Friday, March 27, 2009

Let's get historical about Ontario

Ontario, California's web site includes the history of the city:

It was in the first week of August, 1881 when George Chaffey, a Canadian engineer, viewed the wastes known as the Cucamonga Desert and decided that this patch of land, if properly watered, could become productive and profitable. George and his brother William bought the "San Antonio lands," 6,218 acres with water rights for $60,000. This was the nucleus of their new model colony. They subsequently expanded to the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the south. On the north, they took in the Kincaid Ranch at San Antonio Canyon, an all-important source of water.

The Ontario Colony lands were quickly surveyed and went on sale in November, 1882. The centerpiece was Euclid Avenue, eight miles long and two hundred feet wide, the twin "driveways" separated by a parkway which was seeded in grass and lined with pepper trees. George named Euclid Avenue after the great Greek mathematician whose book Elements of Geometry had been a favorite subject for George in school.

The primary requirement, which had to be met before the land could be utilized, was that water had to be found and brought to the town. Chaffey laid miles of cement pipe for this purpose and later the San Antonio Water Co. drove a tunnel into the head of the canyon to tap the underground flow—then an innovation in the field. The need for electric power to lift water from deep wells led to the establishment of the Ontario Power Co.

More here.

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