I always wondered why Rancho Cucamonga sounded so much like an Indian name. Â I grew up in the midwest in a city called Mishawaka, Indiana to be exact. Â This city was named after an Indian Princess-Princess Mishawaka and she was very beautiful they say...
I used to tell people when I first moved to Rancho Cucamonga that I came from Mishawaka, Indiana and I think they thought I was making up a story! Â Come to find out, the Kucamongan Native Americans lived here in what is known as the Redhill area of Rancho Cucamonga over 3000 years ago. Â Boy, they sure picked a nice place to live, huh?
After Mexico won it's freedom from Spain, the new governor of Mexico gave Tubercio Tapia 13,000 acres of land in 1839. Â His home was at Redhill. Â It seems people liked to settle there. Â Tapia also opened up a winery, the building is still there today. Â It is one of the oldest wineries in California and it was called the Thomas Winery. Â The structure is on the North East corner of Foothill and Vineyard and is used as a coffee shop and there used to be a restaurant there but it recently went out of business.
The Rains, John and Maria Merced Williams de Rains, purchased the property from Tapia's daughter and her husband (before he was killed-I guess there was a big scandal with his death) The Rains made a beautiful home (which is now a historic landmark) and increased the size of the vineyards.
With any new city back then, water was always a big issue as it is still today. Â Every place needs water! George Day found a way to get and keep the water from the mountains above Rancho Cucamonga. There was progress, the trails that came to Rancho Cucamonga through the Cajon Pass were made, then the stagecoaches could get through, railroads, onwards and upwards made Rancho Cucamonga a desirable place to settle. Â Basic necessities could be brought in to Rancho Cucamonga a lot easier than ever before with modernization of the trails and railways.
Water came through tunnels that were dug by chinese laborers into what is known today as the Cucamonga Canyon. Â Because of this, the citrus, olive, wine and vineyards all were able to flourish. Â This is what this area was known for.
There are 3 cities that make up Rancho Cucamonga
1. Etiwanda-the Eastern part which was planned by George and William Chaffey who purchased this area in 1881. Â George set the precedence for water generated...he set the standard that Southern California still uses today. Hydro-electric power was another invention he came up with in 1882 it powered Etiwanda with the first electricity of the city!
2. Â Alta Loma-came from the original 13,000 acres that Tapia was granted. Â A gentleman named Hellman founded an association called the Cucamonga Homestead Association as he had trouble getting water to Alta Loma. Â Things were at a standstill until 5 investors ended up getting water with Chinese laborers who dug these water ways that are still used today from the Cucamonga Canyon.
3. Â Cucamonga-came from being granted to Tapia.
Different cultures have shaped Rancho Cucamonga into what it is today. Â In 1977, Cucamonga, Etiwanda and Alta Loma all became incorporated into Rancho Cucamonga.Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor, License #01431647
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730