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Eastvale-area ranch house once drew stars such as W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx and Mary Pickford

Many farms or ranches in the area now encompassed by the city of Eastvale were no more than a few hundred acres.
Not the Fuller RanchO.
At its largest, the Fuller RanchO farmed about 5,000 acres in the Eastvale area. Most of the ranch lay along the Santa Ana River, with the river on its northern boundary.
Fuller RanchO began when Charles Henry Fuller purchased property near the river about 1889, according to Loren Meizner, who has done extensive research on the history of the Eastvale area.  It was known as the Pioneer Ranch back then.
In the mid 1920s, his son, Olive Ransome Fuller, known as “O.R.,” took control of the ranch from his father. O.R. Fuller bought additional land to increase the ownership to 3,000 acres. Later, he leased another 2,000 acres along the river bottom as well.
O.R. Fuller named the ranch the “Fuller RanchO” with a capital “O” at the end, most likely for the first letter of his first name. This is the way it was shown on all the old ranch paperwork. He and his wife Ione built a home on the ranch. They combined their two first names to call it Casa Orone.
According to Meizner, the house was designed in an elegant hacienda style, with views toward the south and east, across the Santa Ana River valley. It boasted imported furniture and elegant woodwork. It was the family weekend home for O.R., Ione, and their only daughter until 1932.
Unfortunately, the Great Depression caught up with the Fullers in 1932.
In addition to his ranching business, O.R. Fuller had a motor transport business that he sold to Greyhound. He used the money from the sale to open a luxury car dealership in Los Angeles. By 1932, with cars sales down due to the Depression, O.R. Fuller had lost the dealership and the family moved to the ranch full time as he struggled to hold onto that property.
He built up the ranch’s dairy business and began home delivery routes in Pomona, Ontario, and San Bernardino. He raised over 100,000 turkeys for sale. He also began to sell view lots along the Santa Ana River in 1938.
As a way to bring in additional income, O.R. Fuller and his family turned the family home into a guest ranch in 1937. The house was expanded to accommodate as many as 25 guests and dinner was served in the dining room to guests and area residents who wished to enjoy a fine meal.
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According to a Fuller RanchO brochure, “Here you may be as informal as you like. For exercise you may choose among the emerald pool, the tennis court, badminton tables, riding, hiking, and boating on Fuller RanchO lake … the sportsman will find fishing and duck shooting.”
While only in business for 10 years, the Fuller RanchO became well known and even attracted Hollywood celebrities, including W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Spencer Tracy and Mary Pickford.
Fuller died in 1946 and his wife in 1951. To settle the estate, the land was sold. A dairyman by the name of Mr. Koda bought the property. The grand home of the Fullers became a boy’s home. It was later demolished to make way for new homes as Eastvale transitioned from dairy and farm land to the city we know today.
If you have an idea for a future Back in the Day column about a local historic person, place or event, contact Steve Lech and Kim Jarrell Johnson at .

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