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Pomona Valley Historical Collection

Information about the resources available in Cal Poly Pomona's Pomona Valley Historical Collection and guidelines for using the collections.

Ontario & Upland

In 1882, the Chaffey brothers purchased 6,216 acres of land between the San Antonio and Cucamonga Creeks on the western portion of the Cucamonga Rancho.

Ontario residents voted on incorporation in 1888 but met opposition from North Ontario residents over water rights. North Ontario was renamed to Upland in 1902 after the Upland Citrus Association as a way to both set Upland's citrus apart from that of Ontario, and to subtly denote that its fruit was of higher quality, having been grown "Up-land." The name Upland was formally adopted as the city's name upon incorporation in 1906.

Ontario and Upland have for the most part shared a history consistent with its sister cities in the Pomona Valley: growth with the boom of the 1880s, wealth in citrus through World War II, and as bedroom communities for Southern California's  manufacturing and research industries in the decades that followed.

Ontario found success within its borders with the construction and growth of Ontario International Airport beginning in 1941, and of Ontario Mills Mall in 1996. Ontario International Airport which provides domestic and international travel, is one of the busiest airports in the nation.  It serves as a major transportation and distribution hub for the Pomona Valley and greater eastern Los Angeles County area while Ontario Mills Mall stands as a major tourist attraction and one of the largest entertainment and retail centers on the western seaboard.

Upland was originally irrigation and agriculture land filled with primarily citrus fruits and grapes.  It was incorporated on May 15th 1906, after previously being named North Ontario.  Upland is located at the foot of the highest part of the San Gabriel Mountains. 

 Upland is home to Cable Airport, the world's largest family-owned, public use airport. Upland is also served by the Metrolink commuter train and rail system, on the San Bernardino line.