The Cooper Museum plays a prominent role in the Chaffey Communities Cultural Center mission to promote an understanding and appreciation of the history of the local area. The Cooper Museum is dedicated to preserving local history, which includes the history of the indigenous Gabrieleno Tongva indian tribe. An entire room at the museum is allocated to history including display cases of the artifacts, dress and way of life. It also provides a link to the once thriving citrus industry. This goal is accomplished through the collection, preservation and display of artifacts and educational programs with emphasis on school children. The outdoor courtyard, located adjacent to our museum, has been used over the years for a myriad of events including school classes, concerts, car shows, family events and community get-togethers. These events are highly popular and provide the community with a sense of inclusiveness. With new houses being planned in the adjacent area, there will be an increased number of visitors visiting the site and utilizing the Courtyard.
In addition to school tours, Chaffey Communities Cultural Center is unique because it offers free admission to the community who can browse our displays and purchase books of the local area from our gift shop. The museum has a fulltime director available during our open hours to answer any questions that visitors may have.
The history of the Upland, Ontario and surrounding areas began to unfold when the 2 major railroads completed their east-west lines in the 1880’s. This led to the development of a Citrus Industry that had a profound impact on the world-wide consumption of lemons and oranges. The railroad industry provided the engine to ship products not only to the rest of the United States but also to the rest of the world. From 1925 to 1945 California growers supplied 60% of the nation’s citrus and 20% of the world supply with the bulk of it coming from this area around Upland. This industry died out at the conclusion of WW II when the groves were needed and sold to build low-cost housing for returning veterans. The final chapter came in 1969 where a devastating floor decimated the last of the citrus groves.