Wilson Stone House: City of Riverside Landmark #75

Location: 3241 Mary St.
Date Established: 1929
Date Visited: 6/27/2014

wilsonsideThe plaque at the Wilson house states the following:
“Charles D. Wilson, a.k.a. Wellson, constructed this distinctive stone house in 1929 in a style that blends the more sophisticated Arts and Crafts ideal of using natural materials for enhancement with the regional tradition of using locally available river rock for construction. Mr. Wilson and his wife Nannie J. Wilson and his father C. Leland Wilson, for whom the adjacent side street is named, made it their home.”

The Arts and Crafts style is definitely noted in this bungalow style house in that it has that the signature porch, emphasis on woodwork, and exposed rafters that you see in many Arts and Crafts homes. The house also mixes in Tudor elements in the crown rockwork on the chimney, a distinctive archway at the top of the porch, and a steep gable roof.

wilsonplaque wilsonfront wilsonwalkway

The Roosevelt Palm: City of Riverside Landmark #64

Location: The corner of Victoria Avenue and Myrtle Avenue.
Date Established: 5/7/1903
Date Visited: 6/28/2014

President Roosevelt planting one of the Tibbets trees on May 8, 1903 at the Mission Inn.

President Roosevelt planting one of the Tibbets trees on May 8, 1903 at the Mission Inn.

A old post card showing the Roosevelt Palm Tree.

A old post card showing the Roosevelt Palm Tree.

One of the most celebrated pictures in Riverside is that of then President Theodore Roosevelt planting the original Navel orange trees at the Mission Inn on May 8, 1903.Unfortunately, that tree died in 1922 as a result of a bad fungus infection. The last known bit of that tree is currently in South Africa, a gift from Dr. Archibald Shamel to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. A sad story but luckily the other orange tree at Magnolia and Arlington is still alive.

What very few people talk about in Riverside is that there is another tree in Riverside planted by President Roosevelt that is still alive. The centennial tree is a Mexican Fan Palm located on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Myrtle Avenue. The date was May 7, 1903 and the President was right in the middle of an ambitious campaign tour of the 25 western states.

A train full of oranges on standby waiting for the presidential train in Highgrove in 1903.

A train full of oranges on standby waiting for the presidential train in Highgrove in 1903.

A picture of President Roosevelt's 1903 campaign train.

A picture of President Roosevelt’s 1903 campaign train.

Prior to arriving in Riverside President Roosevelt had already made speeches in Barstow, Victorville, and Redlands. Despite the very long day the President stopped his special campaign train at the Pechappa siding near Arlington Avenue, which was several miles away from downtown. By invitation of Cornelius Rumsey President Roosevelt went on a tour along Victoria Avenue, which at the time was the main corridor for the city of Riverside.

The Roosevelt Palm Plaque when it was first set up on 1965. (Note: The 5/8/03 date on the plaque is wrong)

The Roosevelt Palm Plaque when it was first set up on 1965. (Note: The 5/8/03 date on the plaque is wrong)

The Roosevelt Palm plaque as it stands today (6/28/14).

The Roosevelt Palm plaque as it stands today (6/28/14).

It was on this scenic ride a memorial was laid by Mr. Rumsey that said the following:
“In remembrance of the constant friendship of Queen Victoria for the American Republic this memorial palm was started by Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America. May 7, 1903, the gift of a son of the American Revolution of the sixth generation of American ancestry.”**

A view up of the Roosevelt Palm. Looking at the bark it looks like it may have sustained fire damage.

A view up of the Roosevelt Palm. Looking at the bark it looks like it may have sustained fire damage.

A view of the corner of Victoria Avenue and Myrtle Avenue. The Roosevelt Palm is the one on the far right.

A view of the corner of Victoria Avenue and Myrtle Avenue. The Roosevelt Palm is the one on the far right.

 

After the very brief stop the procession continued on Victoria, across the Victoria Bridge (which was still made out of wood), and on to Glenwood (Mission Inn) Hotel at which he arrived very late. While there he gave some brief remarks:
“AT RIVERSIDE, CAL., MAY 7, 1903.
Mr. Mayor, and you, my fellow citizens:

I have enjoyed to the full getting into your beautiful State. I had read about what I should expect here in Southern California, but I had formed no idea of the fertility of your soil, the beauty of your scenery, or the wonderful manner in which the full advantage of that soil had been taken by man. Here I am in the pioneer community of irrigated fruit growing in California. In many other parts of the country I have had to preach irrigation. Here you practice it, and all I have to say here is that I earnestly wish that I could have many another community learn from you how you have handled your business. Not only has it been most useful, but it is astonishing to see how with the use you have combined beauty. You have made of this city and its surroundings a veritable little paradise.

