Highland, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the community in Lake County formerly with this name, see Highland Springs, Lake County, California.
Highland, California
City of Highland
Santa Ana River Bridge
Santa Ana River Bridge
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
Highland is located in the US
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 34°07′42″N 117°12′31″W / 34.12833°N 117.20861°W / 34.12833; -117.20861Coordinates: 34°07′42″N 117°12′31″W / 34.12833°N 117.20861°W / 34.12833; -117.20861[1]
Country  United States
State  California
County San Bernardino
Incorporated November 24, 1987[2]
 • Total 18.890 sq mi (48.924 km2)
 • Land 18.755 sq mi (48.575 km2)
 • Water 0.135 sq mi (0.349 km2)  0.71%
Elevation[1] 1,309 ft (399 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 53,014
 • Density 2,800/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92346
Area code(s) 909
FIPS code 06-33588
GNIS feature IDs 1652722, 2410759
Website www.ci.highland.ca.us

Highland is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population in 2010 (US Census) was 53,104, up from 44,605 at the 2000 census. The term Highland also refers to a geographical area of the city of San Bernardino (generally east of Del Rosa Avenue to the eastern city limits), and parts of unincorporated San Bernardino County.


Highland is located at 34°7′6″N 117°12′9″W / 34.11833°N 117.20250°W / 34.11833; -117.20250 (34.118459, -117.202370).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.9 square miles (48.9 km²). 18.8 square miles (48.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.71%) is water.

The present city of Highland lies in the north and eastern part of the San Bernardino Valley. The land rises from the lowlands to 1600 feet on the slopes of the San Bernardino mountain range, and extends roughly from the west of Victoria Avenue, east to the mouth of the Santa Ana River, north to the United States National Forest line, and south to the Santa Ana River.


Highland has evolved from very different settlements that began in 1856 in the northeast at what is now The Village Lakes subdivision at Fifth and Orange Streets. This section came to be known as Cramville after the first white settlers, John Henry Cram and six of his eight sons. 

To the west in 1857, the first white settler, Henry Rabel, first bought forty acres on Base Line (which had been set in 1852) west of the present Victoria Avenue. In 1859 he purchased 80 more acres, and the area became known as Rabel Springs because of the large pond filled with clear water from artesian and thermal wells. Rabel erected bath houses and an eleven-room hotel where guests could stay while they bathed in the medicinal springs. There were changes in Rable over the years, and the area became an even more popular recreation spot with the founding of Harlem Springs in 1887, just to the east of Victoria Avenue. With a swimming pool, bath houses, an entertainment hall, and picnic grounds, Harlem also attracted many guests.

The first county road into the eastern area was the Santa Ana Canyon road, built in 1860 to carry supplies to the gold mines in Bear Valley. This was a 12-mile road from San Bernardino, and was a southern route. It became known later as the Old County Road, Third Street, and is now Fifth Street.

In 1873, a settlement called Messina was established at Base Line and Palm Avenue. Located in the mid-section of the evolving area, commercial development began with the erection of business building. The first Post Office was established in 1887 in the grocery store, and mail was carried privately for five years to and from San Bernardino before government distribution began.

North Victoria Avenue is well known for its Indian heritage. In early times the vast area of valley and mountain land was inhabited only by the native Indians until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1772. A band of Indians lived near the base of the foothills as early as 1870 under the leadership of Captain Manuel Santos. The springs at Rabel and Harlem had been a favorite spot of the early Indians, and were actually in a portion of the land north of the Santa Ana River known as Agua Caliente, which included what is now Arrowhead Hot Springs, Rabel, Harlem, Urbita and Siena Springs.

In 1885, the last of these Serrano Indians were moved by the government to the San Manuel Reservation, an area of 640 acres in the foothills on North Victoria Avenue. At one time there were many more Indians than white in the valley, but a smallpox epidemic in 1862 wiped out whole rancherias. These reservation Indians did much of the manual labor in the area. The women wove beautiful baskets using pine needles and grasses. The reservation is now known for its successful Bingo game operations.

