Ontario in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
In 1956, William Richardson headed a group of citizens to have a replica of the original Mule Car constructed for the city's 75th anniversary in 1957. With donated funds "a couple of prop guys from the MGM Studios in Hollywood" recreated it, working from old photos. After the 1957 Mule celebration, the Mule Car was stored in the City Yards, abandoned and forgotten.
In memory of their son Donald, who worked for the City of Ontario, Kip and Elinore Carlson and their friends restored the Mule Car and constructed this facility. On April 28, 1974, this Mule Car was dedicated "to the whole community."
In memory of Donald "Beany" Carlson, 1950 to 1972.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ontario CA 91762, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nine Young Pepper Trees (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ontario Town Square (about 400 feet away); WCTU Fountain (about 600 feet away); George Chaffey, Jr. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Central School (approx. half a mile away); El Morado Court Historic District (approx. half a mile away); Rosewood Court Historic District (approx. 0.9 miles away); Olive Mill (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ontario.
Regarding Mule Car. (Text of interpretive card shown in Photo No. 5.)
Ontario's mule car was an early form of public transportation. The Street Railway franchise was granted in 1887, 5 years after the Chaffey brothers (see George Chaffey Jr. marker) founded the city, and it was carrying passengers by 1888. Residents in the area had begun to settle all along Euclid Avenue from Ontario seven miles north to the mountains.
The mules pulled the vehicle up 1000 foot rises to 24th Street and then rode down the hill standing on the platform in the back, with the car powered by
The trip took about one hour up the hill but the return trip was made in 20 minutes.
After the power plant was built in San Antonio Canyon (see Pomona Water Power Plant marker) in 1895, the mules were sold to a farmer and the cars were powered by electricity. As the story goes, the mules never worked out for the farmer because they would pull his plow one-way but refuse to return because they expected a ride back!
The mule car was pioneered by Charles Frankish And Godfrey Stamm, but the idea was credited to Captain John Tays, who recalled that in South Africa mules were used to pull the mining cars out of the shafts.
Also see . . .
1. The Ontario & San Antonio Heights Line. Railroad's history from the Pacific Electric pages of the Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. (Submitted on May 23, 2006.)
2. A Shaded Trail Into the Past. 2004 article by Mark Kendall in the Los Angeles Times about Euclid Avenue, Upland, and the rich history of the area. (Submitted on May 23, 2006.)
3. C.C. Carlson was 'all out for Ontario'. C. C. "Kip" Carlson's obituary by Tina Ramos-Ingold from the Monday, November 16, 1998 edition of Chaffey High School's Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. (Submitted on May 23, 2006.)
Additional keywords. The Ontario & San Antonio Heights R.R. Co.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 22, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California. This page has been viewed 8,282 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on November 3, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 22, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California. 5. submitted on October 6, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on May 22, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California. 12, 13. submitted on May 23, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.