Firsts in San Bernardino

1913 - First Y.W.C.A.

(5th and Arrowhead).

Click here for more Firsts.



Saturdays 10 AM - 3 PM

FREE Admission

FREE Parking

FREE Tours

1170 W. Third Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

Map & Directions

San Bernardino
Historical &
Pioneer Society

P.O. Box 875
San Bernardino, CA 92402


(909) 888-3634 


Depot & Museum Tour

December 02, 2015

Tours will  be conducted

on  the  first Wednesday of

each month at 10:00 am.

Call (909)  888-3634  for

a reservation.  FREE


Group Tours

For a Group Tour on

Saturday or any other 

day call (909) 888-3634.


Virtual Museum Tour

Click here for visual tour

of the museum.


Photo Histories

Click here to view local San

Bernardino and railroad

photographic histories.


Newsletters of the

Western Archives of

the Santa Fe Railway

Click here for Newsletters 

of the Santa Fe Railway

Historical and Modeling

Society (Western Archives).


Norton AFB Museum

Now Open:

Thursday 10:00 to 2:00

Saturday  10:00 to 2:00



Next Meeting at Coco's

The next meeting of the

National Association of

Retired & Veteran Railway

Employees will be held

at Coco's Restaurant.





Upcoming Events:

The Museum is open Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00  (Virtual Museum Tour)


November 16, 1854 - First Street Map of San Bernardino

In 1853, Henry G. Sherwood laid out a plan for the City of San Bernardino, much like a miniature Salt Lake City.

It was approved by the Supervisors on November 16, 1854.

The town was one mile square, in blocks containing 8 acres, with wide streets running at right angles. 

The north-south streets were given Mormon names which continued for years, then were changed to "letters". 

The east-west streets were numbered and their numbers remain the same today as they were in 1853 with the exception of 1st Street which is now called Rialto Avenue. 

A block-square public park (later called Pioneer Park) was established in the center of the town.

Town Creek and Warm Creek zigzag through the eastern half of town.


June 21, 1842 - Lugo Map of Rancho San Bernardino

1841 copy of the "Disiño del Paraje de San Bernardino" (Map of the San Bernardino Region), accompanying the Lugos' Request for a Land Grant.

Rancho San Bernardino was created by Mission San Gabriel in 1819.  In 1821, Spain relinquished control of Mexico, including Alta and Baja California.  All of the Calfornia missions were "secularized" (confiscated) beginning in 1834 and Mexico began approving grants of mission lands to political favorites.

Don Antonio Maria Lugo, was a wealthy land owner in the Los Angeles area when he requested a land grant, covering  35,509 acres in the San Bernardino and Yucaipa valleys, for his three sons and a nephew.  It was immediately granted by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado, his grandnephew.  

On June 21, 1842, Governor Alvarado granted the Lugos permanent possession of the land, meaning that they could live on the land and deny anyone but the original Indians the right to remain on the the land.

The three Lugo boys and a cousin were to start colonizing this land by building homes and transferring livestock to the area.  Some Spanish terms indicated on the map include: 

Saca de agua is the Mill Creek Zanja

Ojos de agua is Arrowhead Springs.

Casa de Lugo, the Lugo house is shown at the intersection of the compass lines [on what is now the 1926 courthouse grounds].

Jacal Jumuba, for former keepers of mission cattle.  José María Lugo built an adobe home near the springs at Jumuba [West of Hunts Lane and South of Redlands Blvd.].

Casa arruinadas, mission rancho headquarters and the Assistencia [Estancia], became the home of José del Carmen Lugo [Barton Road and Nevada Street in Redlands].

Casa de Sepulveda in Yucaipa, home of the Lugos' cousin, Diego Sepulveda.

Vicente Lugo built an adobe near De Sienna Springs and Bunker Hill [near Inland Center Drive and I Street].

The Lugos did not succeed in colonoizing the area and eventually sold Rancho San Bernardino to the Mormon Church in 1851 for $77,500.


July 10, 1839 - "San Bernardino" on U.S. Map

1839 Map of the U. S.

This map was created by David H. Burr, Geographer to the House of Representatives of the U. S., and was entered in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Columbia on July 10, 1839.

This is the first time the words, "San Bernardino", appeared on a map of the United States.


San Bernardino is located in the center of the map just above the dark horisontal line.

The routes traveled by Jedediah Smith in 1826 and 1827 are also annotated on this map.



Note: To view the entire map of the United States click on the above map or visit the Library of Congress site at


March 9, 1835 - "S. Bernardino" on a California Map

1832 Map of California

The "Notes on Upper California, A Journey from Monterey to the Colorado River in 1832", by Dr. Thomas Coulter was presented to the Royal Geographic Society of London on March 9, 1835.

