A large city in northern Orange County, Fullerton, California, was founded in 1887 and named for George H. Fullerton, the man who secured land in the area for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It is home to a population of more than 126,000, as of 2000 census figures, and was originally an agricultural center with orange groves and other citrus crops raised. The city lies about 25 miles east of Los Angeles and just north of Anaheim, home of Disneyland.
The town was also the site of drilling for oil, which fueled it first economic boom in the 1920s. As the city approached the middle 20th century, its economy began to change, moving to a more industrial economy, with petroleum extraction, food processing, transportation and manufacturing expanding in the region, and the first Hawaiian Punch recipe was developed here in the ’30s.
The city runs and maintains over 50 parks, including Hillcrest Park, the Craig Regional Park and Ralph B. Clark Regional Park. Attractions in the city include two golf courses and a tennis center, an equestrian center, the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, which is home to some art galleries and a theater group and the Fullerton Museum Center, situated within an old Carnegie library. The Fullerton Civic Light Opera is one of the region’s largest companies, and performs in the Plummer Auditorium. Other theater troupes include Maverick Theater, Stages Theater and the Hunger Artists Theatre Company.
Metrolink and Amtrak trains make stops in the city’s station, providing connections to Los Angeles in as little as 30 minutes. The Orange County Transportation Authority operates several bus routes within the city and throughout the rest of the county. St. Jude Hospital provides medical services to residents. Public schools in the city are operated under the Fullerton Joint Union High School District and include five public high schools in the city limits, three middle schools and 17 elementary schools. Colleges in the city include California State University, Fullerton; Fullerton College; Western State University College of Law; Hope International University; and the Southern California College of Optometry.