is a city located in northern Orange
County, California. As of the 2000
census, the city had a total population of 126,003.
It was founded
in 1887 by George and Edward Amerige and named for George H. Fullerton,
who secured the land on behalf of the Atchison,
Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Historically it was a center of
agriculture, notably groves of Valencia
oranges and other citrus
crops; petroleum extraction; transportation;
and manufacturing. It is home to several educational institutions,
notably the California
State University, Fullerton.
prehistoric animal habitation, such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths,
is present in Ralph B.
Clark Regional Park in the northwest of the city. Europeans
first passed through the area in 1769 when Gaspar
de Portolà led an expedition north to establish Mission
San Gabriel Arcangel, after whom the local Native
American population were dubbed the Gabrieliños.
The land later became part of Rancho
San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, granted to Juan Pacifico Ontiveros,
a Spanish soldier.
to sell parcels of the Rancho to settlers flooding California in
the aftermath of the 1849 Gold
Rush, including Massachusetts
native Abel Stearns. In the 1860s,
Stearns sold in turn to Domingo Bastanchury, a Basque
In 1886 while
in the area on a duck hunting vacation,
Malden brothers George and
Edward Amerige, heard rumors that the California
Central Railroad, a subsidiary of the Santa
Fe Railway, was looking for land. Sensing opportunity, they
arranged to buy 430 acres (1.7 km²) north of Anaheim
for approximately $68,000.
They then began
negotiations with George H. Fullerton, president of the Pacific
Land and Improvement Company, also a Santa Fe subsidiary. They offered
free right-of-way and half interest in the land to the railroad
if Fullerton's survey were revised to include the proposed town
site, and on July 5, 1887 Edward Amerige formally staked his claim
at what is now the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth
In 1894 Charles
Chapman, a retired Chicago publisher
and a descendant of John "Johnny Appleseed"
Chapman, purchased an orange orchard
in eastern Fullerton. The Valencia variety of oranges he promoted
from his Santa Ysabel Ranch, well suited to the local climate, proved
a boon to producers; Fullerton boasted more orange groves than any
other municipality in the United States.
Cultivation of walnuts and avocados
also flourished, and the Western railroad town became an agricultural
center. Fullerton incorporated in 1904.
petroleum began in 1880 with the discovery
of the Brea-Olinda Oil Field
and fueled the first real boom, peaking in the 1920s. Construction
reflected the vogue for Spanish Colonial and Italian
Renaissance-inspired architecture, as in the historic Fox
Fullerton Theatre (erected 1925); the home of Walter and Adella
Muckenthaler, designed by Frank Benchley (erected 1924); and the
city's chief landmark, the Plummer Auditorium and clock tower (erected
1930). Fullerton College was established
at its present location at Chapman Avenue and Lemon Street in 1913.
Meanwhile, the city banned all overnight street parking in 1924—
a law enforced to the present day.
public works projects were constructed during this period, including
the conversion of a southwestern sewer farm into Fullerton
Municipal Airport at the behest of Placentia
ranchers and aviators William and Robert Dowling in 1927.
mid-1900s the economy shifted toward food
processing rather than food production, as well as manufacturing;
southeastern Fullerton became an industrial center. Val
Vita Food Products (later Hunt
Wesson and today part of ConAgra
Foods, Inc.) began operating a citrus juice plant in western
Fullerton in 1932. By 1941 it had become the largest food processing
company in the US. In 1934 A.W. Leo, Tom Yates and Ralph Harrison
developed the first Hawaiian Punch
recipe in a converted garage in Fullerton. The city also became
a producer of aerospace equipment, electrical and electronic components,
navigation systems, and laboratory instruments.
In 1949 Dick
Riedel and Bill Barris piloted the Sunkist Lady, a modified
Aeronca Sedan, out of the Fullerton
airport to set an endurance flight record of 1,008 hours and 2 minutes.
Also in 1949,
Fullerton was the setting in which Leo Fender
developed and refined the design of the Fender
Telecaster, a guitar which would later be used among some of
the greatest musicians of the 20th and 21st Century. Among them:
Keith Richards, Joe
Strummer, Waylon Jennings, Dwight
Yoakam, Greg Camp, Jimmy
Page, Kurt Cobain, and many others.
population soared after World War II
as veterans migrated to California, and
in particular after the construction of Interstate
5 and development in neighboring Anaheim.
