Colton, California

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City of Colton
Colton Junction
Colton Junction
Official seal of City of Colton
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
City of Colton is located in USA
City of Colton
City of Colton
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 34°04′26″N 117°18′49″W / 34.07389°N 117.31361°W / 34.07389; -117.31361Coordinates: 34°04′26″N 117°18′49″W / 34.07389°N 117.31361°W / 34.07389; -117.31361[1]
Country  United States
State  California
County San Bernardino
Incorporated July 11, 1887[2]
 • Total 16.039 sq mi (41.541 km2)
 • Land 15.324 sq mi (39.689 km2)
 • Water 0.715 sq mi (1.852 km2)  4.46%
Elevation[1] 1,004 ft (306 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)[4]
 • Total 52,154
 • Estimate (2013)[4] 53,243
 • Density 3,300/sq mi (1,300/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92313, 92324
Area code(s) 909
FIPS code 06-14890
GNIS feature IDs 1652688, 2410200

Colton is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The city is located in the Inland Empire region of the state and is approximately 57 miles east of Los Angeles. The population of Colton is 52,154 according to the 2010 census, up from 47,662 at the 2000 census.

Colton was until recently the site of Colton Crossing, one of the busiest at-grade railroad crossings in the United States. The crossing was installed in 1882 by the California Southern Railroad to cross the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks while building northward from San Diego. As a result of railroad acquisitions and mergers, this became the point at which the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's "Southern Transcontinental Route" crossed the Union Pacific's "Sunset Route". As traffic on each line began to soar in the mid-1990s, fueled largely by the vast increase in imports passing through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the primitive crossing became a serious bottleneck. On August 28, 2013, the at-grade crossing was officially replaced by a fly-over that raises the east–west UP tracks over the north–south BNSF tracks.


Colton is located at 34°3′54″N 117°19′18″W / 34.06500°N 117.32167°W / 34.06500; -117.32167 (34.064945, -117.321687).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.0 square miles (41 km2). 15.3 square miles (40 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (4.46%) is water.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Colton has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,315
1900 1,285 −2.3%
1910 3,980 209.7%
1920 4,282 7.6%
1930 8,014 87.2%
1940 9,686 20.9%
1950 14,465 49.3%
1960 18,666 29.0%
1970 20,016 7.2%
1980 21,310 6.5%
1990 40,213 88.7%
2000 47,662 18.5%
2010 52,154 9.4%
Est. 2014 54,053 [7] 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]


The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Colton had a population of 52,154. The population density was 3,251.7 people per square mile (1,255.5/km²). The racial makeup of Colton was 22,613 (43.4%) White (13.0% Non-Hispanic White),[10] 5,055 (9.7%) African American, 661 (1.3%) Native American, 2,590 (5.0%) Asian, 176 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 18,413 (35.3%) from other races, and 2,646 (5.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37,039 persons (71.0%).

The Census reported that 51,824 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 85 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 245 (0.5%) were institutionalized.

There were 14,971 households, out of which 7,826 (52.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,167 (47.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,233 (21.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,340 (9.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,268 (8.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 106 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,452 households (16.4%) were made up of individuals and 614 (4.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46. There were 11,740 families (78.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.86.

The population was spread out with 16,671 people (32.0%) under the age of 18, 6,360 people (12.2%) aged 18 to 24, 14,965 people (28.7%) aged 25 to 44, 10,495 people (20.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,663 people (7.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.4 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

There were 16,350 housing units at an average density of 1,019.4 per square mile (393.6/km²), of which 7,766 (51.9%) were owner-occupied, and 7,205 (48.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.2%. 28,063 people (53.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 23,761 people (45.6%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Colton had a median household income of $41,496, with 22.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[10]


As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 47,690 people, 14,520 households, and 10,904 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,154.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,217.9/km²). There were 15,680 housing units at an average density of 1,037.7 per square mile (400.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 42.7% White, 11.0% African American, 1.3% Native American, 5.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 34.5% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 60.7% of the population.

There were 14,520 households out of which 46.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.3 and the average family size was 3.8.

In the city the population was spread out with 34.9% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,777, and the median income for a family was $37,911. Males had a median income of $32,152 versus $25,118 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,460. About 18.2% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.


