Archive for the ‘Icons’ Category

Day135 Metropolitan Museum

Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum

By 1900, Riverside had become one of the premiere winter resort communities in the nation. Engulfed in twenty thousand acres of Washington Navel orange groves, Riverside served as a center for agricultural innovation, bringing the revolution of corporate capitalism to the southwestern U.S. via the modern citrus enterprise.

Located in the broad, inland valley of the Santa Ana River in Southern California, Riverside numbered among the wealthiest communities per capita in the nation. The University of California Citrus Experiment Station (core of the present University of California, Riverside) brought a tradition of ground-breaking scientific research to the city. Riverside’s renowned Mission Inn hotel, and its inspirational role in the development of the Arts & Craft Style, attracted some of America’s foremost entrepreneurs in search of new recreational, aesthetic and business opportunities. Riverside became a magnet for prosperous, educated practitioners of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the West. in the nation.

Out of this context came the Cornelius Earle Rumsey Indian Collection which later became the Riverside Municipal Museum now known as the Riverside Metropolitan Museum (RMM). The Museum opened in the basement of City Hall on December 12, 1924, when the widow of National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) magnate Cornelius Earle Rumsey donated his collection of Native American artifacts to the City of Riverside. An ordinance, amending the City Charter and establishing a Municipal Museum, was adopted by the City Council on August 27, 1925. The current mission statement found in the city ordinance states that, “All collections and exhibits of the Museum shall generally reflect but shall not necessarily be limited to the specific interpretations of the history, natural history and anthropology of the City and County of Riverside and the immediate environs of southern California.” From 1924 on, the collections have grown, typically through donations by prominent citizens and organizations, contributing to RMM holdings in the disciplines of local history, natural history, and anthropology. From 1925-48, the RMM was located in the basement of the old City Hall building on Riverside’s Seventh Street (now Mission Inn Avenue).

In 1987, the main museum building and Heritage House were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005, the Riverside Municipal Museum changed its name to Riverside Metropolitan Museum.

New Home of the Riverside Municipal Museum, 1948

In 1948, the Museum was moved to the basement of the former U. S. Post Office, adjacent to the old City Hall, a Renaissance Revival-style structure, built in 1912-14. The main exhibits, administration offices, anthropology, natural history curatorial offices, collections storage, and registrar’s office carried on their activities in this building. The history curatorial office/collections and exhibits services eventually moved to an annex, a converted Safeway Supermarket, located four blocks from the main building.

Day129 Sails



Day125 Happy Independence Day

4th of July, Mt Rubidoux

4th of July, Mt Rubidoux

Each year the streets, fields, parking lots, and even roof tops around Mt Rubidoux are lined with local residents and friends waiting to see the fireworks show.

This year was no exception.

Even as I drove down Brockton around 6pm, people were already marking there domain.

The one tradition that has in the past set Riverside apart: the Annual “Burning of the Mound”.

In the past, it was just as much of a tradition to watch the hill burn afterwards as were the fireworks.
How times have changed!  🙂

Day119 White Park

White Parkq

White Park

Established in 1883 with private donations of land
and labor, this park formerly reflected the Victorian
philosophy of eclectic and exotic landscaping in public
outdoor spaces. Named for Albert W. White, a city
trustee and private citizen, the park was deeded to the
city in 1889. .around 1875.

Trivia note:Albert “Stoney” White was the ‘first border’ at the Mission Inn.

Today, White Park houses a senior center, cactus garden, butterfly garden, and a Japanese Garden (see below).

Throughout the year, the park is host to a number of events ranging from the Mayor’s Ball (A fundraising event for the city’s art community) to live music, carnivals, and community events.

White Park, Japanese Gardens


Day115 Magnolias



The Magnolia tree is almost as much of an icon to Riverside as the orange tree it.

Many a street in Riverside is lined with the Magnolia, and at this time of year they are in full bloom.

I have had several people tell me that the Magnolia tree has a history here, but nobody seemed to know what it is.
Even with the power of the internet, I could still not find any information linking the tree to the city.

Day114 Riverside Rancheros

Riverside Rancheros Barrel Racer

Riverside Rancheros

The year was 1959 when an idea was born. The city of Riverside should have an equestrian club to enhance horse related social activities. A parcel of land was purchased for a non-profit horse
club and the Riverside Rancheros was formed. The club was incorporated in 1960 and was established through family memberships.
The past and current members are proud of this facility, a facility completely maintained by the members through continuous hard work and participation. In 1961 a 300 foot arena was
constructed and a clubhouse was built. The facility was now equipped with an arena, clubhouse and horse corrals giving its members and guests a place to ride and enjoy their horses.