It has been delightful to see you. Today has been my first day in California. I need hardly say that I have enjoyed it to the full. I am glad to be welcomed by all of you, but most of all by the men of the Grand Army, and after them by my own comrades of the National Guard, and I have been particularly pleased to pass between the rows of school children. I like your stock and I am glad it is not dying out.

I shall not try this evening to do more than say to you a word of thanks for your greeting to me. I admire your country, but I admire most of all the men and women of the country. It is a good thing to grow citrus fruits, but it is even a better thing to have the right kind of citizenship. I think you have been able to combine the very extraordinary material prosperity with that form of the higher life which must be built upon material prosperity if it is to amount to what it should in the long run.

I am glad to have seen you. I thank you for coming here to greet me. I wish you well at all times and in every way, and I bid you good luck and good night.”*

Keeping up the pace he planted the Tibbets tree at the Mission Inn early the next morning and went on to make additional speeches in Claremont, Pasadena, and Los Angeles on the same day.

The tree today (6/28/14) still stands, but not alone as it is accompanied by a few other palm trees on a little island at the side of the road. Originally the tree was called the Victoria Palm because many people living on Victoria Avenue were from England, but over time it was renamed the Roosevelt Palm after Theodore Roosevelt who planted the tree. The palm tree is very tall, but not the tallest of the group at the location. The bark kind of has a black coloration to it, which is odd for a palm tree. It kind of looked to me that the tree has survived fire or disease (maybe both).

A dedicatory plaque at the Helen Hays Yeagar Memorial Grove.

A dedicatory plaque at the Helen Hays Yeagar Memorial Grove.

Also at the side of the road is a little memorial garden called the Helen Hays Yeager Memorial Grove, which was built by the Victoria Avenue Forever Organization. Helen Hays Yeager was a Riverside local for 50 years and was known for taking care of the orange trees at that corner. After her death her husband dedicated the grove to the city of Riverside as garden and the Victoria Avenue Forever organization planted their signature ragged roses at the location. The park was officially dedicated on  January 11,2011 and is open from 10am-2pm 7 days a week.***

 

A view inside the Helen Yeagar Memorial Grove.

A view inside the Helen Yeagar Memorial Grove.

One of the landmark plaques for Victoria Avenue.

One of the landmark plaques for Victoria Avenue.

A view of the memorial garden and Roosevelt Palm Tree.

A view of the memorial garden and Roosevelt Palm Tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Theodore Roosevelt: “Address at Riverside, California,” May 7, 1903. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=97709.

**Patterson, Tom .”Landmarks of Riverside and the stories behind them”.Riverside, CA: Press-Enterprise, 1964.

***Smith, Jeff. “The Helen Hays Yeagar Memorial Grove.” Victoria Avenews 21 (Jan. 2013): 1. Print.

Devine House: City of Riverside Landmark #30

Location: 4475 Twelfth Street
Date Established: 6/2/1888
Date Visited: 6/20/2014

A side view of the Devine home.

A side view of the Devine home.

A front view of the Devine home.

A front view of the Devine home.

The Devine house was established in 1888, when after being married for one year Frank and Vinie Devine moved into there then recently completed Queen Anne Style home.

Frank Devine was born in 1848 in Rochester, New York. He was a good student and studied be a clerk and a bookkeeper. In 1870 he moved to New York and continued working for different businesses in New York. It was there he met his first wife was Miss Annie Moran (who died in 1877). In 1882 he moved to Los Angeles and worked for the German Fruit Company who made Frank Devine their general manager of their newly opened branch in Riverside in 1885. *

Sunbeam Orange Crate Label (Riverside Public Library)

Sunbeam Orange Crate Label (Riverside Public Library)

