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Local History Room

Local History Room

Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room

Covering the history of Ontario and the western region of San Bernardino County.

The Model Colony History Room was established at the Ontario City Library in 1970. The room contains non-circulating materials concerning the social, economic and governmental history of Ontario and the western region of San Bernardino County.

Materials available in the Model Colony History Room include: photographs, ephemera, maps, local school yearbooks, news clippings, Ontario city directories, and manuscript collections. Some materials date back to 1882 when George Chaffey and William Chaffey founded Ontario, the "Model Colony."

Check out the Model Colony Collections and the manuscript Collections Finding Aids

Watch footage of Ontario in this 1947 film, Life in Ontario: You and Your Friends

Visit the Internet Archive to watch more film footage from our collections, and learn about the California Light and Sound Project


  • Monday - Wednesday: 1pm - 6pm
  • Thursday: 1pm - 9pm
  • Friday: 1pm - 6pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Telephone (909 area code)

  • For all inquiries: 395-2206
  • Fax: 395-2043


The Model Colony History Room accepts donations of Ontario-related materials such as:

  • Photographs of Ontario and the surrounding area
  • Yearbooks, for local schools
  • Maps and aerial photos of the local area
  • Books and audiovisual materials
    • written by local authors
    • set in the area
    • about Ontario, the vicinity and local business, industry, agriculture, or culture
  • Record from local businesses, families, and organizations
  • Historical ephemera items such as brochures, pamphlets, programs, menus, or catalogs related to Ontario and the surrounding area
  • Written genealogies/histories for local area families

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