Kristina Dana Hendrickson Cultural Center

The First Christian Church of Rialto

A historic church located at the corner of Riverside Avenue and 2nd Street in Rialto, California. The church was built from 1906 to 1907 by volunteers to serve Rialto's First Christian Church, which was founded in 1905. The church was dedicated on July 8, 1907 by Harold Bell Wright. Architect H. M. Patterson designed the church in the Late Gothic Revival style; his design also features elements of the American Craftsman style. The church's design features a gable roof with a corner tower, pointed arch stained glass windows, and louvered vents, all characteristic Gothic Revival features. The Craftsman influence on the design can be seen in its redwood shingled body and roof, its overhanging eaves with ornamental brackets, and its decorative stickwork. 

The congregation owned the church until 1964. Dr. and Mrs. Merlin Hendrickson purchased the old building and donated the church in 1970 to the County Museum Association who immediately looked for another agency to take charge of the building. It was purchased by the City of Rialto to avoid its demolition and still maintains the building today. 

The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 20, 2003.

Rialto Historical Society

An active historical society was founded in 1971 by Dorothy C. Galley. Its first purpose being the preservation and restoration of the Old Christian Church. Through the efforts of the Historical Society and the City, a Federal Grant was obtained for the restoration of the church.  They made plans to make the old church a community cultural center. The building is available for weddings and events. The property today continues to be managed by the Rialto Historical Society.

Kristina Dana Hendrickson Cultural Center 

Upon dedication of the project on January 29, 1981, the church was renamed The Kristina Dana Hendrickson Cultural Center, in memory of Dr. Merlin and Mrs. Grace Hendrickson's 11 year old daughter Kristina who had died from leukemia (1955-1967) . The museum is located in a former church school building next door to the Old First Christian Church. The museum has many mementos from the past, it features displays depicting a delightful turn of the century home, a citrus exhibit and packing house office, military display with medals and uniforms, and an early 20th century doctor’s office with a display of medical instruments. There is also a collection of paintings by Jean Adams, an aerial view of historic Rialto, a library of genealogical information and a series of maps tracing the growth of Rialto from 1892 to 1929.

Rialto Adobe

The one-room adobe was built in 1853. The inside of the 18 by 28 foot building has been decorated with period artifacts that include parts of an old covered wagon and a section of wooden pipe believed to have carried irrigation water. An iron bed, wooden chairs, a pot-bellied stove and cooking utensils give the building the look it might have when Englishman Michael White built it and used it as a temporary home while overseeing his Mexican land grant. The building also served as a stage coach rest stop and an animal exchange depot, where riders left exhausted horses for fresh ones when riding back and forth to Rancho Cucamonga. During the Prohibition years, the adobe housed a wine-making operation.

It was donated to the city by the Isadore Strommer family, its last owners, and moved from its original location on Walnut Street, now the site of the Rialto Unified School District Office, to its current location in Bud Bender Park, formerly Lilac Park, in 1961. The Rialto Adobe is managed by the Rialto Historical Society. 

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  1. Rialto Historical Society

    Physical Address
    205 N. Riverside Ave.
    Rialto, CA 92376