The history of the local area involves three communities, Ontario, Upland and Etiwanda. The seeds for the development for this area started back in 1878 when George Chaffey Jr. visited his parents who resided in Riverside. They had moved there from Ontario, Canada based on recommendations they had received from various friends who had moved into the area and boasted of the wonderful climate and living conditions. Realizing the exceptional fertile conditions of the inherent soil, George returned to Canada intent on returning to the Riverside area after solving the issue of providing water from the mountains to the lower lying areas.
George Chaffey Jr. was considered a genius by people who knew him. He had a keen interest in mathematics and put this aptitude to work early in life. The math and engineering aspect ran in his family. One of his uncles was the engineer and co-builder of the famous Victoria Bridge over the St. Lawrence River in Montreal. By the time he was 21, George had earned a masters and engineers ticket which allowed him to captain his father’s freighters on the Great Lakes. He also designed new propellers as well as passenger and freight ships for the lake trade.
A little known fact and one that made George Chaffey’s achievements that much more difficult to achieve was that he was taken out of school at age 13 for failing health.. This, however, did not discourage him with his great passion for reading. Later on in life he was given the highest honor that could be awarded by The British Institute of Mechanical Engineers.