Chamber of Commerce.
The first known explorations of the Riverside area were in the Fall of 1774. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and a group of 34 soldiers came from Arizona looking for a good land route to the riches of California. After the dry and arid desert they had crossed, they came atop a mountain range to look down on a beautiful area they called "Valle de Paraiso - Valley of Paradise." There were local Indians who resided here who were peaceful, farming people.
In the early 1800's, California became part of Mexico. Many large grants of land were given to prominent citizens. In this area, the first grant went to an influential man, Juan Bandini. His area was called El Rancho Jurupa. His daughter married a man named Abel Stearns. Her father gave him a great portion of the rancho. Another portion of the land not owned by Stearns was later sold to another man, Louis Robidoux. The spelling is now accepted as Rubidoux. Louis and all the other ranchers were successful with their businesses and ruled the area. Louis Robidoux died in 1868 and his rancho was sold to Louis Prevost. Prevost wanted to raise silkworms here. He only lived two more years and again the rancho was for sale.
Desiring to establish a colony where they could have good education and culture, John North purchased the rancho. He had high ideals for his new colony and spent much of his own fortune to make his dream possible.. As much of the surrounding area, this new area from built on land that was under Spanish rule and ownership. European influences were introduced and the best of both cultures were mixed together. John North wanted to name the area Jurupa, but others disagreed and the area became officially known as Riverside. They called the center part of town the "Mile Square." Orange trees were first planted in the area in 1871, but the real claim to fame came when two Brazilian navel orange trees were planted. A woman named Eliza Tibbets was given the trees by someone she knew with the US Dept. of Agriculture. The navel orange trees loved the warm, mild climate and began to thrive here. Nearly half of the citrus trees in California were in the Riverside area by 1882. The city prospered because of the growth of the citrus industry. The now famous Mission Inn (see also Mission Inn Home Page) was built and used by Royalty, Presidents, performing artists as well as by local citizens.
The city was planned out carefully. Much credit goes to Charles Cheney for this. He was the same man who was responsible for the planning of San Francisco. Riverside is abounding in historical sites and culture. Victoria Avenue is especially nice to drive along to see the beautiful, old and stately mansions from the older period in Riverside. There are over 100 City Landmarks, 20 National Register Sites and 2 National Landmarks in the Riverside area. There has always been pride in the number and variety of trees in Riverside. There are many rare and unusual trees. The city itself maintains over 96,000 trees. Riverside has been awarded the "Tree City, USA" recognition.
Today Riverside has grown to a thriving city whose residents are actively involved in all aspects of the city. Education is important with many high levels of learning available throughout the area. There are many leisure activities available to all who live here, including parks and recreation activities as well as local youth and adult sports teams. There are many museums in the area also, such as: California Museum of Photography. Activities are maintained on a year-round basis. The strong heritage of the area is remembered by all. Many organizations are in existence to preserve this heritage. Riverside remains today a vibrant, busy, warm and friendly place to live.
The Santa Ana river was once named "El rio de los templores", which means "the river of earthquakes". This name is thanks to Portola and Father Crespi in 1769, who when passing through this area on their way to Monterrey, experienced a good sized earthquake that threw much of the river's water out of its banks. The name was changed later to encourage settlement of the city.
UCR Botanic Gardens
at University of California at Riverside
The gardens take up 39 acres, with many hilly areas. It specializes in dry climate plants. Several areas are devoted to particular areas of the world, including herb and flower gardens. See over 3,000 species of plants and trees.
World Museum of Natural History at La Sierra University
3500 Polk Street
Riverside, CA 92505
Phone: (951) 785-3000 or (951) 785-3031
Four courses to choose from plus a game arcade in a castle. Have fun on all the rides, including a log flume and gentle rides for young children.
The Mission Inn Home Page
3649 7th St.
Phone: 951-784-0300 or 951 781-8241
Guided tours are available for this Riverside landmark built in 1903. Recently restored, the mission inn has many features including antique bells, stained glass, Tiffany mosaics and windows, statues and more. Room reservations are also available.