In addition to the text, there was Dr. Coulter's 1832 Map of California.  This was the first time that the words, "S. Bernardino" were included on a map of California.  

Thomas Coulter discusses San Bernardino Peak and Rancho San Bernardino in his Notes on Upper California and published a map that accurately depicts the location of San Bernardino.  He stated,

"The only settled portion of Upper California lies along the coast; the missions being nearly all within one day's journey from it. The only point where a mission that has any settlement further inland is at San Gabriel, where the Rancho of San Bernardino is at the head of the valley, some thirty leagues [ninety miles] from the port of San Pedro. This is indeed the only point of either Californias, south of San Francisco, capable of sustaining a large population."


Note that in 1832 Los Angeles is listed as a "Pueblo" yet the islands and missions are properly named.


1823 - "Bernardino" on the Map

This is a small portion of an 1823 map of Mexico created by Jose Maria Narvaes.  It is titled, Carta esferica de los territorios de la alta y baja Californias y estado de Sonora.

This was the first time that "Bernardino" was annotated on a map.                                                                                                                                                 
The symbol to the left of Bernardino is that of a "rancheria".  The Spanish word rancheria refers to a small Indian settlement or is used to designate the workers' quarters of a ranch.  The term also describes a type of communal settlement formerly characteristic of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Mexico.

As the range of the California missions spread many of these small rancherias expanded into huge ranchos containing thousands of livestock and hundreds of acres of crops.

For example, the Bernardino Rancheria, formerly known as the Guachama Rancheria, (located on what is now Mission Road in Loma Linda) became Rancho San Bernardino of Mission San Gabriel.  Two other ranchos in the San Bernardino Valley, i.e., Rancho Agua Caliente and Rancho Jumuba, also belonged to Mission San Gabriel.

In 1842, Governor Alvarado granted Rancho San Bernardino to Jose de Carmen Lugo and relatives, who then sold it to the Mormons nine years later.  Rancho San Bernardino evolved into the City of San Bernardino (incorporated in 1854).

Note: To view the entire map click on the above map or visit the Library of Congress site at


January 18, 1803 - Corps of Discovery


January 18, 1803U.S. President Thomas Jefferson sent a secret message to Congress asking for approval and funding of an expedition to explore the Western part of the continent.  

Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery to find a water route to the Pacific and explore the uncharted West. He believed woolly mammoths, erupting volcanoes, and a mountain of pure salt awaited them. What they found was some 300 species unknown to science, nearly 50 Indian tribes, and the Rockies. 

July 4, 1803 - News of the Louisiana Purchase is announced; Meriwether Lewis as the expedition's leader, who had been training in Philadelphis, will now be exploring land largely owned by the United States.

Summer 1803 - Lewis oversees construction of a keelboat in Pittsburg, then picks up William Clark and other recruits as he travels down the Ohio River.  Lewis and Clark establish their winter camp on the Wood River, IL.

May 14, 1804 - The Corps of Discovery leaves Camp Wood and begins its journey up the Missouri River.

October 24, 1804 - Near today's Bismarck, North Dakota, the Corps arrives at the villages of the Mandan and Hidatsa, buffalo-hunting tribes that live along the Missouri River.

November 4, 1804 - Lewis and Clark hire French-Canadian fur-trader Toussaint Charbonneau and his Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, to act as interpreters on the journey ahead.

December 24, 1804 - The men build Fort Mandan, their winter quarters in present-day North Dakota.

June 13, 1805 - Lewis reaches the Great Falls of the Missouri—five massive cascades around which the men must carry all of their gear, including the canoes.

September 11, 1805 - The Corps begins the steep ascent into the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains with horses acquired from the Shoshone; the crossing will cover more than 160 miles.

September 23, 1805 - Starving, the men emerge from the mountains near present-day Weippe, Idaho, at the villages of the Nez Perce Indians, who teach them a new method of making dugout canoes.

October 7, 1805 - The men push off down the Clearwater River near Orofino, Idaho; it is the first time they've traveled with the current at their back in almost two years.

November 24, 1805 - Having reached the Pacific, the men built their winter quarters on the Clatsop Indian side of the Columbia River, and the encampment came to be called Fort Clatsop.

March 23, 1806 - After a winter of only 12 days without rain, the men set out for home.

September 23, 1806 - Having found an easier route across the country, the men reach St. Louis nearly two and a half years after their journey began and are acclaimed as national heroes.

(excerpts from National Geographic)