To serve the
growing population, the California
State Legislature authorized Orange County State College in
1957, which began operating out of Fullerton high schools in 1959.
In 1963, it moved to its present campus on State College Boulevard,
and later, after several name-changes, was finally redesignated
University, Fullerton. Other institutions followed, earning
Fullerton a reputation as an "Education City." The Fullerton Arboretum,
a 26 acre (105,000 m²) botanical
garden, opened in the northeastern part of the city adjacent
the campus in 1979.
growth leveled off as ever-soaring property prices, increasing environmental
regulation, traffic, and other pressures increased. By the late
20th century the city had lost much of its rural character in favor
of suburban housing tracts and shopping centers.
The first years
of the 21st century have seen several political issues played out
against a backdrop of class division (between the more affluent
northern and western parts of the city and the southern portion
of the city, which borders Anaheim), rapidly diminishing supplies
of undeveloped land, and demographic changes (including the influx
of Asian and Latino immigrants into an area previously dominated
As in many cities,
growth and development are contentious issues. In the 1990s, the
downtown commercial district had become economically depressed,
and was known mainly for being an area of sleepy antique stores
and small shops. A symbol of downtown's problems was the Fox
Theatre, a local landmark, which had fallen into disrepair.
As of November 2004, a fundraising drive had accumulated sufficient
funds to buy the theater, but not yet enough money to restore it.
By 2006, restoration was started. During this same period, the downtown
area, especially south of Commonwealth Avenue, has become more of
a busy entertainment district, described by the OC
Weekly as "Bourbon Street
West." In less than five years, some 30 businesses that sell alcohol
have opened, making the downtown area much more active at night.
With the festive atmosphere have come problems such as public drunkenness,
fights and a shortage of parking; a police task force last year
has addressed some of these problems.
There is a proposal
to develop the Coyote Hills area, the last undeveloped area in the
city. This controversial issue has pitted local environmentalists
and slow-growth activists (who argue that the city should seek state
funding to buy the area and make into a park) against the pro-business
and pro-growth City Council. There are also plans to build approximately
300 condominiums or apartments downtown, leading to more density.
(1.19 km2) Hughes Aircraft
Company's Ground Systems Group campus in western Fullerton was
redeveloped into a major new residential and commercial district,
called Amerige Heights, in 2001–2004. This development was
accompanied by extreme shifts in neighborhood property values, first
dropping precipitously in the late 1980s to early 1990s as the former
Hughes employees sold their houses, and then rising rapidly as part
of a general increase in real estate values throughout Orange County.
of West Coyote Hills in Fullerton, which is one of the last
open spaces in northern Orange
located at (33.879914, -117.928749). It is approximately 25 miles
(40 km) southeast of downtown Los
Angeles, and approximately 11 miles (18 km) north-northwest
of Santa Ana, the county
seat. The city has a mean elevation of 150 feet (46 m) and lies
approximately 11 miles (18 km) northeast of the Pacific
Ocean straight-line distance. It has a Mediterranean
climate, with a mean temperature of 62.2 degrees Fahrenheit (16.8
the United States Census
Bureau, the city has a total area of 57.6 km² (22.2 mi²).
57.5 km² (22.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²)
of it (0.14%) is water.
It is bordered
by La Habra and Brea
on the north, La Mirada on
the northwest, Buena Park
on the west, Anaheim on the
south, and Placentia on the
The flat downtown
area is laid out in a grid plan centered
at the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue.
After recent renewal and beautification projects, it has attracted
specialty stores, coffee shops, and restaurants, and has uncharacteristically
retained much of its downtown character.
Southeastern Fullerton is historically the industrial sector, and
is home to small manufacturing, particularly east of Raymond Street
and south of Commonwealth.
and western reaches of Fullerton are dominated by the Coyote Hills,
a low-lying mountain range divided into the East
Coyote Hills and West Coyote Hills;
the lands nestled to their south and west are known as Sunny Hills.
