OOIDA’s tour trailer stops at Ontario, Calif.

January 25, 2021

Chuck Robinson


The final place on a five-stop California visit for OOIDA’s tour trailer is in Ontario, Calif.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the TA Travel Center in Ontario on Jan. 25-27. The Ontario TA is at the Milliken Avenue exit from I-10, Exit 57. It is a half-cloverleaf interchange.

There are a lot of parking spaces for tractor-trailers at the Ontario TA – 549 of them. The Country Pride restaurant there is temporarily closed, but there is a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and convenience store foraging for getting by.

Canada in California

California’s city of Ontario is named for Canada’s province of the same name. The city was founded by Ontario, Canada-born engineer George Chaffey and his brother, William Chaffey.  In 1881, they bought more than 6,000 acres with water rights for $60,000, according to an account on the city’s website. The brothers began selling land the next year. In developing the land, the Chaffeys established a water company and an electric company, which powered the pumps needed to distribute water.

George Chaffey’s electrical system engineering led to him being hired to install the first street lights in Los Angeles and eventually becoming president and engineer of the Los Angeles Electric Co.

The Chaffey brothers’ colonizing and engineering efforts were not contained to just California. They also were drawn to Australia to build an irrigation project.

While the project was successful, there were other struggles that bankrupted George Chaffey. He returned to California, where he built a large irrigation project in the Imperial Valley and died a wealthy man. His brother William remained in Australia, where he helped found the city of Mildura and became its mayor. The city is known as “Victoria’s Fruit Bowl,” according to The Engines of Our Ingenuity website.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello to Osburn. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. He usually has copies of Land Line Magazine to hand out. You can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Free face masks are available for anyone with a commercial driver’s license at The Spirit. You also can get forms for uninsured drivers to get flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccine vouchers at The Spirit.

After Ontario, The Spirit is scheduled to be at the TA Travel Center in Tonopah, Ariz., on Jan 29-31.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL