Like many other communities in the San Gabriel Valley, San Dimas formed with the coming of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad (later the Santa Fe Railroad) in the 1880’s. At the time, it was known as Mud Springs due to the riparian marsh area that made transportation through the area difficult. In San Dimas, the hotel built for the projected land boom housed few if any guests before being purchased by the Walker family and becoming a private residence. Located at Bonita Avenue and San Dimas Avenue, it is now known as the Historic San Dimas Hotel and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Prior to incorporation as a city in 1960, San Dimas was one of another citrus growing neighborhoods in the area. Its multitude of groves made the community home to four citrus packing houses and even a marmalade factory. Since its incorporation, the city has became known for its small town feel and western art and heritage. In a nod to its “western” heritage, San Dimas continues to host an annual fall rodeo and Western Days and is the home to numerous equestrian paths.

The first business in San Dimas was a hardware store opened by E.M. Marshall, and the current oldest business is the San Dimas Feed Company which was opened in 1897. The historic depot in town serves as the Pacific Railroad Museum. The historic Martin House (246 East Bonita Avenue) is the home of the Chamber of Commerce.

By Scott Piotrowski