For most of the city’s history these areas were groves of citrus
trees, open scrubland,
and oil fields. While equestrian trails
and many old estates endure along Bastanchury Road, the meandering
roads through these areas today mostly connect a succession of housing
tract subdivisions and commercial developments. In recent years,
the City Council has tried to allow development in the remaining
open land throughout the city. The most notable impending project,
in West Coyote Hills, has been met with opposition by some of the
citizens in the area.
a general law city with a council-manager
government system. Legislative authority is vested in a City
Council of five non-partisan members who serve four-year staggered
terms, who elect a chair who serves as mayor but hire a professional
city manager for day-to-day operations. All Council seats are elected
at large. Elections are held every two years and are consolidated
with the statewide general elections held in November of even numbered
As of July 2009
there were 69,791 registered voters in the city:
Mayor Pro Tem
Jones, M.D., Councilmember
Lin, City Attorney
State and Federal
historically favored conservative Republicans in state and federal
elections. In the state
legislature Fullerton is located in the 33rd and 34th Senate
Districts, represented by Republican
Mimi Walters and Democrat
Lou Correa, and in the 72nd Assembly
District, represented by Republican Chris
Norby. Federally, Fullerton is located in California's 40th
congressional districts, which have Cook
PVIs of R +8 and D +5 respectively and are represented by Republican
Ed Royce and Democrat Loretta
There are five
public high schools within the city limits, all part of the Fullerton
Joint Union High School District:
There are three public junior high schools, enrolling grades 7-8:
Ladera Vista, Nicolas, and D.
Russell Parks Junior High School.
seventeen public elementary schools enrolling grades K-6, and in
some cases K-8: Acacia, Beechwood (K-8), Commonwealth, Fern Drive,
Fisler (K-8), Golden Hill, Hermosa Drive, Laguna Road, Maple, Orangethorpe,
Pacific Drive, Raymond, Richman, Rolling Hills, Sunset Lane, Valencia
Park, and Woodcrest.
Catholic schools are affiliated
with the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Orange.
Catholic School, formed in 2005 by the merger of Saint Mary's
Catholic School, the oldest Catholic school in the city, with
Saint Philip Benizi Catholic School.
High School (all-girls')
School, Academics and the Arts (K-6), 306 N. Pomona Avenue
Montessori Private School, located where Mayor Hale once lived
in the early 1900s
Christian School, 2353 W. Valencia Drive, Fullerton, California
State University, Fullerton, commonly known as Cal State
Fullerton or CSUF, was first established in 1957
as Orange County State College. The twelfth member of the California
State University system, its main campus is located on 236
acres (1 km²) of a former orange grove in northeast Fullerton
near State Route 57
and Nutwood Avenue. In the fall semester of 2007, 37,130 students
were enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs,
making it the largest university in the CSU system and the second
largest university in the state of California in terms of enrollment.
home to a vibrant music scene. It was a center for the Orange
County hardcore punk music scene, producing acts such as The
Adolescents, Agent Orange,
Social Distortion, and TSOL.
Gwen Stefani, lead vocalist of the
alternative rock group No
Doubt, was a student at CSUF and the group performed there regularly.
Other popular groups from the area include The
Offspring and Lit. The popular singer-songwriter
Jackson Browne also attended Sunny
Hills High School in the city.
greatly to Fullerton's musical heritage was the Fender
musical instrument company, whose products such as the Stratocaster
and Telecaster electric
guitars, Precision Bass
bass guitar, and Twin Reverb guitar
amplifier revolutionized the music business and contributed
greatly to the development of rock and
roll. (A list of notable rock performers who did not
use a Fender product at some point in their careers would be very
short.) Leo Fender sold the company to
CBS in 1964; production continued in the Fullerton
plant until 1985, when the then-ruined company was sold to a group
of private investors. (It was later reconstituted as Fender Musical
Instrument Corporation, with its major production facilities in
neighboring Corona and across
the US-Mexico border
in Ensenada, Baja California,
and its headquarters in Scottsdale,
Arizona.) In 1980, Leo Fender and his original
partner George Fullerton (relation to the Fullerton founder of the
same name unknown) reunited and started a new company, G&L
(George and Leo) Guitars, which currently occupies the old Fender
factory in Fullerton.
