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Riverside California
  Information:  909-683-7100 


Mission Inn Museum in the Mission Inn hotel offers a tour where you can experience the sights and sounds of turn-of-the-century Riverside at one of the nation's grand hotels,  the Mission Inn, pictured above. 

Its collections, gathered from around the world by the hotell's founder, Frank Miller, are a mix of architectural styles. Artifacts housed in the Mission Inn Museum include lacquered Asian temple guardians, life-sized papal court figures, Arts and Crafts furniture, Spanish and Mexican terra cotta, and hundreds of bells.  Docent-led tours bring the Inn's past and present to life. 

Mission Inn Museum 
3696 Main Street, 909 788-9556 
Monday - Sunday, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.   


The City of Riverside, voted All American City in 1998, also received title as Tree City, USA for the  96,000 trees lining streets and avenues. Trees have always played an integral part in the development of the region which was once the wealthiest city per capita in the country, due to the riches of the navel orange. 

Riverside County was formed in 1893 by carving out a small portion of San Bernardino County and a larger part of San Diego County.  Judge John Wesley North, a staunch abolitionist from Tennessee who was ostracized back home after he talked a crowd out of lynching a black man, brought a group of associates and co-investors out to Southern California, and founded Riverside on part of the Jurupa Rancho.  (John Wesley North moved to the area from Tennessee, but was originally from upstate New York and had been in Minnesota, founding Northfield, and northern California before Tennessee and founding Riverside.)


Before transcontinental rails were laid in the mid 1800's, the area was mainly inhabited by Serranos,  Luisenos, Cupenos, Chemehuevi and  Cahuillas Indians, By the late 1880's and early 1890's, the region was booming and native American lifestyle was largely swept under the rug to make way for progress.  Riverside and San Bernardino, its neighbor 10 miles north grew and began drawing lines in the sand over political, spiritual, and economic differences.  San Bernardino was predominantly Democratic in nature, allowed saloons, and had been a hot-bed of secessionist sympathy during the Civil War.  Riverside was temperance minded (few saloons if any were allowed in Riverside proper), and Republican. 

Today the differences have faded as growth becomes the final victor. The region consistently rates as one of the fastest growing areas in the country and boasts a population of 1.3 million people. Attractive for its housing prices which are considered affordable by local standards, it is common for residents to work in Los Angeles and Orange County and drive over 30 miles to work one direction.  People will commonly tell you they either could not buy a house any place else or they leveraged what money they earn to buy something bigger in Riverside. 


Riverside was once considered the vacation spot for the rich and famous and hotels such a Mission Inn which recently reopened after extensive renovation, offer a glimpse into the elegant days of wine and oranges in Riverside's rich past.



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