The City of Upland was originally part of the community of Ontario (located to the south), and was at one time known as the community of Magnolia based on a hotel built there in 1887. Just after the turn of the century, Ontario was growing partially by annexing part of present-day Upland. In March 1906, the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors conducted a hearing on the issue of Upland’s incorporation, and agreed to hold a vote on the issue. On May 5, 1906, the residents of Upland overwhelmingly voted in favor of incorporation (183 to 19) and the City of Upland was officially incorporated on May 15.

The entire area in and around Upland was primarily known for its Citrus economy, but the price of orange trees led to a large number of peach, pear, apple, and cherry trees as well as vineyards in the area. The Cooper Regional History Museum (located in the former headquarters of the Ontario – Cucamonga Fruit Exchange) has at its core a room dedicated to the citrus and wine history of the area.

However, a combination of the overall decline of the citrus industry in the 1940’s and the coming of the San Bernardino Freeway in 1954 transitioned Upland from a citrus-based economy to that of a primarily residential, bedroom community for the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. However, the city still honors its citrus heritage with the annul Upland Lemon Festival, held annually each April.

By Scott Piotrowski