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The rush for desirable land in Southern California gathered steam following the Civil War, and during the 1870's publications proclaimed the glories of Southern California, as "the land of milk and honey." Reaching its peak (at least for the 19th century) during the 1880's, the so-called "Boom" created a number of colonies and town sites. To young men like Frank E. Brown of New Haven, Connecticut, and Edward G. Judson, working in New York City, the desirability of the Southern California climate, the potential for agriculture, and the appeal for residential living served as a beacon. Nearby Riverside, begun under John North and his fellow colonist in the 1870's, was a well known success. The Chaffey brothers planned to use their intelligence, capital and highly regarded reputations to create their "Ontario Colony" in western San Bernardino County. During the late 1870's, Judson, employed as a stockbroker, and Brown, trained as a civil engineer, had both come to Southern California and settled in the San Bernardino Valley in an area known as Lugonia, now part of north Redlands. Founded in 1870, Lugonia was named for the Lugo family and primarily attracted people who planted seedling orange trees, wine and table grapes and ran fruit driers. Judson recalled in later years that the area from Crafton Hills to the Barton Ranch (later called Redlands) boasted but one house, that of Orson Van Leuven on what is now West Olive Avenue.
AFTER JUDSON AND BROWN HAD MET and shared their ideas, they decided to begin their own colony. Purchasing from the Southern Pacific Company and the Barton interests, Judson and Brown acquired a tract of land on the southern slopes of the eastern San Bernardino Valley. The partners purchased 160 acres of land with 50 shares of water stock in the South Fork ditch for $7,000.00. The name of the proposed venture came about by accident. Judson remembers riding southerly on the slopes of the new colony with Brown and L. M. Holt, editor of the Riverside Press, in 1880: "I suggested that, as the soil was red, Red Lands would be a good name, and it struck the others very favorably and so the name was adopted. That is how the city was named." In 1881 the Redlands Colony was officially formed.
AS JUDSON PHRASED IT, "The place began to grow and the first we knew we had a town on our hands." Ultimately, Judson and Brown increased their holdings to 4,000 acres. In an earlier day, Dr. Barton had offered to sell some sheep grazing land, now at Cajon Sreet and Cypress Avenue, for 40 cents per acre and was not sure if he would get it. That land, for considerably more per acre, became part of the Redlands Colony. Together, the land and water became the two undergirding factors in the successful development of Redlands by Judson and Brown.
THROUGHOUT THE 1880's Judson and Brown sought to create an atmosphere which was not only conducive to navel orange growing but also to enjoyable living. From the very first, Redlands was blessed with striking views of the San Bernardino Mountains northward and the Badlands of the San Timoteo Canyon southerly. The broad expanse of the valley itself made for sweeping vistas. Many forces helped to create the success of the Redlands Colony. Along with the climate came the attraction of the navel orange. Not only was the navel a fruit, paraphrasing Charles F. Lummis, it was a romance. From the 1870's when the success of the navel orange in Riverside provided a worthwhile agricultural investment, Redlands' lot was cast as a navel orange town. An unusually social transformation and business episode was in the making. The people who became involved with the navel orange industry, for the most part, possessed means and sought a life-style in a warmer climate. Quite frankly, the early settlers were not in the standard image of people seeking a fortune at rainbow's end, but rather people of material well-being who redistributed their good fortune through the growing and marketing of citrus. By the end of the 1880's, to Redlands came people possessing three important qualities: time, money and goodwill. Fortunately for the young community, Judson and Brown had carefully attracted the kind of "colonist" who they believed would make their endeavor a social and financial success. One of the most successful and influential groups attracted to Redlands by Judson and Brown was the "Chicago Colony." A contemporary account described them as a group of "shrewd" and "able" people who came "disgusted with the abominable climate" of their former home and anxious to find a country where the sun shined "at least one day in ten."
FRANK BROWN REJOICED in the rewards of the careful and prudent methods which he and backers of the Redlands Colony employed in securing residents. "Then again the great point to all of these Eastern people who have visited Redlands," he wrote to Judson, "was the fact of a large supply of water in Bear Valley and Co. It is evident from historical records that Redlands' founders subscribed to two inseparable elements in building up the spirit and social character of Redlands. They were, according to Brown, "faith in the future of orange growing in Redlands," and secondly slow but steady work in planning "for people East, don't understand the rush of the West, and haste scares them."