The first school district for the entire area, Cram, was formed in 1869. By 1883, with its increased population, Messina had its first school district established- named Highland. This was the first formal use of the word. Before that the whole area was often referred to as the Highlands because of the altitude and the proximity of the area to the foothills.

From 1883 to 1888, water was provided to this whole area with the building of the North Fork Water Ditch, The Highland Ditch Co., and Bear Valley Lake for storing of irrigation water. As a result, orange groves were planted everywhere. The Cram-Van Leuven Water Ditch, constructed in Cramville in 1858 for irrigation purposes, was incorporated into the North Fork Water Co.

Roads were still primitive or non-existent in 1880 east of the present Boulder Avenue. Base Line was a well traveled road only as far as the City Creek wash, and there was no Highland Avenue east of the wash into the area. In 1881, Church Street from Redlands was built to carry horse and wagon traffic into Cramville and settlements on the north side of the river.

In 1881, Base Line was opened from Boulder to the base of the Cramville Bench with landowners and Indian labor. The road proceeded north up a canyon at the Bench to the top. This road was washed out in the 1884 flood and never replaced, but a series of county roads were tried which finally ended up in the building of the road up the side of the bluff where a hair-pin turn negotiated the grade for the eastern extension of Base Line to reach Church and Weaver Streets to the east.

The Santa Fe Railroad had extended its tracks from Los Angeles as far east as Redlands and Mentone. In 1892 the Loop around the Valley was finished from Mentone through Cramville, Highland, and Del Rosa, forming the famous Kite-shaped track from Los Angeles through the San Gabriel Valley to San Bernardino, Redlands, and back to Los Angeles through Riverside and the Santa Ana Valley- or vice versa. The Santa Fe named its depots, and Cramville became East Highlands, Del Rosa became West Highlands, with the central depot Highland. The Post Office in the West Highlands Depot was named Del Rosa. The railroads brought not only more people into the area but industries. Orange and lemon packing houses sprang up at the sites of the depots. Apricots, peaches, grapes and grains had been grown in the early days, but with water for irrigating, and railroads for transportation of crops, orange groves spread everywhere. The area became known particularly as the home of the finest navel oranges in Southern California.

Lumbering began in the mountains above Highland with the founding of the Highland Lumber Company. City Creek Toll Road was opened, a saw mill was erected in Fredalba and a box factory was established at Molino, west of Boulder Avenue on a Santa Fe siding. 

Sold in 1895 to the Brookings Lumber Company, production of milled lumber increased. At least twenty teams of four to six horse or mule teams hauled the lumber down the mountain toll road to Molino. The company became the largest logging operation in the mountains. Mountain logging was discontinued in 1911, and the plant moved to the Oregon coast. Molino closed in 1914, and in 1919, the old City Creek toll road was made into a county road, increasing the use of the mountains for recreational purposes.

The Messina Post Office moved to the Highland Santa Fe Depot in 1899, and Messina changed its name to Highland in response to a petition that year. The district on Base Line was abandoned, and bricks from the buildings were used to reconstruct those in the new business district on Palm and Pacific Avenues.

Organized in 1906, the Highland Chamber of Commerce became an organizing force in the development of the early Highland area. In this unincorporated district, the Chamber of Commerce became the mayor, town clerk, and common council, organizing many important and active committee on roads and road care, beautification of the area, and studies of grove and citrus problems. The organization became a supporting unit of the many activities involving the citizens and area industries. The Chamber has remained active through the years, and was a prime force in the formation of the present City of Highland, incorporated November 24, 1987, a city of 32,300 acres covering 13 square miles. In 1984, Highland celebrated its 100 year anniversary beginning from its early days as Messina.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 12,669
1980 10,908 −13.9%
1990 34,439 215.7%
2000 44,605 29.5%
2010 53,104 19.1%
Est. 2015 54,854 [5] 3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]


The 2010 United States Census[7] reported that Highland had a population of 53,104. The population density was 2,811.3 people per square mile (1,085.4/km²). The racial makeup of Highland was 27,836 (52.4%) White (30.8% Non-Hispanic White),[8] 5,887 (11.1%) African American, 542 (1.0%) Native American, 3,954 (7.4%) Asian, 168 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 11,826 (22.3%) from other races, and 2,891 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,556 persons (48.1%).