Cultural Center on Malvern Avenue near Euclid Avenue houses art
galleries and a theater group. The former estate of the Muckenthaler
family, it was donated to the city by Harold Muckenthaler in 1965.
Museum Center is a multidisciplinary exhibit space housed in the
old Carnegie Library downtown.
Park in Fullerton.
also home to the Fullerton
Public Library. The Main Library is located on Commonwealth
Avenue in Downtown Fullerton and adjacent to the City Hall. There
is also a branch library, called the Hunt Branch on Basque Avenue.
also home to a diverse and ever-growing theater scene. The Fullerton
Civic Light Opera, one of the largest theater companies in Southern
California, is based at the Plummer Auditorium. Local educational
institutions, such as Fullerton College and Fullerton High School's
Academy of the Arts, are the source of numerous large-scale productions.
There are also several storefront theaters, including the Maverick
Theater, Stages Theater and the Hunger
Artists Theatre Company.
more than 50 city parks and is home to Hillcrest Park, the Craig
Regional Park and Ralph
B. Clark Regional Park. The Fullerton
Arboretum comprises 26 acres (105,000 m²) of sculpted gardens
and unusual plants in northeastern Fullerton. Additionally the city
features approximately 200 acres (0.8 km²) of recreational
land in the Brea Dam Recreational Area, plus an equestrian center
and trails, two golf courses, a tennis center located behind St.
Jude Hospital and the Janet Evans Swim
The city is
also one of the few Southern California municipalities to be served
by a completely independent newspaper, the Fullerton Observer.
The Observer is an all-volunteer paper that is printed two
times a month. It was founded in the late 1970s by Ralph Kennedy,
a fair housing and civil rights activist who advocated saving Coyote
Hills as open space.
also home to the Golden Baseball
League's Orange County Flyers
(formerly known as the Fullerton Flyers). The team's home is Goodwin
Field, home to the Cal
State Fullerton Titans.
There were 137,437
(CA Dept. of Finance Jan. 2008), people, 44,044 (CA Dept. of Demographic
Research January 2008), and 29,610 families residing in the city.
The population density was 2,191.4/km²
(5,675.9/mi²). There were 44,771 housing units at an average density
of 778.7/km² (2,016.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.89%
American, 0.69% Native
American, 16.08% Asian,
Islander, 14.81% from other
races, and 4.03% from two or more races. 30.17% of the population
of any race.
There were 43,609
households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living
with them, 51.8% were married couples living
together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present,
and 32.1% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up
of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years
of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average
family size was 3.37.
In the city
the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 11.5%
from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.3%
who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years.
For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females
age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.
The median income
for a household in the city was $75,700 (Orange County 2005), and
the median income for a family was $57,345. Males had a median income
of $40,674 versus $31,677 for females. The per
capita income for the city was $23,370. About 8.0% of families
and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty
line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those
age 65 or over.
as a railroad town,
is still bisected by the BNSF Railway,
upon whose tracks run Amtrak trains
3 and 4, the Southwest Chief, between
Chicago and Los
Angeles, the Pacific Surfliner
to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara,
and San Diego and Metrolink
commuter rail trains. Average trip
time on Metrolink or Amtrak to Los Angeles is 30 minutes.
Train Station is located downtown at the Fullerton Transportation
Center, which also serves as a major bus depot for the Orange
County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
crossed by three major freeways. State
Route 91 runs east-to-west down the length of the city south
of Orangethorpe Avenue. It intersects with Interstate
5, the Santa Ana Freeway,
in the west near Magnolia Avenue and with State
Route 57, the Orange
Freeway, in the east near State College Boulevard.
Municipal Airport, the only general aviation airport remaining
in Orange County, located
in the southwest of the city, is the last remnant of the Hughes
Company in the area, which was prominent in the aerospace industry
up until the 1970s. From the early 1970s through the early 1980s
the airport was served by Golden
West Airlines, one of the larger commuter airlines of the period.
in Fullerton is provided by the Fullerton
Fire Department with ambulance transport by Care
Ambulance Service. The Fullerton
Police Department provides law enforcement, while the California
State University Police Department also has law enforcement
jurisdiction in areas of the city near the CSU
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