Business went well and in May of 1887 Frank Devine and John Boyd formed a business partnership and bought out the business and started exporting citrus under the famous “Sunbeam” label. As business grew Frank Devine became a big supporter of local institutions in Riverside, especially the Catholic Church of whom he was a member. One of the organizations in which Frank Devine was a founding member was the Victoria Club which was organized in 1889 and incorporated in 1903. The business had a bit of a problem in 1891 when John Boyd died suddenly and his estate was not to go to his wife in Riverside but to John Boyd’s first wife (whom he did not officially divorce) in Canada. Luckily, the house was in Vinie Devine’s name and Frank Devine was able to reorganize his export business as “The Frank B. Devine Company.” Frank Devine continued to work in the citrus industry until his death in 1923 and his wife lived in the house until her death in 1942.**

Golfers at the Box Springs course. 1898

Golfers at the Box Springs course. 1898

Besides the Devine family other notable people living in the home were Dr. Homer Chapman who was chemist at UCR boarding in the home, Clifford Brown who bought the home in 1947 and made some additions in the backyard, and Terry Bridges who was an attorney from Best, Best, and Krieger (currently a large law firm in Riverside) who bought the home in 1970. **

 

 

* An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 22 June 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/california/biography-of-frank-b-devine.htm – Last updated on Sep 22nd, 2011

** Adobes, Bungalows, and Mansions of Riverside, California. Rubidoux Printing, Riverside, California, 1985

 

 

The Jarvis House: Riverside City Landmark #78

Location: 4492 12 St.
Date Established:6/2/1888
Date Visited:6/20/2014

A front view of the Jarvis House decorated for the 4th of July.

A front view of the Jarvis House decorated for the 4th of July.

According to the book Landmarks of Riverside (pg. 59) there was a real estate boom in 1887. The Jarvis house began in May of 1887 when according to San Bernardino County Recorder’s Records, Emil Rosenthal sold his house plans and seven lots to John T. Jarvis. Emil Rosenthal and John Jarvis met by way of John Jarvis’ brother Dr. Joseph Jarvis, who had arrived in Riverside in 1877.

 

John T. Jarvis  (March 10, 1847 – January 3, 1932)

John T. Jarvis
(March 10, 1847 – January 3, 1932)

John Jarvis is best known in Riverside for being a city councilman in Riverside for 12 years and being the mayor of Riverside from 1926 to 1927. Before going into politics John Jarvis was first and foremost a business man. He helped start many companies including the Royal Steam Laundry, Citizens Bank, and the J. T. Jarvis & Company (which later became Rouse’s Department Store).

Despite being a descent real estate agent and horticulturalist John Jarvis was negatively affected by the bad turn in the housing market in 1887. The house cost $10,000 dollars at the time to finish and was constructed by a man named Charles T. Rice. Unfortunately by the time it was finished there was no money to furnish it according to the story published in the Riverside Press and Horticulturalist.

A frontal view of the Jarvis house in 1920. Riverside Municipal Museum archive.

A frontal view of the Jarvis house in 1920. Riverside Municipal Museum archive.

According to the book Adobes, Bungalows, and Mansions of Riverside the house was changed in July of 1914 from a Victorian Gothic style house to a bungalow style house.

The house today looks a lot like it does in it’s 1920′s picture. The only difference is that of the wrap around porch which has definitely been modified (and the trees have changed). While the official address is on 12th St., the house is easier viewed from it’s cross street of Redwood Drive.

A view of the Jarvis house from Redwood Dr.

A view of the Jarvis house from Redwood Dr.

A front view of the Jarvis House decorated for the 4th of July.

A front view of the Jarvis House decorated for the 4th of July.

Cressman House: Riverside City Landmark #37

Location: 3390 Orange Street
Date Established: 8/15/1902
Date Visited: 5/12/14

A side view of the Cressman House.

A side view of the Cressman House.

The Cressman house came from the designs of Los Angeles based architects Burnham and Bliesner, who also designed the Riverside County Courthouse. The home was finished in 1902 and is done in a Mission Revival style design.

The two story building was built for Charles H. Cressman who was a Sheriff Deputy. According to the book Adobes, Bunglows, and Mansions of Riverside, California (by Klotz and Hall) Mrs. Cressman and his family did not live in the house very long and moved out in 1908.

The grave of Herman John Wickman (1878-1938) in Evergreen Memorial.

The grave of Herman John Wickman (1878-1938) in Evergreen Memorial.

