John Brown.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside counties / with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement.. (Volume 1) online

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the Santa Ana River, some $55,000 were expended. The first plantings
were made in the northern part of the city, which part is now the center
of business.

The growth of the city was quite limited up to the year 1874, at which
time about 1,500 acres had been brought under cultivation. So much
having been accomplished it was evident to would-be speculators that
Riverside could do something. At that time unimproved lands in the
most desirable location were put on the market for $20 and $25 an acre.
These same lands have since been sold for $1,600 and $2,000 per acre.

In 1875-76 the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company was formed,
which enlarged and lengthened the upper canal, and constructed the lower
canal, thus expending about $200,000. The land was then sub-divided
into 10-acre lots, each ten facing on an avenue. The most famous of
these avenues is Magnolia, which is 20 miles in length.

In the year 1885, the Atchison. Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad was
built into this place, and this proved to be the starting point of Riverside.
How convenient and appropriate it seemed to be able to get on and ofY
the cars in our own little town, and in an orange grove. Then indeed
there was no need of a seven-mile ride in a lumbering stage coach; and


truly our citizens felt as if they were making rapid progress. Then a
few years ago the motor line was built. At first this only carried pas-
sengers, but lately it has begun taking freight. If a person wishes to go
10 Coltoii the motor will give him a belter chance of seeing the country,
but for a quick ride the Santa Fe is preferable.

Having heard something of the earlier history of Riverside, we will
now state its productions and a slight estimate of its income. Ever since
the year 1879 raisin growing and shipment has been quite an industry
for this town. Ever since this time from $150 to $250 per acre has been
realized, and in favorable seasons the latter sum is more often obtained.
But by far the most important of all is orange culture. This increases
at a marvelous rate each year. From the end of Magnolia Avenue up
to the northern part of East Riverside, orange orchards meet the eye
on every side. Although many of these are not in full bearing, yet in
a few years they will be able to produce as much as any of the older
orchards. In the new Victoria district many new orchards have been
recently planted. These comprise for the greater part Washington
navels, and as first-class navels bring from $3 to $4.50 per box, these
groves will soon net a handsome sum of money for the growers. But one
must not infer from this that the navel is the only high-priced orange.
The Mediterranean sweet, Malta blood, St. Michael and the Ruby are
fast coming into favor. But on account of the earlier ripening of the
navel, it is usually able to be sold for the Thanksgiving and Christmas
holidays, thus relieving the grower of all the responsibilities during the

As Riverside has been practically the pioneer in fruit growing in
Southern California, and has set an example that has been followed by
every new settlemient since it became known as a fruit producer, it is
fitting that she occupies a central position in the leading citrus belt of
Southern California. Riverside is in the midst of the thriving cities,
Redlands, Highlands, Rialto, Ontario, Pomona, South Riverside, Ales-
sandro and Moreno. Could any one desire a more commanding position
for a city ? All these towns cast their resplendant light upon this center of
beauty. Moreover, what one of these places cannot hold its own in the
matter of growing oranges or deciduous fruits? Does this not proclaim
that Riverside is the center of the orange producing locality in the world?
.\nd if we gain county division, could any city become the county seat
better than Riverside? For it would seem best that the chief city of a
county should be that one which is in a thriving condition, and is also
centrally located. If this point is realized it will also make Riverside
a center of railroads, since it is most natural for any city to wish to be
connected with a place of prosperity.

The San Jacinto and Ferris valleys, which are destined to rival the
famous San Jose Valley of Northern California in wealth, will also be
intimately connected with Riverside by railroads and other methods of
communication — probably a through line from the East, which will be
but a continuation of a system that will send its ramifications to all the
surrounding fruit-producing centers, making Riverside ultimately a rail-
road center as well as the center of the fruit industry.