For nearly five decades, the Riverside Rancheros has been the headquarters for youth riding groups, mounted police and sheriffs’ training center, rodeos, horse shows, team roping, barrel racing and team sorting. It has allowed youth groups such as FFA, 4H, Cub Scouts, Y-Indian Guides and Junior Rodeo to use the club facilities for benefit dinners, fundraisers and therapeutic riding programs.

The Rancheros has its own Jr. Equestrian drill team performing in shows and parades throughout California. (Courtesy Riverside Rancheros)

Day112 Heritage

Riverside Heritage

Riverside Heritage

Riverside’s Heritage runs deep!

Back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, Riverside’s population had the highest income per capita in the United States.

Citrus “plantation” homes, similar to this sprung up all around the region.

Today, many of these homes still exist, often times oddly found amongst the ocean of tract homes that surround them.

Day111 Universal Unitarian Church

Universal Unitarian Church

Universal Unitarian Church

Originally All Souls Church (est 1881), the Universalist church was dedicated in June, 1892.

It is a combination of Norman and English Gothic architecture designed by A.C.  Willard.  The walls are of brick faced with red sandstone from a quarry in Flagstaff, Arizona.  In the vestibule of the 50ft tower, the floor is of marble from a quarry in Colton. All windows are original.

The focal point of this room is a large triple window on the north wall.
The center section honors Dr. George Henry Deere, who with his wife Louisa, arrived in Riverside July 1881 to found this Universalist congregation-The first in Southern California.

In 1891 the Deeres went East to raise money for the building of the chruch.  In Chicago, they visited the Sebiling Wells Glass Co.  From several designs presented to them, they chose various parts to create this human figure of Jesus in a window free of religious symbols.

Universalists viewed Jesus as the Master Teacher rather than as the divine Son of God.  (courtesy Universalist Unitarian Church)

Day110 Gage Canal

Gage Canal

Gage Canal

Without Matthew Gage, there would be no Gage Canal.

Without the Gage Canal, Riverside’s citrus industry would not have flourished, and the city would not have prospered the way it did around the turn of the 20th century.

And without that prosperity, people would probably not still be arguing about the water coursing down the 130-year-old canal.

That the canal exists at all is notable. Gage, a jeweler who emigrated from Canada, had no background in water or engineering. And he had no money. Under a federal program at the time, he filed for claim on 640 acres of land, promising he could deliver water to irrigate the tract within three years.

Gage was sure he could bring water to the area along the base of the hills to the southeast of downtown. Although it seems counterintuitive, the water would come from the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino and flow downhill through what is now Grand Terrace and the Highgrove area into Riverside.

Through a series of clever cuts and minor tunnels in the hillsides between Loma Linda and Grand Terrace, the gravity-fed canal continued through the western edge of the current UC Riverside campus to its end between Harrison and McAllister streets, 20.13 miles from its origin.

It wasn’t long before citrus groves blanketed its route. Many of those groves are now gone. But the water is still flowing in the canal, feeding the remaining acres of citrus as well as commercial nurseries and the gardens of homes along its course. The land is part of Riverside’s greenbelt.

The canal is also a magnet for recreation. Joggers and cyclists regularly use the dirt paths along its edge. Old-timers tell stories of floating down the waterway during hot summer days long ago.

And while the open part of the canal between Arlington Avenue and its terminus is usually full of water, that water does not come from the original wells at the Santa Ana River. Those wells are still active, but their water is tapped for use by the Riverside Public Utilities.
(Courtesy The Press Enterprise Tuesday, July 29, 2008)

Day110 Ames-Westbrook House

Ames-Westbrook House

Ames-Westbrook House

Samuel A. Ames was the first owner of this Queen Anne Style House. Born in Boston in 1832, Mr. Ames worked as a pony express rider in the southwest before coming to Riverside in 1873 and prospering in citriculture.

Dr. Edward H. Wood purchased the home in 1909. In 1920, He subdivided the adjacent land into the Homewood Court and Elmwood Court tracts and began the well-known “Wood Streets” naming sequence.