city, San Bernardino county, southwestern California, U.S. Lying just west of the city of San Bernardino, the site was once part of the Rancho San Bernardino land grant (1813). The community, then known as Rosena, was developed in 1903 after it was bought by Fontana Development Company. It was renamed Fontana (Italian: "Fountain") in 1913 by A.B. Miller, who promoted the city's growth as a poultry, hog, and citrus centre. The U.S. Rabbit Experimental Station, the only facility in the country devoted to research on the breeding and raising of rabbits, was established there in 1928 and operated until 1965. In 1942 Fontana became the location for a large integrated steel mill. Other manufacturing plants followed, and Fontana's basic economy was transformed from agricultural to industrial. Steel production declined in the late 20th century. The Fontana Historical Museum, located in a farmhouse built in the first part of the 20th century, depicts early life in the city. San Bernardino National Forest is north of the city. Inc. city, 1952. Pop. (1990) 87,535; (2000) 128,929.
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