But supposing that we only consider our own little city. This valley,
containing about 50,000 acres of land, all under water and equally pro-
ductive with that which is now under cultivation, will undoubtedly become
a city of wealth and of homes. Many Easterners who have never been
in Riverside cannot realize how much money can be made in fruit raising.
Supposing that one acre nets $100 (and this is a minimum estimate)
50,000 acres will realize $5,000,000. Since this land can support its occu-


pants in a comfortable and luxurious manner, many people are induced
to settle here. Moreover, a resident of Riverside always has two assur-
ing points, viz. : a comfortable way in which to make a living, and good
health. And who could resist the temptation of settling here?

But there is one thing of which we feel more proud than of our orange
groves. This is our public school system. No other town of Southern
California spends more time and consideration on its educational facilities.
Our chief thought is the advancement of everything which pertains to
education. Today we spend more money on our schools, per capita, than
any similar place in California — and we might add, the United States. We
are indeed the educational center of the country ; and a little more start
and Riverside will be as noted for its educational advantages in Southern
California as it is now for its horticultural excellencies. And with such
educational facilities Riverside's posterity ought to be able to co])e with
any rival who might chance to present himself.

With such educational and positional advantages ought not even the
doubts of the pessimist be dispelled? And as a railroad center, a horti-
cultural center, an educational center, and the center of the new county
our commercial possibilities seem unbounded. With the realization of
these expectations our success is complete. When that time comes, and
there is created a State of Southern California (and it is only a question
of a few years until it is accomplished) Riverside will have attained such
prominence and importance as to fairly entitle her (being a true repre-
sentative of the new era of Southern California) to the capital of the
new State — a State that in point of wealth, culture and resources will be
one of the most important in the United States. Katie Boyd.


California from its earliest history had a reputation for mildness very
conducive to health. That was the great magnet that drew people here
as soon as the railroad across the continent was completed. The dis-
covery of gold which occurred shortly after the American occupation
drew many thousands here in the mad desire to hunt for gold. All routes
were thronged with adventurers eager to be in time. The forty-niners
had three routes to choose from, across the continent by ox team, by
water down the east coast, and across the Nicaragua route or across the
Isthmus of Panama, taking chances of getting up the coast to San Fran-
cisco by whatever sailing vessel or steamer could be pressed into the
service, or the long sea voyage round Cape Horn. It is pretty safe to
say that whatever route was chosen, the wish was expressed that the
other had been chosen. Overland there were Indians to be fought and
after Salt Lake was reached there was a dry and almost unknown desert
without feed, unexplored and trackless. The bleaching bones of men
and animals with the abandoned paraphernalia of wagons and personal
effects bore mute witness to the disasters of the overland route to the
first adventurers. The Nicaragua route also had its dangers from fevers
and difficulties of transportation, which also pertained to the Isthmus of
Panama. The Cape Horn route was also full of hardships and even
worse from cold stormy weather and unseaworthy vessels. But when
they reached California in the most favorable time of the year it looked
like the promised land. When they could camp out night and day, sum-
mer and winter, and live on plain scanty fare and maintain good health,
something they could hardly have done in the eastern home, then came
the desire to go back and make arrangements to make the permanent
home in California.

All through the warm summer months with the dry atmosphere and
vegetation there is no dew, hence night air that dread of people in damper
climates has no terror for Calif ornians and when he has his camping out-
fit along, a camp where there is wood and water is the ideal place to sleep
and get up in the morning refreshed and fit for the duties of the day.

Eastern people remark the Californians are particularly loyal to their
State, and with good reason, for so many of them have recovered shat-
tered health and been restored to usefulness, many of them for fifteen
or twenty years or even more. A notable instance of restoration to health
and to nearly thirty years of active usefulness, is that of J. H. Reed who
was told by his doctors back in his eastern home to come to California
where he might have a year or two more of life.