The Mission Inn Museum
3696 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92501-2839
The Riverside Metropolitan Museum
3580 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 782-5273
See displays on Riverside's past and its naval orange heritage. Also view the American Indian culture displays.
Riverside Art Museum
3425 7th St.
Phone: (951) 684-7111
Many exhibits, both permanent and changing, may be seen at this fine museum in downtown Riverside. The building was designed by Julia Morgan, architect of the Hearst Castle, in 1929. It was used previously as a YWCA and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.
Jensen Alvarado Ranch
4307 Briggs St.
Riverside, CA 92509-6692
on 30 acres with a museum, living history interpretive programs and more.
Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center
7621 Granite Hill Dr.
A natural history musuem with many fossils, both flora and fauna, and large outdoor dinosaur replicas. Guided tours and workshops are available year-round. Please call for more information.
Along the Santa Ana River, this Riverside landmark rises up 1,337 feet. At the top is the Father Serra Cross and the World Peace Tower. The Summit road is open to vehicles. A spectacular view may had seen at the top. This site has a number of pictures and some information about the area.
The Orange Blossom Festival - was an annual longtime festival held in downtown Riverside. It was cancelled in 2007.
The Dickens Festival
3585 Main Street, Suite 204
P.O. Box 113
Riverside, CA 92502
Begun in 1992, this event has grown over the years. It is held each year on the first weekend in February as a remembrance of Charles Dickens' birthday on February 7.
Riverside National Cemetery
Serving Those Who Served Us
22495 Van Buren Blvd
Riverside, CA 92518
Riverside City page
City Hall Phone: 951-826-5312
"A circus coming to town in the early 1900s was always a joyful event. However, a catastrophe occurred April 16, 1908, when a Sells-Floto circus elephant killed one person and injured several others in Riverside while on a rampage. The Sells-Floto Circus combined the Floto Dog & Pony Show and the Sells Brothers Circus and featured Buffalo Bill Cody's show, which performed throughout the country in the early 1900s before it was bought out with several other circuses for $ 1.7 million by John Nicholas Ringling in 1929. With that purchase, the Ringlings owned almost every circus in America.
It is not clear from a newspaper account the exact progression of events that day, but it began with an explosion in the Standard Oil Company tanks that spooked the circus elephants. The herd charged through the east side of town, causing property damage before their keepers rounded them up. But one elephant continued his charge into downtown. At Seventh Street (Mission Inn Avenue) and Orange Street, the elephant threw Frank Bird to the ground, as the elephant keeper came upand fired three shots into the animal's neck. The elephant swerved around, stopping his assault, but Bird had already sustained a broken leg.
The elephant entered the Glenwood Hotel courtyard (Mission Inn) and pinned Ella Gibbs, a deaconess in the First Congregational Church, up against the building before he trampled her. She died at 9:45 pm of her injuries. The animal then entered the hotel, where it knocked down D.P. Chapman, breaking his ribs. The keeper had followed him to the hotel and fired four more shots into the animal. The elephant turned from Chapman to the keeper and ripped open his pant legs and lacerated his leg and hand. At some point, one of the hotel guests went unmolested as she sat in a swing. The elephant keeper yelled at Eva Howe to sit still and not run when the elephant charged her. She did as he said and the elephant rushed past her. Another person who escaped injury at the hotel was Wilton Lackay, an actor, who was sitting beside a window shattered by the elephant.
The animal went through the barbershop before heading out to Main Street, crashing through the window of another store. Another man was trampled and gored. Finally, the elephant was brought under control at a downtown stable by the use of other elephants, but not before one of the circus attendants was bruised and hurt. Another person who died from his injuries that day was L.G. Worsley, a driver for the Standard Oil Company, whose wagon caught fire from the explosion."
Riverside Chamber The Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce
3685 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 683-7100
Fax: (951) 683-2670
Riverside OrganizationsThe Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce
3685 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 683-7100
Fax: (951) 683-2670
Riverside Libraries Riverside County Library System
The Average Family size was: 3.54 (2000)
The official symbol of Riverside is the Bell and Cross from collection of the Mission Inn (1968)