DescriptionSeemingly everyone wanted a piece of the 1880s land boom in California, including a pair of Massachusetts grain merchants named George and Edward Amerige. While duck hunting in the Anaheim area, the brothers heard the Central Railroad Co. was seeking land; convinced of the potential, they sold their interest in a Sierra Madre fruit ranch to buy 430 acres of the former Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana, at a cost of roughly $68,000. They persuaded railroad agent George Fullerton to include their proposed township in his survey—literally putting it on the map—by offering free right-of-way for the railroad and half interest in the land. Fullerton also got the town christened after him, while the Amerige brothers settled for a downtown street named in their honor.
The past is well preserved in Fullerton’s historic downtown. The 1930 Spanish Colonial-style Santa Fe Depot, 120 E. Santa Fe Ave., and the adjacent Mission Revival-style Union Pacific Depot, are among dozens of historic structures that date back to 1899.
InfoOfficeNorth Orange County Chamber 444 N. Harbor Blvd. Fullerton, CA 92832-0529. Phone:(714)871-3100
Self-guiding toursInformation and maps for walking tours of Fullerton's historic downtown are available from the chamber of commerce.
ShoppingAntique shops, galleries and boutiques may be found in the downtown area, along Harbor Boulevard between Chapman and Commonwealth avenues, and in Villa Del Sol, 305 N. Harbor Blvd. Department stores and specialty shops are concentrated in Metro Center and Orangefair Mall, both at the junction of Harbor Boulevard and Orangethorpe Avenue.
Fullerton Market, held Thursdays 4-8:30 from April to October in the Downtown Plaza, offers free live entertainment, fresh produce, arts and crafts, and activities for children. Don’t confuse it with the Certified Farmers Market, held Wednesdays 8-1 at Independence Park, 801 W. Valencia Dr. Here you’ll find not only fresh fruits and vegetables, but also bread, flowers and plants.
NightlifeA growing number of cafes, bars and nightspots make the downtown area a popular destination year-round. Evans Public House, 138 W. Commonwealth Ave., offers live jazz nightly, drawing such top-notch musicians as Poncho Sanchez and Barbara Morrison; phone (714) 870-0039.
STAGEStheatre, 400 E. Commonwealth Ave., a pioneer in Orange County’s storefront theater movement, offers a wide range of classic and contemporary plays; phone (714) 525-4484. California State University, Fullerton, one of the city’s five institutions of higher education, raised the curtain on its $48.5 million Clayes Performing Arts Center in 2006. The 109,000-square-foot complex includes a concert hall and two theaters for high-caliber musical and dramatic performances; phone (657) 278-3371.
Attraction PlaceHoldersFullerton Arboretum