Mr. Reed came to California in 1890 with the sword of death hang-
ing over him. His first effort in the struggle for existence was to buy
a horse and buckboard, load it with blankets and necessary food supplies,
and with his son Fred start out living in the open air all the time, and
when thev came to a convenient place where there was water and wood
and if no wood, it was an easy matter to throw a few sticks of wood on
the buckboard en route to serve what little cooking was necessary, for in
the eight or ten summer months there is no need of fire for heating pur-
poses, but it is often a great source of good fellowship among campers
to sit around a little fire and rehearse the experiences of former life.
Mr. Reed and his son spent several months in this way gaining health


all- the time and getting acquainted with California, and CaHfornia peo-
ple until he felt so well that it seemed he could begin a new life in a new
land. Riverside was the chosen place and it was not long before there
was a new home and a reunited family and old neighbors coming to
remind him that there were others that could appreciate the new land,
and the genial climate and anon, there were the grandchildren and great-
grandchildren to rise up and call him blessed. One of his great-grand-
children he called his little sunshine, because she brightened his latter days
in a very pleasant way. Mr. Reed was also a great lover of flowers and
he had them in abundance on the terraces of his home place.

Mr. Reed was an invalid and a comparatively old man when he came
to Riverside with the doctor's consolation that he might live a year longer
if he came to California, but he lived for about thirty vears of the most
active life possible as an orange grower and the suggestor of some of
the most useful and economical ideas in regard to frost protection and
the shipping and handling of oranges and the establishment of the
Experiment Station. As a sort of by-play he founded the Riverside
Horticultural Club, which had a useful existence until superseded by
more extensive operations by the State and National government. It
almost looked to some of us with him, as with some others, that he was
so busy that death could not find a weak spot until the whole physical
was completely worn out like Oliver Wendell Holmes' "One Horse

One more instance that is more than local. Away in the early days
of California in the eighties or maybe before, for it is so long ago that
it seems impossible to hunt up the original details, there was a noted
doctor and health reformer physically as well as mentally named Dio
Lewis who came to California from New York on one of his reform
missions for a rest and possibly for his health, too. As was not at all
uncommon at that time to those who liked novelty he took to wandering
and camping out, riding horseback, carrying his blankets and camping
outfit as he went along. A California's outfit in the early days was
rather simple, a frying pan and tin cup for making his cofifee in and about
all he carried in the line of provisions was flour, bacon, coft'ee and sugar.
Those who were more fastidious added lo the outfit as much more as
fancy indicated. As a matter of course a canteen for water on the
journey with a knife, fork and spoon. Flapjacks were the general bread,
although bread from yeast powder or self-rising flour was often made
for a change. In making pancakes a man was not an expert unless he
could toss his pancake, that is by deft motion of the frying pan throw
his pancake up in the air and catch it again in the frying ])an upside
down. The tradition is that those who were as prospectors stable enough
to stay in a place long enough to justify it, put up a shanty with a wide
chimney and fireplace. On cooking his pancakes he ought to (if an
expert), be able to toss the pancake out of the top of the chimney and
get out of door quick enough to catch his turned pancake outside in tlie
frying pan.

Whether Dr. Dio Lewis was expert enough in this line, history does
not say, but the story as related by himself is that at one of his camps
he met two young men on horseback on a camping tour. This was in
the hills running between San Diego and San Jacinto considerably inland
from the coast. A campfire acquaintance during the evening disclosed
the fact that one of the young gentlemen was a young woman. This
was in the days when it was considered immodest for a woman to ride
astride horseback with a man's saddle or to wear clothes that had the least
suggestion of man's attire, but some time after the bloomer costume ere-


ated such a scandal or was the occasion of stale or ever rihald jokes that
showed the moral status of the utterer. Today on hiking excursions in
the mountain, camping trips for health and recreation, the young lady
with knickerbockers, leggins and heavy boots is such a common sight as
to create no comment or suggestion of male attire to hide sex, for as a
rule a woman can no more disguise her sex by men's clothing to the
observant man than a man can hide his by wearing woman's attire.