The home has had a lot of owners over the years. It seems that the longest owners of the home were Dr. and Mrs. Herman Wickman who lived there for 30 years (Klotz & Hall, 1985, p. 140-141.). Mr. Wickman . Evergreen Memorial records show that Dr. Wickman was a well known doctor in Riverside who died in 1938. It continued to change hands and by 2012 was sold by foreclosure to a civil attorney named Boyd F. Jensen who set about renovating the property to be used as a law firm office (Press Enterprise, RIVERSIDE: Historic home restored as law firm, 2/21/14) .

 

A front view of the Cressman House.

A front view of the Cressman House.

A view from behind the Cressman house.

A view from behind the Cressman house.

Marcy Branch Library: Riverside City Landmark #124

Location: 3711 Central Avenue
Date Established: March 15, 1958
Date Visited: 6/14/14

Marcy Branch Library, 1959*

Marcy Branch Library, 1959*

According to the panel inside the new Marcy Branch library in “June of 1951, a committee representing the Parent-Teacher Association of Palm, Magnolia, and Jefferson Schools requested that the Riverside City and County Public Library (RCCPL) open a local branch to provide children’s material.” This would take time and money and so a temporary Magnolia Center Branch library was opened on December 10, 1951.

An invitation to the Magnolia Center Branch Library opening.**

An invitation to the Magnolia Center Branch Library opening.**

A picture of Charles Frances Marcy at the Mission Inn Bell garden. **

A picture of Charles Frances Marcy at the Mission Inn Bell garden. **

The Magnolia Center Branch Library was an instant hit and circulation soared, but there was still not enough money to build a permanent structure. Wanting to help Riverside’s youth, Charles Frances Marcy stepped in and made a very generous bequest to start construction of the library. More importantly, he lobbied on the library’s side and convinced city council to appropriate additional funds to finish the project.

Riverside Police Department, 1965*

Riverside Police Department, 1965*

The focus of the building would be on youth and would therefore require some new ideas. Undertaking the requirements, Herman O. Ruhnau was retained to draft the design of the building. Herman O. Ruhnau’s legacy comes from the many buildings he designed in Riverside. In addition to the Marcy Branch Library he designed the current city hall, the police department, La Sierra High School, and the County Administrative Center. For the Marcy Branch he chose a circular design that attracted national attention. From a design perspective it was genius because it allowed lots of light to go into the room, which saved on electricity. Also noted in the building was the use of beams, which was popular at the time.

The children's section of Marcy Branch Library 1959.**

The children’s section of Marcy Branch Library 1959.**

The adult section of the old Marcy Branch Library.

The adult section of the old Marcy Branch Library.

The old check-in desk at the old Marcy Branch library with recessed lighting.

The old check-in desk at the old Marcy Branch library with recessed lighting.

A view of the curves of the old Marcy Branch Library.

A view of the curves of the old Marcy Branch Library.

A side view of the old Marcy Branch Library today (6/14/14).

A side view of the old Marcy Branch Library today (6/14/14).

Some trees still in bloom at the old Marcy Branch.

Some trees still in bloom at the old Marcy Branch.

 

It was interesting to me the that bathrooms for this building were outside.

It was interesting to me the that bathrooms for this building were outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2011, the City of Riverside decided to move the Marcy Branch library to it’s current address of 6927 Magnolia Avenue. The current building used to be a Automobile Association of America Office. The new building is two stories with about 18,000 square feet of space, which makes it vastly more expandable than the old library. There is no current occupant for the old Marcy Branch. It is hoped that in naming the building a city landmark the building will be preserved.

The driveway of the new Marcy Branch Library.

The driveway of the new Marcy Branch Library.

A frontal view of the new Marcy Branch Library.

A frontal view of the new Marcy Branch Library.

A plaque dedicating the new Marcy Branch library in 2011.

A plaque dedicating the new Marcy Branch library in 2011.

A display teaches about water about the new Marcy Branch Library children's section.

A display teaches about water about the new Marcy Branch Library children’s section.

A painting of orange trees inside the new Marcy Branch Library.

A painting of orange trees inside the new Marcy Branch Library.

A tile mosaic inside the New Marcy Branch Library.

A tile mosaic inside the New Marcy Branch Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story corner of the new Marcy Branch Library.

The story corner of the new Marcy Branch Library.

New self-checkout counters at the new Marcy Branch Library.

New self-checkout counters at the new Marcy Branch Library.

Computers at the new Marcy Branch library.

Computers at the new Marcy Branch library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Used by permission from the Ruhnau Ruhnau Clarke Architectural Firm.
** As seen in the New Marcy Branch Library.

