History of Riverside, CA

The city of Riverside was founded in 1870 by John North and a group of people from the east. They wanted to establish a colony which was unique from the others. Its aim was not to just take control of the land, but to further culture and education.

The land that houses Riverside was once a Spanish Rancho. The area became a hub of different economic activities as British and Canadian investors streamed in. they brought a mix of activities and traditions that were adopted by the local community. In fact, the first polo and golf course in the southern part of California was constructed in Riverside.

Despite the fact that the first orange trees were planted in 1871, the citrus industry began two years later when a lady by the name Eliza Tibbets received two navel orange trees from a friend who worked at the Department of Agriculture in Washington. The two trees thrived in this fertile land and the Navel industry rapidly grew.

Navel oranges were planted all over southern California. Consequently, investors discovered a gold mine that could bring a significant amount of money to the economy – the citrus industry.

With the establishment of the citrus industry, the economy grew tremendously and the population of the area increased. By 1882, there were more than 500, 000 citrus trees in California, and half of these were planted in Riverside California. Refrigerated cars that were used to transport the produce were developed and better farming methods were introduced. In 1885, Riverside was announced the wealthiest city per capita in California.

As the city grew and more people started settling, the hospitality industry chipped in to satisfy different needs. Many hotels came up, and the most notable was the Mission Inn, which was a favorite spot for royalty, presidents, and movie stars at that time.


When you look at the city today, there is no doubt that it came to being as a result of careful planning, and this is something that residents of this city are proud of. It is a livable place with learning institutions, a good transport system, shopping areas, and best of all, it is one of the most adventurous city to visit in California where you can dine in Riverside – Duane’s Prime Restaurant with its delicious food.

Today, the roots of the city have not been forgotten. Residents as well as visitors are given an opportunity to commemorate the history of the city through the beautiful landscapes and exhibits at the Citrus State Historic Park, where people come to learn about the city from original Californians and leave with baskets of fruits rich in vitamin C free of charge!

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