The Census reported that 52,932 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, 76 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 96 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 15,471 households, out of which 7,922 (51.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,475 (54.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,884 (18.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,183 (7.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,129 (7.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 109 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,254 households (14.6%) were made up of individuals and 757 (4.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.42. There were 12,542 families (81.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.74.

The population was spread out with 16,916 people (31.9%) under the age of 18, 5,900 people (11.1%) aged 18 to 24, 13,837 people (26.1%) aged 25 to 44, 12,357 people (23.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,094 people (7.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.6 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.

There were 16,578 housing units at an average density of 877.6 per square mile (338.9/km²), of which 10,106 (65.3%) were owner-occupied, and 5,365 (34.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.7%. 33,361 people (62.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 19,571 people (36.9%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Highland had a median household income of $57,313, with 20.6% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[8]


As of the census of 2000, there were 44,605 people, 13,478 households, and 10,782 families residing in the city.[9] The population density was 3,273.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,263.5/km²). There were 14,858 housing units at an average density of 1,090.3 per square mile (420.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.3% White, 12.1% African American, 1.3% Native American, 6.1% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 18.6% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 36.6% of the population.

There were 13,478 households out of which 47.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 19.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.0% were non-families. 15.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% 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 3.6.

In the city, the population was spread out with 35.6% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,230, and the median income for a family was $43,649. Males had a median income of $38,695 versus $27,308 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,039. About 17.5% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.2% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.

The city is split east to west of Boulder Ave. with the higher income area to the east and lower income area to the west. Demographics such as income levels and housing density are also split evenly by the geographic divider of Boulder Ave. Much of West Highland mirrors its sister city San Bernardino as East Highland is relatively new and only developed within the past fifteen years.


Climate data for Highland, CA (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 70
Average low °F (°C) 42
Source: [10]


Highland is served by two public school districts: Redlands Unified and San Bernardino Unified School Districts (the boundaries are generally defined by City Creek; residents east of City Creek are in the Redlands Unified School District while those west of City Creek are served by San Bernardino City Unified School District).

Highland is home to a one of a kind library and environmental learning center. The Highland Sam J. Racadio Library and Environmental Learning Center is a gold rated L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)building. It holds thousands of books, cd's, DVD's, and other items. It offers free computer access and wifi. It has a rooftop garden and is home to animals, amphibians, and reptiles from around the globe.

Highland residents who attend college locally have a few choices: the two-campus San Bernardino Community College District (which includes Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa and San Bernardino Valley College), Loma Linda University, the private University of Redlands, and the California State University's San Bernardino campus.



Highland was founded as a townsite in 1891 and incorporated as a California general law city in November 1987. It follows a City Manager, City Council form of government with the City Manager appointed by the City Council.

State and federal[edit]

In the California State Legislature, Highland is the 23rd Senate District, represented by Republican Mike Morrell, and in the 40th Assembly District, represented by Republican Marc Steinorth.[11]

In the United States House of Representatives, Highland is split between California's 8th congressional district, represented by Republican Paul Cook and California's 31st congressional district, represented by Democrat Pete Aguilar.[12]

Public safety[edit]

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department provides contracted police services to the city of Highland from their regional station located at 26985 Base Line Road. The new 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) police station was recently built and occupied in June, 2011.

The City has contracted with Cal Fire to operate its fire services (three stations) since its incorporation.

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Highland". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 12, 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. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. Feb 12, 2011. Retrieved Apr 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Highland city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Dec 4, 2014. Retrieved Jan 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved Jan 31, 2008. 
  10. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl-highland,ca-?ca1484.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  11. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ "California's 8th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 

External links[edit]