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Ontario Mutual Water Companies collection
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains the business records of the Ontario Mutual Water Company and the South Side Mutual Water Company.
Background
Water was vital to the success of the Chaffey brothers' vision of Ontario, the Model Colony. To bring water down from the mountains north of their land they formed the San Antonio Mutual Water Company in 1882. Water was distributed to shareholders based upon the amount of stock held by the respective owners. This business model of a “mutual water company” was very successful and many more local mutual water companies were formed between 1910 and 1926. With names like Arena, Fifth Street, Mountain View, Euclid, Canyon Ridge, Cucamonga, South Side and West Ontario, these companies formed the backbone of the irrigation systems necessary for the area’s explosive growth as a national citrus producing center. Two of these companies – West Ontario Mutual Water Company and South Side Mutual Water Company – are included in this collection. West Ontario was incorporated by the state of California 1910 and South Side in 1919. Local gentry were among the shareholders in these companies. In 1957, the West Ontario Mutual Water Company shareholders voted to sell the company to the City of Ontario for $12,000. It is assumed that South Side followed suit, as records show that the city purchased at least one well from the company in 1966 and no further business records are in existence after 1967.
Extent
1.5 linear feet
Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
Availability
Collection is open for research during the operating hours of the Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room or by appointment.