Rancho Cucamonga is a city located just south of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Take a look below for 20 fun and awesome facts about Rancho Cucamonga, California, United States.
1. About 37 miles (60 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga is the 28th most populous city in California.
2. The city’s seal, which centers on a cluster of grapes, alludes to the city’s agricultural history including wine-making.
3. The city’s proximity to major transportation hubs, airports, and highways has attracted the business of several large corporations, including Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Big Lots, Mercury Insurance Group, Southern California Edison, and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.
4. The city had a population of 174,453 according to the 2020 United States Census. The city experiences an average of 287 sunny days per year, compared to a national average of 205 days.
5. Its climate is classified as warm Mediterranean, or Csa, under the Köppen climate classification system.
6. The city’s favorable location and host of public amenities have earned it numerous distinctions. Notably, Money Magazine ranked Rancho Cucamonga 42nd on its “Best Places to Live” list in 2006.
7. In addition, Business Insider established one Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood as the 13th richest neighborhood in Southern California.
8. The four public high schools (Alta Loma, Etiwanda, Los Osos, and Rancho Cucamonga) earned the Silver distinction in a 2015 ranking of the nation’s high schools by U.S. News & World Report. In 2017 the California Department of Education announced that all four high schools were being named California Gold Ribbon Schools.
9. The Jack Benny Program popularized the city’s name, in particular the word “Cucamonga”.
10. By 1200 AD, Kukamongan Native Americans had established a village settlement in the area around present-day Red Hill, near the city’s western border, where Red Hill Country Club stands today. Kukamonga derives its name from a Tongva word meaning “sandy place.”
11. Anthropologists have determined that this cluster of settlers likely belonged to the Tongva people or Kich people, at one time one of the largest concentrations of Native American peoples on the North American continent.
12. In the 18th century, following an expedition led by Gaspar de Portola, the land was incorporated into the Mission System established by Father Junipero Serra and his group of soldiers and Franciscan friars.
13. After a half century of political jockeying in the region, the land finally came under the control of Juan Bautista Alvarado, governor of Mexico. On March 3, 1839, Alvarado granted 13,000 acres of land in the area called “Cucamonga” to Tubercio Tapia, a first-generation Spanish native of Los Angeles, successful merchant, and notorious smuggler.
14. Tapia went on to establish the first winery in California on his newly deeded land. Rancho Cucamonga was purchased by John Rains and his wife in 1858. The Rains family’s home, Casa de Rancho Cucamonga, was completed in 1860 and now appears on the National Register of Historic Places.
15. During the ensuing years the town prospered and grew. In 1887, irrigation tunnels were dug into Cucamonga Canyon by Chinese laborers and the Santa Fe Railroad was extended through the area. Among the town’s economic mainstays was agriculture, including olives, peaches, citrus, and, most notably, vineyards.
16. In 1913, the Pacific Electric Railway was extended through Rancho Cucamonga in an effort to improve crop transportation. Several landmarks in existence today pay tribute to the city’s multicultural founding. In particular, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel remains as a relic of the area’s Mexican agriculture laborers while the Chinatown House stands as a reminder of the Chinese immigrants who labored in constructing the area’s infrastructure.
17. In 1977, the unincorporated communities of Alta Loma, Cucamonga, and Etiwanda voted to incorporate, forming the city of Rancho Cucamonga.
18. The former community of Grapeland, first settled in 1869, lay roughly between today’s Victoria Groves Park and Central Park. There was a schoolhouse which also doubled as a church. In 1890 an irrigation district was formed and $200,000 in bonds were sold to pay for improvements. The Sierra Vista reservoir was built in 1886-87 by J.L. Scofield as the focal point of a network of irrigation pipes.
19. The system was unused, however, because the bond issue was declared illegal. “Orchards and vineyards began to die,” The Daily Report newspaper reported in a retrospective. “Residents moved out. The post office closed in 1905. Homes, buildings were destroyed or abandoned.” The reservoir remained unused until 1956, when the Fontana Union Water Company filled it with 5 million gallons of water. The local school district was merged with the Etiwanda district in 1901. In 1957 the settlement was practically deserted, but there were still rabbit-proof stone walls marking boundaries of previous citrus orchards.
20. The name “Cucamonga” became well known to fans of Jack Benny’s popular radio program, in which an announcer, voiced by Mel Blanc, would call out: “Train leaving on track five for Anaheim, Azusa and Cu-camonga!” This running gag became so well known that it eventually led to a statue of Benny in Cucamonga.