Rialto is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. As of the 2006 demographic, the city had a total population of 101,569. Rialto is home to three major regional distribution centers: Staples, Inc., which serves stores across the entire West Coast of the United States, Toys "R" Us, and Target in the northern region of the city, in the Las Colinas community. One of the United States' largest fireworks companies, Pyro Spectaculars, is also headquartered in Rialto.
|City of Rialto|
|Motto: Bridge to Progress|
|Country||United States of America|
|Incorporated (city)||1911-11-17 |
|- Mayor||Grace Vargas|
|- City||21.88 sq mi (56.67 km²)|
|- Land||21.87 sq mi (56.64 km²)|
|- Water||0.01 sq mi (0.02 km²)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|- Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|Zip Code||92376, 92377 |
|Area code(s)||909 |
Rialto is located at GR1.(34.111360, -117.382403)
The population density was 1,622.0/km² (4,200.7/mi²). There were 26,045 housing units at an average density of 459.8/km² (1,190.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was:
There were 24,659 households out of which 52.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.8% were non-families. 13.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.69 and the average family size was 4.01.
In the city the population was spread out with 37.7% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,254, and the median income for a family was $42,638. Males had a median income of $34,110 versus $26,640 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,375. About 13.8% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.7% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Rialto is situated between Interstate 10 and Interstate 210. According to statistics approximately 55% of the working class in the city of Rialto commute more than 10 miles to get to work and almost 13% travel to and from Los Angeles. Metrolink's San Bernardino Line, the only convenient form of public transportation to and from Los Angeles, takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes to commute each way. Travel via the Interstate 10 and 210 take between 1 hour and 2 hours depending on traffic volume and driver speed
Ancient artifacts discovered by archaeologist suggest that the city of Rialto was settled prior to the year 1500. Such artifacts, now found at the Rialto Historical Society (201 N. Riverside Ave), indicate that the Serrano Indians lived in the Rialto area between 1500 and 1800 AD. No trace was left behind to suggest the eventual relocation of this group of people.
In 1851, the Mountain Family purchased the Lugo ranch (now San Bernardino) and claimed several other portions of the bench which later became known as Rialto. This claim was later disallowed by the United States Government.
By the year 1854, many families began to move into the area and developed Rialto into a heaven for vineyards, citrus groves and ranches. Early residents of Rialto prided themselves for the cultivation of muscat grapes and thus became an important contribution to the economy. Original cuttings of the muscat grapes were sent to neighboring counties.
An adobe building from this time period, which had many uses over the years, is the oldest building in Rialto and is now restored in Bud Bender Park "Lilac Park".
A group of Methodists arrived in 1887 seeking a new college site. Although the college was never built, it was the Methodists who started the town of Rialto. It is not known how Rialto got its name though two beliefs are always disputed. One story suggests that "Rialto" is a contraction of rio (river) and alto (high). Another belief is that the area was named after the Rialto Bridge located in Venice, Italy as the river that once crossed the city was reminiscent of the one in Italy. In either case, the bridge soon became a community symbol and became known as the "Bridge of Progress."
In 1887 a railroad connector line was built between San Bernardino and Pasadena by the Santa Fe Railroad. Along the line, townsites were located every 2,600 yards and by the fall of that year over 25 new towns were built. This same year the Semitropic Land and Water Company was formed to organize the purchase and selling of real estate, water, and water rights and privileges.
In the fall of 1888 it became evident that schooling was needed so the first school was built and Brooke School District was formed. Records show that up until 1920, the Brooke School District was in continuous operation, except for a very short time in 1888. The prominent Rialto Trapp family bought the first school house in 1921, remodeled the building, and members of the family resided in it until it was destroyed by fire. The Rialto School District (today Rialto Unified School District), was formed in 1891. The staff consisted of two teachers, and a principal with separate play areas for the boys and girls.
Despite the land boom of the 1880s and the crash of 1889, Rialto continued to grow. In 1893 there were half a dozen businesses and 35 homes. Rialto's popularity quickly began to grow as it became known as a town of lovely homes and pretty shaded drives.
The Chamber of Commerce was established in 1907. Within four years the population had grown to 1,500 with 40 businesses and a local newspaper. The Chamber made its decision to incorporate in the spring of 1911. The election results on October 31st of the same year were 135 for the incorporation of the city and 72 against. Rialto thus became a sixth class city.
Citrus became an important commodity in Rialto's early growth and at one time seven packing plants were in use sorting, packing and shipping citrus to all areas of the country.
Foothill Boulevard was repaired in 1913 and became Route 66 a section of the transcontinental Highway System. The following year the Pacific Electric completed its line through the City of Rialto. Today the Tracks above First Street and the Pacific Electric depot on Riverside Avenue are a part of the Union Pacific.
Rialto's population growth had increased to 3,156 by 1950. In 1956 the population soared to 15,359. By 1964 it showed increase to 23,290 and 33,500 in 1978. Rialto is four miles wide and 8 1/2 miles long. Rialto's population has grown to over 80,000 as of December 1994.
A fire in the 1920s swept through and destroyed many of the buildings in the downtown area.
Today, Rialto has matured with new store fronts, updated buildings and rising modernization. Despite its location within the Inland Empire (the fastest growing community in the nation), Rialto has maintained an atmosphere of a quiet suburban community, especially compared with nearby San Bernardino and Ontario. Its proximity to greater metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Orange County, has made of Rialto a bedroom-community for those who seek a quiet place to live in and a relatively short commute to work.
As a commitment to the city's housing charm, the City of Rialto is in the process of developing a 1,500 acre masterplanned community with a variety of housing choices and new job opportunities. The development, named "Renaissance Rialto", will not begin in earnest until 2008 and will likely take 5 - 10 years complete.
According to the city website, the building of a Super Wal-Mart is in current negotiations. If built, this construction will be done in the southern region of the city, where a current Wal-Mart already exists.
Rialto’s water supply had often been described as being the purest in the region. In the late 1990’s, however, local water officials discovered perchlorate contamination in the city’s drinking water supply that contained as much as 800 times the recommended limit according to safety recommendations issued in other states.
The contaminant, which has seeped into several of the town’s drinking water wells, is suspected to have been dumped into the soil back in the 1950s and 1960s by industrial sites owned by Goodrich Corporation and Black & Decker. Both companies, most likely under contract with the Department Of Defense, operated weapons manufacturing facilities which used massive quantities of rocket fuel. According to former employees at the plant, rocket fuel routinely leaked from the facility during operations and workers regularly disposed of rocket fuel in unlined pits behind the plant.
After many years of negotiations, despite their responsibility, Goodrich Corporation and Black & Decker still¹ have not agreed to clean their toxic waste from the environment in northern Rialto. While the companies delay, many Rialto citizens drink water that is polluted by rocket fuel and related chemicals. Studies have shown that perchlorate consumption, at the levels measured in the affected wells, can lead to Attention Deficit Disorder, learning disabilities and decreased IQ. Victims of this incident, like William Acosta, now living in San Bernardino, suffer from both of these symptoms.
With several other wells unusable due to contamination, the drought-prone city teeters on the brink of running out of water. Residents have also been forced to pay water bill price hikes to pursue the polluters for clean water. 
On September 13, 2005 the Rialto city council voted to dissolve the Rialto Police Department and replace it with a contract with the San Bernardino County sheriff's department. Soon after the vote, a San Bernardino County court issued an injunction on the change because the vote was done in secret. As a result two city council members, Ed Scott and Winfred Lee Hansen, are up for recall.
The movie Transformers and several commercials by UPS and car ads have been shot on the local Interstate 210 between Alder Ave. and Linden Ave.