FRANK BROWN WROTE to banker F. P. Morrison around 1890 and remarked upon the importance of what it meant to Redlands when the Smiley brothers came to winter. "For your decision," he credited Morrison, "started the work that has brought us the Smileys, these Eastern people, and Redlands became known locally as the coming spot."
IN RECENT TIMES, FRANK MOORE, former editor of the Redlands Daily Facts, also wrote of the importance of the Smiley family's arrival: "Judson and Brown founded the town, and the Smiley brothers gave it its soul." Coming from New York with reputation as educators, resort owners, and national figures in causes befriending the Indian and boosting international arbitration, identical twin brothers, Alfred and Albert K. Smiley, provided a kinetic force for the young town. Described by a contemporary as "thistle-pluckers and rose-planters," these men founded and donated the library, provided a downtown park, and were behind the movement to begin the Family Service Association, as well as aiding numerous causes -- the Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society, the laying out of Sunset Drive, and the sponsoring of home-grounds improvement contests. Their private masterpiece and their winter residence was a 200 acre botanical park, presently the site of exclusive homes, which from 1890 through 1930 drew thousands of tourists a year. Cañon Crest Park, popularly called "Smiley Heights," put Redlands on the map.
BY COINCIDENCE, the birthdate of the Smiley twins, March 17, 1821, fell on St. Patrick's Day. Honoring Albert Smiley in 1908, while America celebrated with green, Redlands' citizens observed the Smiley brothers' birthday by sporting a pansy, their favorite flower, and reminding themselves of the importance to Redlands of citizens who improved the community by their deeds. "The Patron Saints" tradition continues to the present day on every March 17th.
"FLAMING YOUTH" is how local author Edith Parker Hinckley described Redlands during the years between 1895 and 1910. It was an era when Redlands became known far and wide not only for its tourism, attractive climate, and productive orange groves but also as a mecca for well-to-do eastern visitors. While interest may center upon the lavish parties, the large mansions constructed, or even upon the names of famous residents, it often obscures a period marked by sizable philanthropy and cultural development, including the founding of the University of Redlands in 1907. During the period between 1895 and 1915 the majority of the civic and cultural organizations in Redlands were founded, given a solid basis of organization, and provided for with funds and energy which enabled them to survive the difficult times ahead: a disastrous freeze, world war and economic depression.
DURING THE 1890's people came for the most part from New England and from the Chicago area. At first many of them came because of impaired health, liked what they saw, and decided to remain. Henry Harbinson Sinclair and Henry Fisher are two examples of the kinds of people who became attracted to the City of Redlands.
SINCLAIR, A NEW YORKER, received training in the shipping business and in marine law. He came to Southern California for his health. Fisher, from Pennsylvania, controlled much of the Keystone State's oil pipeline system and disposed of his interests to Standard Oil. In 1892, Sinclair and Fisher, now located in Redlands, joined with other investors and organized the Redlands Electric Light and Power Company. The first generation of three-phase electrical power in the United States was achieved by the Redlands company in 1893 and served, not only as an important chapter in electric power history, but also as a tribute to the farsightedness of Sinclair, Fisher and their associates.
IN 1930, at the onset of the great depression and at a time of massive social unrest and retrenchment, Redlands acquired one of its most precious assets, the Redlands Bowl Prosellis building. It was a gift to the people of Redlands from Mr. and Mrs. Clarence White. In his presentation address, Mr. White remarked on the spirit of giving and on the quality of life in Redlands. His brief words capture the essence of that spirit which is the connecting skein throughout any account of Redlands' history: The dedication tablet on this building reads, "A thank offering for all who have made Redlands a good place to live in."
From the City of Redlands website.
There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal for a property in Redlands, CA. The most common reason is for a real estate or mortgage transaction, but we have compiled a list of other reasons you may need to order an appraisal.
- To obtain a loan
- To lower your tax burden
- To establish the replacement cost for insurance
- To contest high property taxes
- To settle an estate
- To help you make one of the largest financial decisions in your life
- To provide a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate
- To determine a reasonable price when selling real estate
- To protect your rights in a condemnation case
- To allow you to obtain a qualified appraisal report
- To satisfy a government agency requirement such as the IRS
- To use in a lawsuit
With twenty-five years experience in the region, Accord Appraisal can provide the highly qualified certified appraiser for your appraisal requirement.