The home of sunshine, snow-capped mountains, and oranges, Redlands is the model city of the Southern California dream. Founded by two Easterners seeking "health, pleasure, and residence," this jewel of the Inland Empire grew to become the center of a worldwide citrus empire. Both navel oranges and visitors flourished in the warm, dry climate, each nourishing the wealth and philanthropy that would become the hallmark of Redlands. At the industry's zenith, more than two dozen packing houses shipped the golden fruit around the world. Money also grew in orange groves that carpeted the area. Citizens proudly watched as monuments, parks, homes, and buildings blossomed, beautifying the town and giving physical form to the generous local character. Through the years, a unique sense of philanthropy and community improvement, begun by the Smiley Brothers, proved infectious to the town spirit, and remains a guiding source of inspiration today.
About the Author
Opened in 1898, A.K. Smiley Public Library is one of the great philanthropic gifts to the City of Redlands. It is one of California's oldest and most important public libraries. Still housed in its original building, the facility is noted for its research archives. These rare images, selected and captioned by Library Director Larry E. Burgess and Associate Archivist Nathan D. Gonzales, capture the rise of citrus empires and the sweep of town growth.