AJ Graduates From Kindergarten

AJ's star and diploma picture.

AJ’s star and diploma picture.

AJ graduated from Kindergarten today. I have to say as a father I never doubted his ability, but I wouldn’t have said the outcome was for certain. I consider my son highly intelligent, but spend some time with him and you will soon realize we don’t call him the “sound box” for nothing.

As far as graduations go I would say it was typical. Being Kindergartners there were no lengthy speeches, but there was plenty of heat and sardine packing demonstrations as parents ran each other over in an effort to get that “special moment” picture. If the songs were to demonstrate the kids knowledge we learned the following: Madison School has been our neighborhood school since 1952, America is beautiful, Roy G. Biv still shines, Dan actually does drive the Van, and counting to 10 in Spanish involves a lot of jiggling around.

Hello AJ!

Hello AJ!

AJ demonstrates his spelling abilities in singing BINGO.

AJ demonstrates his spelling abilities in singing BINGO.

AJ's teacher Mrs. Ramirez (clapping on the right) helps the students sing in the presentation.

AJ’s teacher Mrs. Ramirez (clapping on the right) helps the students sing in the presentation.

Let's play the "Where's AJ?" game.

Let’s play the “Where’s AJ?” game.

This was my view for most of the singing part of the graduation.

This was my view for most of the singing part of the graduation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the singing portion of the graduation the kindergarten classes divided out and we went to AJ’s classroom where each of the kids were presented their certificate of completion and a special award. AJ’s special award was the “Mad Scientist” award because according to AJ’s teacher he would rather be doing science than anything else. In addition to his special award AJ got additional awards for reading over 20 books (don’t know where he gets that from Denise) and memorizing over 30 cite words, for which he got little pogs to put on his school lanyard.

The rug in AJ's classroom.

The rug in AJ’s classroom.

AJ's Certificate of Completion of Kindergarten.

AJ’s Certificate of Completion of Kindergarten.

AJ is presented his certificate and awards by Mrs. Ramirez.

AJ is presented his certificate and awards by Mrs. Ramirez.

Looks like AJ was the purple team leader this week.

Looks like AJ was the purple team leader this week.

Denise gets a little recognition for being the "Classroom Mom".

Denise gets a little recognition for being the “Classroom Mom”.

AJ and Mrs. Ramirez.

AJ and Mrs. Ramirez.

AJ shows Papi his Mad Scientist Award.

AJ shows Papi his Mad Scientist Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, looking at AJ’s report card he has definitely shown signs of improvement. He got almost all A’s in Reading, Math, and idea formation. He still has a lot of room for improvement in handwriting (spellchecker runs in the family). Most importantly he passed and he actually is ok with going back, in the end you can’t ask for more than that.

AJReportCard

AJ's first day of kindergarten.

AJ’s first day of Kindergarten.

AJ leaving Madison Elementary for summer break.

AJ’s last day of Kindergarten.

Bandshell at Fairmount Park: Riverside City Landmark #10

Location: Fairmount Boulevard and Market Street (inside Fairmount Park)
Date Established: September, 1920
Date Visited: 5/31/2014

A picture of Arthur B. Benton with signature.

A picture of Arthur B. Benton with signature.

Arthur Burnett Benton, was a well known architect from Illinois who moved to California in 1891. In 1901 he was hired to design the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Riverside. Attracted to his Spanish Mission revival style Frank Miller hired him in 1902 to design the new “Mission Wing” for the Mission Inn. He would go on to design many more buildings for the Mission Inn and Riverside. Including the Fairmount Park Bandshell in 1920.

Riverside Military Academy band, 1930s. Photo by G. Romer

Riverside Military Academy band, 1930s. Photo by G. Romer

The Fairmount Park Bandshell was originally built according to the city of Riverside to “commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Riverside’s Military Band. It was destroyed in a fire in 1992 and rebuilt in 1995.”

Today the Fairmount Park Bandshell sits squarely in Fairmount Park. Still used for concerts today (although there is no more military band), you can go to the park and listen to a band most Wednesday nights.

The dome as seen today (2014).

The dome as seen today (2014).

Riverside City Landmark Plaque for the Fairmount Park Bandshell.

Riverside City Landmark Plaque for the Fairmount Park Bandshell.

The original dedication plaque for the band shell from 1920.