In the California State Legislature, Colton is in the 20th Senate District, represented by Democrat Connie Leyva, and in the 47th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Cheryl Brown.[12]

In the United States House of Representatives, Colton is in California's 31st congressional district, represented by Democrat Pete Aguilar.[13]


1908 Carnegie Library, now home to the Colton Area Museum.

Colton was founded in 1875 and incorporated in 1887 but before its establishment, it was inhabited by the Serrano, Guachama, and San Gorgonio Indians.[14] During the Mission Era the Mission San Gabriel established a Spanish settlement Politana in 1810, just northeast of what is now Colton.[15] By 1840, Colton was part of two private ranchos, Jurupa and San Bernardino Rancho.[14] From southwest area of modern-day Colton was known as "Agua Mansa" (Gentle Waters). It had been settled by New Mexico pioneers in 1842.[14] What is currently known as Cooley Ranch was known as Indian Knolls for nearly 100 years. This is because the Indians living in what is now the San Bernardino Valley found refuge on the knolls of the property during the flood of 1862.[14] The original owner of the property was George Cooley of Kent, England who had moved to Colton in 1853 and who purchased 200 acres at $3.50 an acre along the Santa Ana River the next year.[14] Cooley was chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in San Bernardino County.[14] By 1873, the property had mushroomed into a 400 acre property. Eventually, when property taxes had increased, the property was sold to Villelli Enterprises of La Habra.[14] The city was named after David Douty Colton, who had been a Brigadier General of the California State Militia in 1855, prior to the Civil War.[16] He was later the Vice President of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.[14]

Colton was created in its modern form when the Southern Pacific Railway was built heading east from Los Angeles in 1875.[14]

Virgil Earp lived in Colton at 528 West “H” Street[17] where he was the town’s first marshal.[18] He resided in Colton from 1883 to 1889. Morgan Earp is buried at Hermosa Cemetery.


This is Colton's first horse-drawn hose wagon, in service from 1907–1915. It is now on display at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, Calif.

The Hermosa Cemetery, also called the Hermosa Memorial Cemetery, is located on Meridian Street.[19][20] Notable burials include MLB players Cam Carreon and Gordon Maltzberger, and Western lawman Morgan Earp.

The Montecito Memorial Park is located on East Washington Street.[21][22] Notable burials include MLB players Dee Fondy,[23] Freddie Fitzsimmons[24] and Ken Hubbs,[25] actress Lillian Miles,[26] silent film star (and villain) Roy D'Arcy,[27] and US Congressman Jerry Pettis.[28]


Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[29] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Arrowhead Regional Medical Center 2,130
2 Ashley Furniture Industries 1,350
3 Colton Joint Unified School District 740
4 CSM Bakery Products 552
5 Reche Canyon Rehabilitation & Health Care Center 340
6 City of Colton 296
7 Walmart 288
8 Stater Bros. 248
9 Angelica 235
10 Archer Daniels Midland 224

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Colton". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau. 
  4. ^ a b "Colton (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Colton, California
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Colton city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ "California's 31st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Colton – History". Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ History of San Bernardino Valley from the padres to the pioneers, 1810–1851 (1902). San Bernardino, Cal., Times-index Press. 1902. pp. 37–41. 
  16. ^ The Online Archive of California, Copyright © 2009, The Regents of The University of California, Finding aid of the Gen. David Douty Colton Papers, Biographical/Historical note
  17. ^ San Bernardino County Register of Deeds Book (entry dated July 7, 1888)
  18. ^ Colton City News, November 2, 2006
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hermosa Cemetery
  21. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Montecito Memorial Park
  22. ^ Montecito Memorial Park
  23. ^ Dee Virgil Fondy at Find a Grave
  24. ^ Frederick Landis "Freddie" Fitzsimmons at Find a Grave
  25. ^ Ken Hubbs at Find a Grave
  26. ^ Lillian Miles at Find a Grave
  27. ^ Roy D'Arcy at Find a Grave
  28. ^ Jerry Lyle Pettis at Find a Grave
  29. ^ City of Corona CAFR
  30. ^ Muckenfuss, Mark (April 17, 2009). "Jim Messina recalls getting his musical start in Colton". Press–Enterprise. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • History of the Colton Fire Department 1889–2011 (2012), Dennis Bickers (retired Colton Fire)
  • Images of America, Colton (2004), Larry Sheffield

External links[edit]