Get to know San Bernardino, CA

The county seat city of San Bernardino is an anchor city of the Inland Empire on the floor of the San Bernardino Valley.  The valley’s first settlement was Politana.  It was established in 1810 and named for Bernardino of Siena.  Following powerful earthquakes, superstitious tribesmen destroyed the settlement.  The ranch was rebuilt by Native Americans who invited missionaries back to the valley in 1819.  They did return and established San Bernardino de Sena Estancia.  Following secularization the Native Americans left Politana.  In 1842 Rancho San Bernardino was included in the land grant of Jose del Carmen Lugo.  The first Anglo settlers were Mormons who purchased the ranch and established the town of San Bernardino in 1851.  The city was incorporated in 1857.  Most of the Mormons left that year to return to Utah.  New settlers were sold the land, making it a frontier town.  The city boomed with the Gold Rush and by the 1860’s it had also became a hub for trading in Southern California.  The arrowhead rock formation near the city led to the Arrowhead trademark, the bottling operation set up by Seth Marshall in 1905.  The Norton Air Force Base was established during World War II.  In 1940 Richard and Maurice McDonald founded McDonald’s in the city.  The economy is based on government, retail, and service industries.  The top employers include California State University, San Bernardino, Caltrans District 8, municipal offices, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Stater Bros. Markets, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and St. Bernardine Medical Center.  Popular attractions include the Arrowhead Springs Hotel and Spa and the annual National Orange Show Festival.

Quick Facts

Population: 214,112

Median Household Income: $37,047

Median Property Value: $159,800


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