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In the first half of the 20th century, Fontana Farms Company operated a hog ranch on the site where Kaiser Company Incorporated later erected one of the nation’s largest steel mills. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States was forced into an unprecedented escalation in the production of ships, planes, and armaments. Soon the sensational announcement came to San Bernardino County that Fontana, a railroad convergence located a safe distance from possible coastal bombardment, would become home to thousands of sweathogs in the war effort. A “gold rush” of sorts ensued, and all property south of Valencia Street to the railroad was sold in a week. This book pays tribute to the fact that, for two generations, Kaiser Steel Corporation at Fontana was among California’s and the nation’s industrial giants.
Author Bio: Author and historian John Charles Anicic Jr. is a past president and past board member of the Fontana Historical Society. He is president of Fontana Heritage Museum Association, a board member of the Etiwanda Historical Society, and a San Bernardino County regional parks commissioner. Following up his Images of America book on the town of Fontana, Anicic explores an important industrial chapter in the boom town’s history through more than 200 vintage photographs from former Kaiser employees and their families.
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