A Quick History Lesson on Rancho Cucamonga


As some of you know, we are just a stone’s throw from opening up our new location in the dynamic city of Rancho Cucamonga. Those who live in Southern California know Rancho Cucamonga for being a lively city located just south of the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley and Angeles National Forest in San Bernardino County. But looking back in history’s books, you’ll find this city to have had an interesting past before it became the vibrant hub it is today. Read on to find out more.

Rancho Cucamonga’s first settlers were Kukamongan Native Americans who established a village settlement in the western border of the city around 1200 AD. The word Kukamonga is derived from a Native American word meaning ‘sandy place’. In the 18th century, following an expedition by Spanish soldier Gaspar de Portola, the land was incorporated into the Mission System, comprised of a series of Spanish religious outposts created in an effort to evangelize the Native Americans. After these missions were established, Rancho Cucamonga and its nearby territories would go back and forth between Spain and Mexico, but Mexico ultimately won once the country achieved independence from the crown.

Thomas Winery est. 1839 via City of Rancho Cucamonga

Thomas Winery est. 1839 via City of Rancho Cucamonga

In 1839, governor of Mexico, Juan Baptista Alvarado, had control over the land and granted the area (then known as ‘Cucamonga’) to successful merchant and notorious smuggler, Tubercio Tapia. Tapia helped develop the land with his most well known accomplishment being the opening of the city’s first winery. In 1848, American forces entered California and annexed it and shortly after, “California” became its own state in 1850. The area of Rancho de Cucamonga was eventually purchased in 1958 by an Alabama-born man named John Rains.

“John Rains” via Carbon Canyon Chronicle

“John Rains” via Carbon Canyon Chronicle

After Rains purchased the land, it continued to prosper. Irrigation tunnels were built into Cucamonga Canyon and agriculture thrived in the community. The Pacific Electric Railway was built in 1913 to help with crop transportation. By this time, the area had also been updated with features such as paved streets, rock curbs and street lights, making it ahead of its time for a small town. The area continued on its path of growth with people from various cultures contributing to its overall development. They created communities with modern attractions including restaurants, dance halls, theaters, markets, churches and more.

During the 1970’s, Alta Loma, Etiwanda and Cucamonga experienced uncontrolled growth due to Los Angeles and Orange County residents migrating to the area in search of affordable housing. The Tri-Community Incorporation Committee was created to propose the formation of a new city to deal with this overgrowth. As a solution, the incorporation of Rancho Cucamonga was approved by the board members, citizen communities and city council.


Today, Rancho Cucamonga is known as the Inland Empire’s premier city. It is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas, yet it remains a safe place to live in. Its award winning architecture, highly rated schools, parks and community centers and successful businesses make it an area that anyone would be happy to visit and be proud to call home. In fact, we are excited to soon call the city of Rancho our new home and can’t wait to share more about it with you within the years to come!

Creative Squeeze