There was a little bit of romance about this young woman riding
around the country camping out with a man's saddle in male attire with
a man for company. The two young people were man and wife and
from New York's "Four Hundred"! From the story Dr. Lewis got the
young people were in love with each other in New York and wished to
get married, but the young woman was so much threatened with tuber-
culosis, in fact, had it and the doctors strongly advised against marriage
under the circumstances. \\'ell in this case love laughed at doctors as
it is traditionally reported to do at locksmiths and a marriage took place
among New York's upper ten. The young people, as the saying is,
"took the bit in their teeth" and ran away to California with the deter-
mination to overcome threatened death by coming close to nature and
living the simple life in the open air and thus Dr. Lewis found them and
made a pleasant acquaintance.

.\ season or two later found Dio Lewis in New York and in Central
Park and again met the couple riding in their carriage as man and wife
and was immediately recognized and welcomed and nothing would do
but he must take dinner with them. After dinner and talking camping
in California and when everyone was out of the way. Mrs. B. motioned
Dr. Lewis to follow her. She took him away secretly and mysteriously to
a secret room and showed him all the make up of camp life, man's sad-
dle and garments with all the camping outfit, and in addition to that
perfect health, a confirmation of some of Dr. Lewis's reform ideas.
Such happiness as these which are quite common so far as health mat-
ters which are common enough make the people of California loyal to
their state.

\\'E.\THER Conditions. Although the climate of Riverside can well
be classed as an arid climate, at long intervals it can show extremes on
either side. It may be, however, that since settlement, the influence of
trees and irrigation over large aras may produce such modifications that
the calamities of the past will not again occur and, however, that may
be, since settlement was made and so much of the area has been planted
to trees and growing vegetation, the calamities and losses caused by
extremely dry or wet seasons can never recur again. We have good
reason to hope and believe that settlement and cultivation, together
with the planting of trees, and the efifect of so much shade with addi-
tion of more moisture, have had their effect in modifications which make
the climate pleasanter on the whole.

In the early days there were, if memory is a reliable guide, many
more bright sunny days in which the sun rose bright and clear, and
remained clear for the whole of the day and there is further the unques-
tionable fact that the sea breeze is tempered in the months of July and
August, at the time when it is most regular by the great mass of green
vegetation, which it passes over before it reaches us. When there was
no green vegetation between us and the sea, the breeze in passing over
the hot soil became as it reached Riverside, almost like the heat coming
out of a baker's oven at some distance from the mouth or door of it
Hence the primitive houses of that day were usually built so that when


the front and back doors were opened the breeze would feel appreciably
cool and refreshing. As soon as irrigating came in everyday use the
wind became more and more modified. The same conditions prevail
now when it is blowing a norther, which comes off the Mojave Desert
and the air again becomes heated up before it reaches us, or when we
have thunder clouds hanging over the mountains and thunder in the
mountains, for an occasional day or two in July and August, then we
feel the heat again in an excessive degree, but we have always the
consolation that it is cool enough at night to permit refreshing sleep.
The same prevails out on the Colorado Desert in the Salton Sea basin,
where the average temperature is high enough to permit of the maturing
of dates. This dry atmosphere (so dry that disease germs can hardly
exist) is one of the assets of the climate of Southern California, for
it soon dries up any decaying vegetation or stagnant water and permits
of sleeping for months at a time in screen porches, in both lower and
upper stories, in the houses and in the open air. M'hen we have north-
ers which occur occasionallv in the months before and after the rainy
season sets in, they are full of electricity and are reallv the most uncom-
fortable weather that we have. Animals and everything get so charged
with electricity that it at times is visible to the naked eye, but more
especially on touching or stroking the fur or hair of domestic animals.
Where this great amount of electricity comes from no one in the scienti-
fic line appears to have given to it any studv or attention. The prob-
ability is that the friction caused by the wind in passing over the ground,
and the drifting sand generates electricity in the same way that it is
generated in the power houses. It does not seem to have any injurious
effect on anyone, but it always appeals to one as a good time (if there
are no pressing duties elsewhere) to stay indoors.

