Art, Culture & History in San Bernardino County


San Bernardino County, is the biggest county (in terms of land mass) in the United States, has a long and rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county boasts many historic landmarks that are worth a visit. While local history buffs will suggest you hit them all, we have narrowed down a list of places to visit on our blog! Also see the following lists:

But before you check those pages out, take a look at our short of unique sites in the county below:

Unique Sites

Desert Queen Ranch 

The Keys Ranch (its formal name) is the prime example of early settlement in the Joshua Tree National Park area. Bill Keys was the area's leading character, and his ranch is a symbol of the resourcefulness of early settlers. The ranch is an extensive complex of small frame buildings built between 1910 and Keys' death in 1969. Bill Keys pursued ranching and mining to make a living in the desert. Mining equipment at the ranch includes an arrastra and a stamp mill for ore processing. Other buildings include an adobe barn, a schoolhouse, machine and tack sheds, cemetery and a variety of houses and cabins. Keys lived on the isolated ranch with Frances, his wife and seven children, three of whom are buried at the ranch. During a dispute over the Wall Street Mill, Keys shot and killed Worth Bagley. Keys was convicted of murder and went to San Quentin Prison, where Keys educated himself in the library. Keys was paroled in 1950 and was pardoned in 1956 through the efforts of Earl Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason novels. Ranger led tours are available September through May. Reservations required.

Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery

Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery, California State Historical Landmark #121, is located along the Santa Ana River in Colton. Agua Mansa is the oldest cemetery in San Bernardino County, dating back to 1853. The last burial in the cemetery took place in 1963. In 1967, Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery was acquired by San Bernardino County.

The Mission San Gabriel’s San Bernardino Rancho Asistencia

California State Historical Landmark #42, was established in 1819 as part of the Mission San Gabriel’s Rancho San Bernardino. The Asistencia was once a 14 room complex of adobe. In 1925, the Asistencia was a ruin when the County of San Bernardino, assisted by the San Bernardino Historical Society, acquired it from the Barton Family. Construction of a new six-room structure began in 1926 and was completed in 1937 as a federal WPA relief project. In 1960, it was dedicated as a California State Historical Landmark that recognizes it as an outstanding example of handcrafted structures of the WPA era.Andy Jackson Airpark (Crestline, California)

Andy Jackson Airpark

High Adventure began in the early 80's as a very unique husband and wife team, Rob & Dianne McKenzie. As their business grew they eventually teamed up with local talent making up what is now, the High Adventure Team. Being available most days year round, they provide USHPA Certified, personalized instruction and service at Andy Jackson Airpark, in San Bernardino California (just 90 minutes east of Los Angeles). The Team's low key but dedicated efforts will make your visit a pleasant and productive one from start to finish. Their full service repair shop and home office are just minutes from one of the best flying sites in the world, Crestline/Marshall Peak. Of particular interest to most students is the highly professional tandem instruction. This is considered by far the best way to learn the approach into the Andy Jackson Airpark. 

The John Rains House

The John Rains House, National Register of Historic Places, is located in Rancho Cucamonga. The Mission San Gabriel established the Cucamonga Rancho as a site for grazing cattle in the 1820s. The Rains House was built in 1860 for John and Maria Merced Rains and San Bernardino County purchased the property in October 1971.

The Yucaipa Adobe 

The Yucaipa Adobe is California State Historical Landmark #528. In the past, this adobe was thought to have been built by Diego Sepulveda. More recent investigation points to James Waters, a hunter, trapper, and mountaineer, as the original builder in 1858–59. Sepulveda’s adobe is thought to have been located nearby. In 1869, John Dunlap purchased the Yucaipa Adobe and used the land for grazing and raising grain and alfalfa. In 1954, the Yucaipa Women’s Club raised funds to save the deteriorated dwelling from demolition. Eventually, the property was donated to the County of San Bernardino.

Yorba & Slaughter Families Adobe

The Yorba & Slaughter Families Adobe in Chino, California State Historical Landmark #191 and National Register of Historic Places, is the oldest standing residence in San Bernardino County. Raymundo Yorba built the first house at this site in 1851. This home, known as “Buena Vista,” was built of adobe bricks by Native American laborers living on a rancheria west of the property. In 1868, Fenton M. Slaughter and his wife Dolores Alvarado Slaughter purchased the property, which would be later donated to the County of San Bernardino in 1971. The Stone Hotel in Daggett was constructed in the 1860s and was a hub in the Mojave Desert for nearly a half century. Daggett was the commercial center and outfitting point for mines from Death Valley to the Calico Mountains. Located along the Southern Pacific (now Santa Fe) railroad tracks, the town became a center for milling and shipping ore.

Glen Helen Raceway Park

18585 Verdement Ranch Road
San Bernardino, CA
909- 880-1733
www.glenhelen.com

Glen Helen Raceway was built on 256 acres of county property and shares its large area with other county facilities. Located north of San Bernardino in the area of Devore, it coexists with Glen Helen Regional Park and Block Buster Pavilion. This mountainside venue features the most exciting motocross racing competitions in Southern California. For race schedules and ticket information visit the Raceway website.


Rileys Farm (Oak Glen, California)


Riley's Farm

Nestled in the apple growing foothills of historic Oak Glen, Riley’s Farm is a working apple orchard and living history farm featuring pick-your-own fruit, living history education, dinner theater, group banquet facilities and extended, historically-themed overnight stays