The earliest known inhabitants of the San Bernardino area were the Serrano Indians, but the likely founding of the community was when the Franciscan priest Francisco Dumetz journeyed to the area from the Mission San Gabriel on May 20, 1810, which coincides with the feast day of Saint Bernardino of Siena. Following the Mexican-American War, the Mormon Battalion of the United States Army occupied the area, and they built Fort San Bernardino at a location that is now the County Court House.

The City of San Bernardino was first incorporated in April, 1854. In 1883, the California Southern Railroad would reach San Bernardino. At this time, the city was the center for the local agricultural areas that included vast orange and citrus groves. The first National Orange Show was held in March, 1911, shortly after the Pacific Electric Railway brought travelers to San Bernardino.

Richard and Maurice McDonald converted their barbecue restaurant into a fast food stop in 1948, and their original location today is home to the McDonald’s Museum. Immediately next door to it is the Military Museum.

By Scott Piotrowski