San Bernardino has a rich history in business that dates back to the 1800's. For a historical overview of San Bernardino, click here. Listed below are a few of the businesses that have a long history in San Bernardino and made an impact locally and nationally:

The Harris Company

Harris BuildingThe Harris Company first opened in 1905. The flagship store was rebuilt at the corner of Third Street and E Street in 1927. The company made its first big expansion when it built a large anchor store at the new Riverside Plaza shopping center in 1957, the first large non-downtown shopping destination in the region. Expansion continued during the 1960s and '70s, and the company was able to hold its own against competitors, such as the Los Angeles-based Broadway and Robinson's chain stores, by concentrating on the tastes and needs of local customers, and by building a reputation for offering high quality merchandise.

In 1981, Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés, S.A. acquired the Harris Company and its nine stores which included Bakersfield, Hemet, Indio, Moreno Valley, Palmdale, Redlands, Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville. In 1997, the Harris Company invested $27 million to update its nine-store chain.

The Harris Company was acquired by Gottschalks in 1998, and the stores were initially renamed Harris-Gottschalks. Most of the original Harris stores eventually dropped the name Harris, except the Indio and Bakersfield locations, which continued to operate under the Harris-Gottschalks name. The original store in downtown San Bernardino was closed on January 31, 1999. (Source)

Matich Corporation

In 1918, Yugoslavian immigrants John and Nikolas Matich set out to create the best quality grading and paving available in Southern California. They started with small driveway and city street jobs, focusing on safety, quality, Matich Corpand a fair price. Their fame and reputation quickly grew. Matich Brothers Paving Company was soon asked to bid on highway jobs by the state of California as well as military installations, flood control works, other complex concrete projects. While the original partnership was named Matich Brothers, John and Nick were actually first cousins. Their slip in translation would prove to be prophetic in the years to come.

In 1950, Jack and Martin (sons) expanded Matich Brothers operations throughout the Western United States. They led the construction industry in developing techniques still in use today and raised the bar for quality and integrity in heavy engineering construction. Their reputation was so strong that in the 1960s the firm was asked to help author Plan Bulldozer for the United States government, which coordinates the U.S. construction industry in the event of a national disaster. Several members of the Matich family have presided over local, state and national chapters of the Associated General Contractors of America, also a testament to what Matich stands for. For more about the Matich Corporation click here


The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California. Their introduction of the "Speedee Service System" in 1948 furthered the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant that the White Castle hamburger chain had already put McDonald'sinto practice more than two decades earlier. The original mascot of McDonald's was a man with a chef's hat on top of a hamburger shaped head whose name was "Speedee". Speedee was eventually replaced with Ronald McDonald by 1967 when the company first filed a U.S. trademark on a clown shaped man having puffed out costume legs.

McDonald's first filed for a U.S. trademark on the name "McDonald's" on May 4, 1961, with the description "Drive-In Restaurant Services", which continues to be renewed through the end of December 2009. In the same year, on September 13, 1961, the company filed a logo trademark on an overlapping, double arched "M" symbol. The overlapping double arched "M" symbol logo was temporarily disfavored by September 6, 1962, when a trademark was filed for a single arch, shaped over many of the early McDonald's restaurants in the early years. Although the "Golden Arches" appeared in various forms, the present form as a letter "M" did not appear until November 18, 1968, when the company applied for a U.S. trademark. The present corporation dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 15, 1955, the ninth McDonald's restaurant overall. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the company and led its worldwide expansion, and the company became listed on the public stock markets in 1965. (Source)