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The city of Riverside is located within Riverside County, CA. Its location is within proximity of the metropolitan region of Inland Empire. Riverside was named for its location, being next to the Santa Ana River and is the seat of Riverside County. It is roughly 60 miles east from Los Angeles, California. Additionally, it is considered as part of the Greater Los Angeles region. According to a 2010 census, Riverside has 303,871 residents, ranking it 1wth most populated city within the state of California, and 59th most populated city within the United States.
The city of Riverside was funded during the start of the 1870s and is the birth place of the citrus industry within the state of California. Additionally, Riverside is home to the biggest Mission Revival Style building within the nation and the Mission Inn. Riverside National Cemetery is another landmark within the area.
One of the campus’s in the UC system is located here, the University of California Riverside, which resides on 1,900 acres in the northeastern section of Riverside. In addition, the university hosts various attractions, including the Riverside Sports Complex, Riverside Metropolitan Museum (housing artifacts and exhibits of local history), Fox Performing Arts Center, California Citrus State History Park, California Museum of Photography, and of course the parent tree of Washington Navel Oranges! This tree is the last remaining two trees planted by Tibbets that started the citrus fruit growth explosion.
During the period of late 1700s to early 1800s, the Cahuilla tribe had inhabited the area know today as Riverside, California. Additionally, the Serrano people also inhabited the area. During the first part of the 19th century, ranches were established by ‘Californios’, including the Juan Bandini and Bernardo Yorba ranches.
During the 1860s, the California Silk Center Association was launched by Louis Prevost, which was a shortly lived experiment within sericulture. Later, land was purchased by John W. North once the experiment had failed, developing the Southern California Colony Association for promoting development within the area.
In March 1870, posters were distributed by North which announced formations of a new colony located within the state of California. North was a temperance-minded abolitionist from the great state of New York who previously founded the colony of Northfield, Minnesota. Only four years later, two navel trees would be planted in a garden and discovered a success which started a full-scale naval orange planting, which not only increased the economic growth of Riverside, but the total economy of the state of California and the United States as a whole.
Riverside had four saloons when being founded, but license fees continued to be raised until the saloons had moved outside of Riverside or shut down. Adopting activities from prosperous citizens, investors from Canada and England transplanted traditions in the area. Therefore, resulting in the initial polo field and golf course within Riverside and in southern California.
In 1871, the very first orange trees had been planted, while the establishment of the citrus industry in Riverside known today being only three years away (1874), when she planted three navel orange trees imported from Brazil by a personal friend, Horticulturist William Saunders at the U.S. Department of Agriculture located in Washington D.C. The trees originally came from Bahia, Brazil and Bahia oranges were not a thriving or native citrus fruit in Florida, but southern California’s climate and Eliza Tibbetts dedication to caring for the naval orange trees paid off with the successful future being phenomenal.
Within the first year of planting the orange trees, a cow ran over one of the three trees on Tibbetts property and killed it. After the incident, the remaining two trees had been transplanted on property that belonged to Sam McCoy, so they could receive closer care than could be provided by Eliza’s husband, L. C. Tibbetts. The trees had later been transplanted again at different locations. One tree was transplanted at Mission Inn in 1903, ordered by President Theodore Roosevelt. This tree later died in 1922. The second tree was transplanted at the Arlington Ave. and Magnolia intersection. To honor Eliza Tibbetts, a stone was created and placed as a marker with the tree. Today, the tree continues to stand within a protective fence, abutting a major intersection.
Because of the climate in southern California the orange trees thrived, allowing the orange industry to rapidly grow. Various growers had bought bud wood with the purpose of cutting it to root stock. In a few years, thousands of new Brazilian navel oranges were successfully cultivated and resulted in a new type of California Gold Rush – establishing the citrus fruit industry.
By 1882, over half a million citrus trees had been grown within the state of California, with nearly half of those being grown within the city of Riverside. After refrigerated railroad cars was developed and introduced, it allowed growers in Riverside to take advantage of the innovated irrigation systems to ship the navel oranges longer distances. This resulted in Riverside becoming the richest city within the U.S. by 1985, according to income per capita.
With the prospering city, smaller guest hotels were designed using a Mission Revival style that was popular at the time, the first of these hotels was Glenwood Tavern that would later grow into Mission Inn that was a favored location by presidents, movie stars, and royalty. There was a customized chair for President William Howard Taft. The hotel had been designed for the missions left on the California cost during the 18th and 19th centuries by Franciscan friars.