History Of Fullerton, CA

Fullerton is a fast-growing suburban city and a designated bedroom community of Los Angeles. The city is located in the northern section of Orange County and has a population estimated to be around 140,000 residents according to a 2018 survey. The city is popularly known for being home to several high profile educational institutions including the likes of Fullerton College, Hope International University, and California State University-Fullerton among others. These institutions of higher learning are credited with contributing to the city’s booming nightlife and real estate industry.

The Tongva ingenious people, also referred to as the Gabrieliños by Spanish settlers, are said to have been the original inhabitants of today’s Fullerton city area and most of the nearby communities. Archeological evidence obtained from the area also proves the existence of mammoths and saber-toothed cats in the region during the prehistoric era.

Fullerton’s first contact with European settlers came 1769 when Gaspar de Portolà and his troops explored Alta California and allegedly camped near Laguna Lake on their way north. However, Fullerton remained relatively undeveloped throughout the Spanish rule with Mission San Gabriel Arcangel being the closest major development near the area.

During the Mexican rule in California, Fullerton, along with areas currently occupied by Placentia and Anaheim cities, was issued as a land grant to a Spanish soldier by the name Juan Alvarado. Alvarado went on to become one of the most successful Governors of California during the Mexican era. Ontiveros later sold most of his land to Abel Stearns who in turn sold the land to the opportunistic Amerige brother. It is the two Amerige brothers, Edward and George, who are credited with founding the city and Fullerton in 1887 and naming it for George Fullerton who played a very instrumental role in their acquisition of the land.

In the years that followed, Fullerton thrived as an agricultural center and was the largest producer of oranges in the United States in the late 1800s. The city was also a large scale producer of avocados and walnuts. As a prominent agricultural center, Fullerton experienced quick development and population growth in the 1880s and 1890s and was officially incorporated as a city in 1904. Part of the development was also sparked by the discovery of petroleum in the neighboring city of Brea.

Fullerton College was established in 1913, marking the beginning of the city’s evolution into one of the most prominent educational centers in California and one of the fastest-growing residential and economic centers in Orange County.


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