4)
81
(26.7)
89
(31.1)
95
(35)
96
(35)
92
(32.8)
83
(28.3)
74
(23.3)
70
(20.6)
81
(27.4)
Average low °F (°C) 46
(7.2)
47
(8.3)
48
(8.3)
50
(9.4)
53
(11.7)
58
(13.9)
63
(16.7)
64
(17.2)
63
(16.7)
57
(13.3)
50
(9.4)
46
(6.7)
53.8
(11.87)
Record low °F (°C) 22
(−5.6)
28
(−2.2)
30
(−1.1)
30
(−1.1)
35
(1.7)
42
(5.6)
48
(8.9)
48
(8.9)
44
(6.7)
33
(0.6)
28
(−2.2)
23
(−5)
22
(−5.6)
Precipitation inches (cm) 3.50
(8.89)
3.42
(8.68)
3.49
(8.86)
0.63
(1.60)
0.19
(0.48)
0.01
(0.02)
0.00
(0)
0.11
(0.27)
0.26
(0.66)
0.27
(0.68)
1.26
(3.20)
1.63
(4.14)
14.77
(37.51)
Source: weather.com

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1960 14,659
1970 20,673 41.0%
1980 36,804 78.0%
1990 87,535 137.8%
2000 128,929 47.3%
2010 196,069 52.1%
Est. 2015 207,460 60.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 128,929 people, 34,014 households, and 29,013 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,569.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,378.2/km²). There were 35,908 housing units at an average density of 994.2 per square mile (383.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.0% White, 11.8% African American, 1.1% Native American, 4.4% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 31.9% from other races, and 5.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 57.7% of the population.

There were 34,014 households out of which 57.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.5% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.7% were non-families. 10.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.8 and the average family size was 4.0.

In the city, the population was spread out with 37.8% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 14.7% from 45 to 64, and 4.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,782, and the median income for a family was $46,957. Males had a median income of $36,062 versus $26,305 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,208. About 12.2% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Fontana had a population of 196,069. The population density was 4,620.8 people per square mile (1,784.1/km²). The racial makeup of Fontana was 92,978 (47.4%) White (15.4% Non-Hispanic White), 19,574 (10.0%) African American, 1,957 (1.0%) Native American, 12,948 (6.6%) Asian, 547 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 58,449 (29.8%) from other races, and 9,616 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 130,957 persons (66.8%).

The Census reported that 195,625 people (99.8% of the population) lived in households, 216 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 228 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 49,116 households, out of which 29,465 (60.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 30,245 (61.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 8,074 (16.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 4,125 (8.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 3,447 (7.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 317 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4,801 households (9.8%) were made up of individuals and 1,633 (3.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.98. There were 42,444 families (86.4% of all households); the average family size was 4.18.

The population was spread out with 64,521 people (32.9%) under the age of 18, 22,995 people (11.7%) aged 18 to 24, 57,646 people (29.4%) aged 25 to 44, 39,823 people (20.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,084 people (5.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.7 years. For every 100 females there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.

There were 51,857 housing units at an average density of 1,222.1 per square mile (471.9/km²), of which 33,862 (68.9%) were owner-occupied, and 15,254 (31.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.0%. 134,857 people (68.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 60,768 people (31.0%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Fontana had a median household income of $64,195, with 15.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

Culture, sports and recreation

Fontana Center Stage Theater - panoramio
The renovated Center Stage Theater at dusk

Center Stage

Located next door to the Lewis Library on Sierra stands the Center Stage Theater. Built in the Art Deco style in 1937, and designed by architect C.H. Boller, the former Fontana (movie) Theater was recently renovated during 2004–2008 after several decades of various other uses, into a live dinner theater, with $6,000,000 in funds earmarked by the Fontana City Council. It reopened to the public on July 25, 2008.

Steelworkers' Auditorium

Next door to the Lewis Library and Technology Center, the Steelworkers' Auditorium provides the public with the opportunity to venture into the arts. It houses events like Performance Tuesdays, theatre camps, acting classes, musical classes, summer reading programs, family movie nights, performance recitals and dance classes.

The building is also available for rent for certain occasions such as: award ceremonies, dance recitals, talent competitions and much more.

Art Depot

The Art Depot is one of Fontana's original community centers, and is a specialized Cultural Arts facility. Originally built as a freight depot of the Pacific Electric Railway in 1915, the Art Depot sits alongside the newly landscaped Pacific Electric Trail in the Helen Putnam Historical Plaza. The Art Depot offers art classes, open studio activities, and special events.

Artist Showcase

The city's Artist Showcase program at city hall was developed in order to demonstrate Fontana's dedication to the Cultural Arts. Through the provision of quarterly artist showcases, Fontana residents are introduced to local artists.

One of the objectives of the program is to introduce the process used by the artist to develop the art form, and methods used to bring the work to life. Each artist selected for the quarterly showcases is asked to exhibit their work for a three-month period in the City Council Chamber Foyer located at City Hall. The artist will also be showcased in a small presentation, invited to dine with the members of the Fontana Community and presented to City Council. Additionally, each artist selected will be awarded a nominal stipend from the local Fontana business community.

Auto Club Speedway

Auto Club Speedway, a racetrack that plays host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series, along with the IndyCar Series and various smaller races, is located in an unincorporated part of Fontana, on Cherry Avenue. It is built on the former site of the Kaiser Steel mill. The large smelting furnaces of the mill were sold to China, and the rest remains a working steel mill operated by California Steel Industries, which is owned by the Japanese company JFE Steel Corporation.

Healthy Fontana

Healthy Fontana is a program dedicated to improving lifestyle choices and healthier habits in the form of nutrition and fitness. Healthy Fontana provides educational classes programs throughout the city of Fontana.

In popular culture

  • The steel mill scene in Terminator 2 was filmed in the vacant Kaiser Steel Mill.
  • The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was founded in Fontana, in 1948. The founding charter is known as the Berdoo Charter, in reference to the slang name for San Bernardino.

Literature

  • "Junkyard of Dreams": Chapter 7 of City of Quartz, Mike Davis, 1990.

Images for kids


Fontana, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.