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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ontario in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Mule Car

 
 
Mule Car Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman, April 9, 2006
1. Mule Car Marker
Inscription. From August 14, 1888, to September 24th, 1895, the Ontario & San Antonio Heights R.R. Company’s gravity mule car transported citizens up-and-down Euclid Avenue from Holt Boulevard to 24th Street. The cars were designed by John H. Tayes. After the termination of service, the original cars disappeared.

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.
 
Erected 2000.
 
Location. 34° 3.866′ N, 117° 39.056′ W. Marker is in Ontario, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is at the intersection of Euclid Avenue (California Route 83) and B Street, in the median on
Ontario's Mule Car image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
2. Ontario's Mule Car
Euclid Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ontario CA 91762, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nine Young Pepper Trees (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); WCTU Fountain (about 600 feet away); George Chaffey, Jr. (approx. 2.4 miles away); Madonna of the Trail (approx. 3 miles away); Bear Gulch (approx. 3.2 miles away); Red Hill (approx. 3.7 miles away); Tapia Adobe Site (approx. 3.7 miles away); Cucamonga Winery (approx. 3.7 miles 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 gravity.

The trip took about one hour up the hill but the return trip
Mule Car Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
3. Mule Car Marker
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. History of Ontario. (Submitted on May 23, 2006.)
4. The Mule Car. A poem by Marjorie Bowler. (Submitted on May 23, 2006.) 

5. 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.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Ontario's Mule Car image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
4. Ontario's Mule Car
Mule Car, 1888–1895 image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
5. Mule Car, 1888–1895
Ontario's Mule Car Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
6. Ontario's Mule Car Exhibit
Dedication and Restoration Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman, April 9, 2006
7. Dedication and Restoration Tablet
Donation Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
8. Donation Tablet
The Ontario & San Antonio Heights R.R. Co. image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
9. The Ontario & San Antonio Heights R.R. Co.
The Freedom Tree POW-MIA Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
10. The Freedom Tree POW-MIA Memorial
This memorial marker is next to the exhibit. The Freedom Tree is shown in Photo No. 3. The inscription reads: With the vision of universal freedom for all mankind, this tree is dedicated to Lt. Frederick J. Fortner and all prisoners of war and missing in action. 1972.
Veterans Memorial at the Ontario Court of Honor image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
11. Veterans Memorial at the Ontario Court of Honor
The Court of Honor is on the north side of B Street, on the Euclid Ave. median, across from the Mule Car exhibit.
Memorial and Court of Honor Markers image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Beeman
12. Memorial and Court of Honor Markers
The Veteran's Memorial obelisk was dedicated on November 8, 1998. The Ontario Court of Honor was dedicated in 1934 and its marker reads: Dedicated to those pioneers whose vision and energy established this colony, and dedicated to those who served their country at home and abroad in time of war.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 22, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California. This page has been viewed 7,814 times since then and 382 times this year. Last updated on November 3, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on May 22, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California.   11, 12. submitted on May 23, 2006, by Joseph Beeman of Upland, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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