“Music thou child of heaven. Thou lost dull care beguile and with thy ministry of grace provoke our souls to smile.” The original dedication plaque for the band shell from 1920.

Articles of Faith Goal #26

faithingod“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3

I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints when I was 18 years old. As such, except for a brief time when I taught a 10-11 yr. old class, I never went through the Primary program. In order to graduate from the Primary program and get your Faith in God award you need to memorize all 13 Article of Faith. I always admired the children that could do this and ever since I first joined the church wanted to emulate them. It has taken me a long time to memorize them, but mostly that was because I have been procrastinating about it. Last week I had the Bishop quiz me in front of the Teachers and Priests and I am pleased to say that I passed. I also did this little video, it isn’t perfect, but I did do this all in one cut and all by memory and that is good enough for me:

If you want to memorize the Articles of Faith you can do so too:

13 Articles of Faith

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

www.mormon.org

Victoria Avenue: Riverside City Landmark #8

Location: Victoria Ave (starts at University Ave. and ends at La Sierra Ave.)
Date Established: Spring 1890
Date Visited: 06/07/2014

A view of some of the trees of Victoria Avenue.

A view of some of the trees of Victoria Avenue.

One of the benefits of living in Riverside is that living here you are in a fairly decent sized city, but it doesn’t take very much to get into rural zones. In general rural zones in Riverside are disappearing, but in Arlington Heights there are many rural places that are being preserved. One such example is Victoria Avenue.

Victoria Avenue is best known for the Victoria Citrus Association which in it’s day shipped many an orange throughout the world. Today the Victoria Citrus Association has been replaced with Sunkist, but people still collect the labels. We have a few of them in our house:
vicbrand3 vicbrand2 vicbrand1

 

I have traveled Victoria Avenue many times. I have driven a car, ran, and most recently biked (probably the most popular choice). When traveling Victoria Avenue the first thing you will notice is the huge palm trees, but if you look down a bit you will notice many different plants grown along the way.

One of my favorite things to do is to venture a bit off Victoria Avenue and travel in between the canal and Victoria Avenue. In doing so you will find really big houses, lots of orange groves, and maybe if you are lucky someone will sell you some fresh picked fruit.

 

This fruit was a little bit expensive (cost me $4), but it was really good.

This fruit was a little bit expensive (cost me $4), but it was really good.

On the right behind the eucalyptus trees is a small farm.

On the right behind the eucalyptus trees is a small farm.

Just off Victoria on Madison I found this hill and got this shot of an orange grove.

Just off Victoria on Madison I found this hill and got this shot of an orange grove.

Found this rusting farm equipment decorated in front of a house.

Found this rusting farm equipment decorated in front of a house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going to www.victoriaavenue.org I was able to find the following historical information about Victoria Avenue:

VICTORIA AVENUE owes its existence to the vision of Mathew Gage, a jeweler from Ireland who moved to Riverside in 1881. He developed the Gage Canal which brought precious water to the citrus groves in Arlington Heights. His vision introduced the many varieties trees and plants along Victoria Avenue.

During the spring of 1892, the grading of Victoria Avenue began and the first trees were planted. Riverside’s pioneer landscape designer, Franz Hosp, was responsible for the master plan—a masterpiece of roadway design which proved to be almost as appropriate for automobiles as it was for the horse and buggy crowd.

Pepper trees from Peru and eucalyptus trees from Australia were planted to give Victoria Avenue a year-round elegance. Shortly after, palm and silk oak trees were added. Riverside history books claim that this was the first use of a palm as a street tree. Today, palm trees are the signature skyline silhouette for Southern California. Hosp also discovered the ‘Cecille Brunner’ rose near Victoria Avenue and in 1894 introduced it to the nursery trade.

The first Victoria Avenue Bridge, named for Queen Victoria by Mathew Gage, opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1891. It linked the downtown Merchants, the Mission Inn, and Mt. Rubidoux to Arlington Heights and the citrus growers.

In June, 1902, Victoria Avenue was deeded to the City of Riverside with the stipulation that the trees were to be maintained and protected. The plantings remain under the care of the City of Riverside today.

As land usage in Arlington Heights became more residential and groves began to disappear, citizens became concerned about preserving this unique avenue as a city amenity. On June 11, 1969, Victoria Avenue was declared Cultural Heritage Landmark #8 by the Riverside Cultural Heritage Board. In October 2000, Victoria Avenue was added to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.