Small Towns of San Bernardino County, California

South Cucamonga

South Cucamonga is so called in contradistinction from Cucamonga (the old office) and North Cucamonga, on the California Central Railway. The town-site is named South Cucamonga, but the legal name of the post office is Zucker. It is forty-two miles east of Los Angeles, sixteen miles west of Colton, and two miles south of North Cucamonga. There is here a post office, a telegraph and an express office, a hotel, a livery stable, etc., besides a large passenger and freight depot, where the Southern Pacific does considerable business derived from the surrounding very fertile agricultural section.


Temescal is a mining town and post office in the Temescal Mountains. It is reached by a wagon road through the canon. The nearest railway, telegraph and express offices are at South Riverside. Temescal is about thirty miles south of the county seat. Near by are the famous Temescal tin mines, also coalmines of good grade and abundant yield.


Fulmer is situated on the California Southern Railway, seventy miles from San Bernardino and fifteen miles from Barstow. It is a new settlement, and a recently established post office. The residents of the vicinity make stock raising their principal industry.


Victor is about forty miles northeast of the county seat, on the California Southern Railway. It is situated in a beautiful valley near the Mohave River, which affords a fine supply of good water. The scenery hereabouts is charming. About 300 is the population of the little town, which contains a post office with two daily mails, telegraph and express offices, a church., a schoolhouse, two general merchandise stores, black-smith shop, etc. Victor is famous for its fine marble and granite quarries, which, if properly developed, would prove a source of wealth to the community.


Needles, so called from the peculiar shape of rocks in the neighborhood, is a town of some 150 population, on the banks of the Colorado River, at the end of the division of railway from the Mohave and Los Angeles. The town has a post office, telegraph and express office, a Roman Catholic Church, a hotel, several stores of general merchandise, saloons, etc. The climate here is beneficial for consumptives, the air being dry, without fog or dew. The heats of summer are excessive. The Mohave Indians dwell hereabouts.


Hesperia is a small town in the Hesperia valley, on the main line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, about twenty-five miles north of the county seat, at an elevation of 2,500 feet. The San Bernardino Mountains on the south and the Hesperia Mountains on the north enclose the valley, and the climate is delightful and unrivaled for pulmonary, bronchial, and nasal disorders.

Harlem Springs

Harlem Springs are five miles northeast of San Bernardino, on the Base Line road. This resort, to which belongs a tract of twenty acres, is owned by a syndicate of San Bernardino capitalists, with whom certain parties are negotiating for its purchase, for the establishment of a great sanitarium. The elevation is 290 feet, with a gradual slope southward Within eighteen inches of each other are found springs almost icy cold, and boiling hot. The post office name is Messina.

Providence is a mining camp and post office, with tri-weekly mail, about sixteen miles northwest of Fenner station, and 150 miles from San Bernardino, on the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. Since their discovery, eight years since, the mines here have yielded large amounts of paying silver ore. The “Bonanza King” mine has yielded an average of $60,000 per month since it was opened.


Nantan is a mining camp and post office, with weekly mail, sixty miles north of Fenner. There are fine mines here, producing large quantities of paying ore.


Ivanpah, the oldest mining camp in the county, is about 200 miles northeast of San Bernardino, and seventy miles north of Fenner Station, receiving a weekly mail. From this district proceeded some of the richest ore ever mined in the county. Two mills are operated in the district, and they have shipped large quantities of bullion.


Grapeland is a recently established post office, at about the center of the old Perdew precinct, five miles east of Etiwanda, in the grape region, near the base of the mountains.

El Casco

El Casco is a postal station recently established on the Southern Pacific Railroad, in the San Gorgonio pass, some thirteen miles east of Colton. This is in the midst of a rich agricultural section famous for its dairy interests, known as the Yucaipa or San Timoteo District.

San Timoteo Canon

San Timoteo Canon is a valley ten or fifteen miles long, in some places narrowing to half a mile in width, in others opening out into wide bays occupied by farms and ranchos. At the head of the canon it widens till it terminates in the plain. From San Bernardino to the head of the canon it is about twenty miles. This valley contains many beautiful trees and shrubs. Within its limits is an Indian rancheria whose lands are well fenced and cultivated.

San Gorgonio Pass

San Gorgonio Pass is not a narrow pass, but a great plain ten to fifteen miles wide-a wide, flat tract, bounded on either side by a lofty range, the great San Gorgonio Mountain being on the south. On one side is a low range of sand hills, and beyond this, a sandy waste, desolate and destitute of vegetation, called the Whitewasher Valley.

Death Valley

Death Valley, so named from the great number of travelers said to have perished within its limits, is estimated to be 300 feet below the sea level. Naturally it should be an inland sea or lake, as it receives the drainage from more than 100 miles square; but, owing to the peculiar structure of its basin, the water seeps away, leaving an alkali sink. The temperature here is excessively high and close.

Source: An Illustrated History of Southern California: embracing the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange, and the peninsula of lower California.

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