City of Riverside

POPULATION
Population    304,051
Median Age     30.4

INCOME
Average Household Income     $67,299

EDUCATION
Enrollment, K-12:     63,393
Higher Education Student Population     46,118

Colleges and Universities located in Riverside:
University California-Riverside, California Baptist University, La Sierra University, and Riverside Community College

MEDIAN HOME PRICES
Median Home Price, Single Family Res. (05/10)     $185,000

CLIMATE
Winter-Average High     66 degrees
Summer-Average High     94 degrees

THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE

Riverside is a city in Riverside County, California, and the county seat of the eponymous county. Named for its location beside the Santa Ana River, it is the largest city in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area of Southern California, 4th largest inland California city after Fresno, Sacramento, and Bakersfield, and is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) east of Los Angeles. Riverside is the 61st most populous city in the United States and 12th most populous city in California. As of 2009, Riverside had an estimated population of 300,430. The city spans 78 square miles.

Riverside was founded in the early 1870s and is the birthplace of the California citrus industry as well as home of the Mission Inn, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States. It is also home to the Riverside National Cemetery.

The University of California, Riverside is located in the northeastern part of the city. Other attractions in Riverside include the Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, one of the two original orange trees in California.

HISTORY

The city was founded in the early 1870s beside the Santa Ana River by John W. North, a staunch temperance-minded abolitionist from Tennessee, who had previously founded Northfield, Minnesota. A few years after, the navel orange was planted and found to be such a success that full-scale planting started. Riverside was temperance minded, and Republican. There were 4 saloons in Riverside when it was founded. The license fees were raised until the saloons moved out of Riverside. Investors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities adopted by prosperous citizens. As a result, the first golf course and polo field in Southern California were built in Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, 1900.

The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry Riverside is famous for beginning three years later (1874) when Eliza Tibbets received three Brazilian navel orange trees sent to her by a personal friend, William Saunders who was a horticulturist at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. The trees came from Bahia, Brazil. The Bahia Orange did not do well in Florida, but its success in Southern California was phenomenal.

The three trees were planted on the Tibbets’ property. One of the trees died after it was trampled by a cow during the first year it was planted. After the trampling other two trees were then transplanted to property belonging to Sam McCoy as the trees were not being cared for well enough by L. C. Tibbets, Eliza’s husband. The trees were again transplanted, one at the Mission Inn property in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, (this tree died in 1922) and the other was placed at the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington Ave. Eliza Tibbets was honored with a stone marker placed with the tree. That tree still stands to this day inside a protective fence.

The trees thrived in the Southern California climate and the navel orange industry grew rapidly. Many growers purchased bud wood and then grafted the cuttings to root stock. Within a few years, the successful cultivation of many thousands of the newly discovered Brazilian navel orange led to a California Gold Rush of a different kind: the establishment of the citrus industry, which is commemorated in the landscapes and exhibits of the California Citrus State Historic Park and the restored packing houses in the Downtown’s Marketplace district. By 1882, there were more than half a million citrus trees in California, almost half of which were in Riverside. The development of refrigerated railroad cars and innovative irrigation systems established Riverside as the wealthiest city per capita by 1895.

Recent Posts