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12 Redlands Fun Facts

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Since its incorporation in 1888, Redlands has had 134 years to build its "fun fact" arsenal. Here are a couple you might not know!

Be sure to comment with your own Redlands facts and history tidbits!

  1. The FIRST orange grove...

    was planted in the spring of 1882 by Mr. E.J. Waite, a native of Wisconsin. It was planted in Redlands proper on two and a half acres on Center Street.

  2. Redlands has been visited by three U.S. Presidents.

    • William McKinley in 1901
    • Theodore Roosevelt in 1903
    • William Howard Taft in 1909
  3. The University of Redlands voluntarily gives the city money every year!

    To date, the UofR has donated more than $1 million to the city via annual contributions.

    This year's donation was $60,000.

    • $11,000 goes to the library.
    • $24,246 goes to the police department.
    • $24,754 goes to the fire department -- for a Jaws of Life extricator.

    A HUGE thanks to our Bulldogs!

  4. Redlands got its name...

    from the red adobe color of the soil found here.

  5. The Smiley brothers...

    Albert K. and Alfred H, were identical twins. They used to trick people by posing as each other. The Quaker brothers came to Redlands from Maine in 1888 to build winter homes in the hills now known as Smiley Heights.

  6. The pizza pub, Gay ’90s...

    was the inspiration for the hit television show “Cheers.”

  7. Redlands was known as the "navel orange capital of the world."

    In 1890, one thousand railroad cars of navels were marketed. By 1904, over one million boxes were sent out in over 9,000 railroad cars from over 30 packing houses.

    Citrus Heritage

  8. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited...

    Photo found in Redlands Bowl Archives

    Redlands Bowl founder Grace Mullen on April 3, 1940, at her home where she was recuperating from a fractured hip. Mullen had been unable to attend Roosevelt’s Redlands Community Music Association (now Redlands Bowl Performing Arts).

    Later, Mullen was invited as a guest for tea at the White House on December 1, 1941 – just six days before the “day of infamy” at Pearl Harbor.

  9. Super Bowl XXXV...

    winning coach, Brian Billick of the Baltimore Ravens, graduated from Redlands High School in 1972.

  10. Southern California Edison can trace its roots back to Redlands.

    “Electricity is perhaps a lesser-known but significant source of Redlands pride. In 1892, construction began on the Mill Creek Canyon powerhouse. This was the groundwork for the world’s first transmission line, providing electricity to Redlands. And on August 5, 1893, the streets of Redlands were first illuminated with electric lamps. Today, the Southern California Edison Company can trace its roots back to these humble beginnings.” Randy Briggs

    Redlands: A Brief History

  11. Oranges...

    can take anywhere from 7-15 months to fully mature!

  12. Redlands was...

    “The first city to incorporate center medians on highways featuring trees and roadside gardens. Rose thickets still line many roadways even today.” Hatfield Buick

    History of Redlands, CA