After our long rainless summer, lasting sometimes as long as six or
eight months, the rain is always welcome and everybody and everything
seem to rejoice in it. The trees seem refreshed after their bath and in
ordinarv seasons when we have our average rainfall — say ten inches or .so
— there is in a sense the most enjoyable time of the year when the grass
grows and the plains and hills get ready to blossom with the many hued
flowers in the spring. Occasionally on the dry and barren desert, when
they have spring rains, the seed that has lain dormant perhaps for years
will burst forth in such gorgeous hues that those who can, travel for
manv miles to see the beautiful flowers so abundant that they give a
landscape of exceeding beauty.

In the foothills of the inner vallevs the Eschscholtzia or California
poppv, covers acres of the foothills, and the object of visits of manv
families who go out on a picnic to pick and revel in the beauty of this
copa de oro or cup of gold of the Spaniards.

Our season of growth of green vegetation is in nur winter months,
and easterners often wonder on looking at our rocky hills and mountains
in the summer time with their dry vegetation, whether the eastern sum-
mer climate with its growth of vegetation and the long period of barren-
ness in winter is not preferable to our long dry summers. But when
thev once experience a vear of perpetual verdure under the stimulating
influence of irrigation, there is never again a question of the delights of
California. Green lawns all the year round, roses and other flowers
alwavs to be had, different flowers in succession and in their season, but
always some kind and then perhaps above all ripe fruit in succession at
all times, then there is no question and the insignificant drawbacks are
all forgotten, but it was not always so.


In the past under Spanish occupation, and since American occupation,
there have been calamities climatic and otherwise. True we have earth-
quakes that have been more destructive to property than life, but when
we compare them with thunderstorms in the East, tornados, cyclones and
tidal waves, not to speak of earthquakes even there, we in California
feel like exclaiming that we are fortunate in being: so exempt from
great convulsions of nature.

The great earthquake in San Francisco, the most destructive so far as
property was concerned, resulted in great loss much more from fire than
earthquake because the earthquake broke the water pipes, and there was
no water to quench the fire except near the bay, the fire had full sway for
several days. But that San Francisco fire was not as great as the Chicago
fire fifty years ago. Then so far as loss of life is concerned we have
never had any worse earthquake than the one in Charleston, so far as
destruction is concerned, or the Galveston disaster, or the more recent
floods originating in the mountains of Colorado. But comparisons are
invidious, and it is not necessary to carry them too far, for we are all
too ready to magnify the ills of our neighbors and to overlook those of
our own.

California does seem to have extremes of climate, so far as weather
is concerned, which are the more observable on account of the general
equable nature of the climate which are the more noticeable on that
account. In the spring and fall of the year, we have weeks at a time so
perfect that ordinary weather remarks are out of place, but there have
been at long intervals extremes of wet or dry, or even of cold in winter
that have been of the nature of calamities.

For instance, in 1862. in the month of January and later on, in which
the rains were exceedingly heavy and almost continuous, and the lower
lands were reduced to quagmires and travel on the mesas or drv table
lands were so soft as to be almost entirely impassable.

Edward Ayer who was a sergeant in the California battalion stationed
at a camp across the river Santa .\na from Riverside, called Jurupa in
a diary in the possession of Dewitt Hutchings of the Mission Inn. gives a
very vivid description of the troubles he had when he had orders to take
part of his command from Jurupa to Warners Rranch. In hauling a
cannon, his command took four days to cross the Riverside mesa, a dis-
tance of less than four miles. This was, however, only a minor incident,
for the rain was so heavy and continuous that the flood in many cases
altered the configuration of the whole country. Lytle Creek which used
to flow in well defined banks bordered with alder and other trees was

Online LibraryJohn BrownHistory of San Bernardino and Riverside counties / with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement.. (Volume 1) → online text (page 70 of 82)