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.
Evidence of 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 shepherd.
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 Avenue.
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.
Drilling for 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.
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.
Through the 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.
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 California
State 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 by Caucasians).
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.
The 293-acre (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.
A view of
West Coyote Hills in Fullerton, which is one of the last open
spaces in northern Orange
Fullerton is 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
According to 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 east.
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.
The northern 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.
Fullerton is 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
Kevin J. Lin,
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.
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')
Academics and the Arts (K-6), 306 N. Pomona Avenue
Private School, located where Mayor Hale once lived in the early
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.
Fullerton is 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.
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.
Fullerton is 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.
Fullerton is 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 Complex.
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.
Fullerton is 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).
Fullerton is 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
92831, 92832, 92833, 92834, 92835, 92836, 92837, 92838