290 North "D" Street, San Bernardino, CA 92401
Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Mayor's Office: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
City Attorney and Water Department: Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., Fridays 7:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.
The City of San Bernardino is a community rich in history and cultural diversity. Influences of Native Americans, Mexican settlers, Spanish missionaries and Mormon emigrants can still be seen throughout the City today. From the day in 1810 when Franciscan missionary Father Dumetz named the area San Bernardino to the present, San Bernardino – nestled south of the San Bernardino Mountains and west of the lower desert – has been recognized for its scenic beauty and strategic location. Today, the City of San Bernardino serves as the county seat and is the largest city in the County of San Bernardino with a population of over 213,000.
Our vision for the City of San Bernardino is for it to be strong and prosperous. The City of San Bernardino will be the hub of economic growth in the Inland Empire. San Bernardino will offer a wide range of housing, recreation, cultural, education, and employment opportunities for all who come live and work here. A strong sense of community will continue to grow and thrive within our city limits.
Our mission is to provide quality and cost effective services to the people of San Bernardino. We will provide excellence in leadership through the allocation of public resources to City programs that are responsive to community priorities and maximize opportunities for economic, educational and cultural viability.
San Bernardino's colorful history begins in the early years of the 19th century when Spanish missionaries were the first settlers to the region. Mission “San Bernardino” was established in 1810 and the missionaries, along with the American Indians native to the area, diverted water to the valley from Mill Creek for irrigation purposes. As a result, the area flourished.
In 1822, California became a Mexican territory. Gradually the mission period came to a close and soon came the rise of the “Great Spanish Rancheros.” The abandoned Mission San Bernardino did not stay vacant for long. “San Bernardino Rancho” was granted to the Lugo Brothers in 1842 and eventually became an important post on the trading route known as the “Spanish Trail”, where pioneer trailblazers like Kit Carson and Jedediah Strong often traveled.
In 1848, California joined the United States. By this time, many rancheros, discouraged by Indian raids and horse and cattle stealing, left the area. The Lugo brothers eventually sold San Bernardino Rancho to a party of 500 Mormon settlers in 1852 who built a stockade around the ranch and named it “Fort San Bernardino.” The community thrived and was officially incorporated as a City in 1854 with a population of 1,200. At that time, San Bernardino was strictly a temperance town, with no drinking or gambling allowed.
As the last years of the 19th century waned, the giant railway companies eventually found their way to San Bernardino, changing it from a sleepy town into an enterprising city. Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific all made San Bernardino the hub of their Southern California operations. When the Santa Fe Railway established a transcontinental link in 1886, the already prosperous valley exploded. Even more settlers flocked from the East and population figures doubled between 1900 and 1910.
Today San Bernardino has emerged into a modern urban community with a bright future. The enduring spirit and vitality of yesterday's pioneers are still evident and reflected in the pride of community.