Week 5 Challenge

Week 5


The introduction of the navel orange to Riverside ushered in an economic boom that transformed the entire region, appropriately dubbed California's second gold rush.  

To complete this challenge: Run, walk, bike or otherwise move 1K, anywhere you like, representing one historic site in the challenge, for a total of 5K per challenge per week. Take a selfie or another picture of you and your friends at each historic site and share it on www.missioninnrun.org and your own social media with the hashtag #MissionInnRun. Not in Riverside? You can still meet the challenge by completing the distance component.  

How to submit your results: Visit www.missioninnrun.org and click on the Results page. Click Submit Results and log in.  In the drop-down button, select the Riverside Historic Landmark Weekly Challenge, select which historic site you visited, fill in your distance/time information and submit!


Sutherland Fruit Company Packinghouse 

3191 Mission Inn Ave

This former citrus packinghouse with its Mission Revival style façade was restored in 1990.

As the middleman between growers and consumers, packing companies contracted with laborers to harvest and haul the farmers’ produce to the packing house where it’s received on consignment.  The packing company makes its money from its per carton packing charge plus fees related to washing, waxing, grading, and packing produce initially in wooden boxes and later in cartons or bags.

In order to generate more business at the local markets, growers started gluing labels to the ends of their fruit wooden crates in the late 19th century to identify the contents, place or origin, and the packer's name  These colorful labels were pasted onto wooden crates and shipped all over the nation for nearly 70 years, often becoming the basis for store displays. In the late 1950's labels were no longer used because pre-printed boxes replaced the older wooden crates.  Soon art collectors began to collect these colorful images.

The Santa Fe Railroad opened a direct line to Riverside in 1886, allowing direct shipment of produce to the east.   Eight years later, the first refrigerated rail cars shipped oranges from Riverside to the east on the Santa Fe Railroad.

Parent Navel Tree 

Arlington and Magnolia

One of the two original trees from which California's Washington navel orange industry descended and now planted at the corner of Magnolia and Arlington. Propagated from the trees imported from Bahia, Brazil in 1870 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, two specimens were sent to Luther and Eliza Tibbets for experimental planting in 1873. Because the Tibbets property was outside the central area in town that received canal water, Mrs. Tibbets moistened the small trees each day with the water that was left over from washing dishes.  Because of the area’s ideal soil and weather conditions, these trees produced an especially sweet and flavorful winter harvest fruit.  Word of this far superior product quickly spread, and a great agricultural industry--referred to as the “second gold rush”--was born. 

Thirty years later, in 1903, to celebrate the completion and grand opening of the Glenwood Mission Inn Hotel, President Teddy Roosevelt transplanted one of two original trees in front of the Inn.  It survived for almost two decades, but on December 4th, 1922 the Riverside Daily Press reported that the tree at the Mission Inn had died and been removed. Local townspeople noted that the tree had begun to fail rapidly after the death of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1919 who had assisted in the transplanting ceremony.  The true cause was probably a fungus which affected its companion tree as well.  It was saved by timely “inarching” in 1918 and again in 1951.

California Citrus State Historic Park

9400 Dufferin Boulevard

California Citrus State Historic Park is an open-air museum established in 1993 in the state park system of California, USA, interpreting the historic cultural landscape of the citrus industry.  The 248-acre state park chronicles California’s second “gold rush” and the major role it played in establishing the success of the region.    

In many ways the naval orange import was also responsible for the growth and early development of many cities in southern California extending from Ventura by the sea to Yucaipa at the foot of the San Bernardino mountains and extending north to the cities in the rich farmlands of central California.  No wonder it is called the most important plant introduction made into the United States


UC Citrus Experiment Station

900 Martin Luther King Blvd

Promoted by John Henry Reed and the University of California Regents for the study of citrus and tropical horticulture, the site was chosen to compliment the thriving citrus industry in Riverside.  It was chosen with the influence of Frank A. Miller and other prominent citizens.

The Citrus Variety Collection was initiated in 1910 by staff of the Citrus Experiment Station and USDA researchers soon after the establishment of the CES at its original site in Riverside on the slopes of Mount Rubidoux.  In June of 1917, the first director of the Experiment Station guided the installation of the Collection on 5 acres of land on what is now the UC Riverside campus.  It has been called the Noah’s Ark for citrus…two specimens of each kind of over 1000 varieties within the genus Citrus.  This collection encompasses virtually all of the commercially important and historic citrus varieties in the world.

The purposes of the Citrus Variety Collection are 1) to conserve and evaluate trueness-to-type of citrus and citrus relatives; 2) to provide a resource of genetic diversity for research; and 3) to extend knowledge out of the diversity of the industry that was developing.

The diverse collection includes yellow-and green-striped lemons, football-sized pomelos, and heart-shaped grapefruit with deep red veins striating its flesh.  Some varieties, when cut, ooze a mucosal slime;  others have tiny juice bubbles with a caviar-like pop.


Loring Building 

3685 Main Street

Another illustration of the results of the success of the citrus industry in California was the organization of the growers into an exchange in 1893 for the co-operative handling of their crop and its distribution.  This cooperative marketing association of local growers called the California Fruit Growers Exchange was initially located in the Loring Building.  

Built in 1890 by wealthy winter resident Charles Loring, the building was leased to the city for use as its first City Hall, library, jail, and municipal courts. Later, it was home to the Riverside Fruit Exchange, parent company of the Sunkist brand. Originally designed in the Romanesque style by A. C. Willard, the building was remodeled in 1918 by G. Stanley Wilson to resemble the Mission Revival architecture of neighboring buildings more closely. From 1890 to 1990, the Loring Building housed the Loring Opera House where famous entertainers as Fannie Brice and W.C. Fields performed.

Sources: Downtown Riverside Historic Walking Guide, Riverside Citrus Heritage Driving Tour Map, City of Riverside Historic Guides


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