History of Corona, California (Part 1)
From: History of Riverside County, California
with Biographical Sketches.
History By: Elmer Wallace Holmes
Historic Record Company.
Los Angeles, Califirnia 1912

By William Corkhill

But a few years ago, comparatively speaking, California was a mysterious stretch of country in the far, far west - the population Mexicans and adventurous white men the Mexicans living their usual life of ease, the white men seeking gold - hardy, determined men, who faced all kinds of danger in search of the yellow metal. They could not see any possibilities in the arid wastes in which they dug, only that it might yield the valuable metal. This was mostly in the northern part of the state, and those who had to travel in the southern part could only see dry and drear wastes of mesa, with here and there an oasis. Charles A. Dana, in his "Two Years Before the Mast," remarking on this part of the state, said: "Many times I took rides horseback into the interior, where there were great reaches of level country, that no doubt would be valuable for grazing." Little did Mr. Dana think, when he rode over those reaches of mesas, that the time would soon come when they would blossom like the rose - be the wonder of the world in products. Little did he think that in a few years the ports in which he helped to cure and pack hides would teem with mighty commerce; that the mesas would be redolent with the perfume of orange blossoms, and that its golden fruit would fill the markets of the country; that great cities would spring up as if by magic, and that it would be considered the favored corner of the world in all that goes to make life worth living.

South Riverside was born in the time of the great boom; the time when it was supposed that every piece of land would grow oranges successfully; the time when men lost their heads, when fortunes were lost in wild speculation; when two real estate offices and a hotel and the promise of water would set men wild to buy. Many towns were born at this time, and many died in the horning, as it was soon discovered that not all lands were capable of raising the golden. fruit. The orange was all that was thought of, the thousand and one things that since have made fortunes were not then thought of. And so the towns born at that time, and that survived, were the favored spots on which citrus fruits could be raised successfully. This was the reason that South Riverside survived And though the transforming of a desert into a garden had many 'serious drawbacks, yet success came, and the Queen Colony of 1887 is today a large factor in Southern California

In February, 1886, R. B. Taylor of Sioux City, Iowa, conceived the idea of planting a colony in Southern California. He succeeded in organizing a company composed of the following gentlemen: R. B. Taylor, Adolph Rimpau, George L. Joy, S. Merrill, ex-governor of Iowa, and A. S. Garretson. They succeeded in buying from the heirs of B. Yorba nearly 12,000 acres of land, and at once began the transformation. The name chosen for the new townsite was South Riverside, and they christened it the Queen Colony. Why the name South Riverside was chosen is not known; but Riverside, even at that time, had a wide reputation, and no doubt the promoters of the new town thought the name chosen would give it prestige. The lands were situated in the southwest corner of the great county of San Bernardino, on an inclined plain, or mesa, sloping to the north from the Temescal mountains. To the east the Temescal canyon, to the west the Santa Ana canyon. It was said later by Prof. Hilgard of the State University that the upper mesa would no doubt always be comparatively frostless by reason of air currents caused by the peculiar situation of the two canyons, and time has demonstrated that the professor was correct. It would be hard to find a more glorious prospect that the one from the upper mesa. Looking over miles of valley, to the west the towns of Pomona and Chino; to the north the towns of Ontario and Uplands; to the northeast beautiful Riverside, and in the far distance old San Bernardino, while stretching almost east and west are the great Sierras. Directly north stands Old Baldy, grim old sentinel, keeping guard, as it were, of the beautiful towns at his feet. As a background to Old San Bernardino stands grand Mount San Bernardino, his hoary head seeming to touch the sky. To the east, beyond the Gavilan hills, can be seen the crest of stately Mount San Jacinto. 'Tis truly a sight once seen never forgotten.

Here then was where the townsite of South Riverside was located. A perfect desert in summer; a perfect garden in winter, when the rains brought forth the alfilaree and flowers in the greatest profusion. Great patches of cactus were here and there, and the coyote and rabbit were lords of it all. There were a few trails or roads, and over one of these, it is said, General Fremont led his troops to Monterey in the long ago. We must understand that the lands were sixteen miles away from the nearest railroad, it reaching only to Riverside, but plans had been laid to continue the railroad through to Los Angeles in the near future. Everything needed in starting the new town had to be hauled by teams this sixteen miles, as Riverside was the nearest point.

R. B. Taylor may well be called the father of South Riverside, for he not only saw the possibilities of the venture, but he threw into it his great executive ability, and as the first superintendent forced the work along with tireless energy. To transform a desert into a habitable place was the task. The land was there; the marvelous climate was there, and that was all. Water, the king of the far west, must be developed, for without water the whole scheme would come to naught. The town must be platted, streets and roads marked out and graded, and a great pipe line laid to deliver the water to the lands. Immediately after the lands were acquired development was started. Lands in the Temescal canyon, some twelve miles east of the townsite, had been acquired, where water was to be developed, and operations were commenced at once. H. C. Kellogg of Anaheim, a civil engineer of excellent ability, was engaged to survey and plat the town and outside acre property. On June 6, 1886, he drove the first stake in what is now the intersection of Main and Sixth streets. From thence he ran a line to what is now the intersection of the Boulevard and Main street, south. He then ran a line in a grand circle, one mile in diameter. This was the Grand Boulevard surrounding the town, a feature possessed, perhaps, by no other town. Inside the circle the streets were laid out at right angles, outside the roads were laid out radiating from the circle, like spokes from a hub. Magnolia avenue, the pride of Riverside at that time, was only laid out to the arroyo, or wash northeast of town, but this avenue was continued through the colony lands clear to the foothills, and in time it will be the marvel of this part of the south.

The development of water went merrily on, and sufficient having been developed to warrant a pipe line, the construction of a thirty six inch line was commenced. This pipe line was commenced about August, 1886, and was completed in the spring of 1887 at a cost of 545,000.

The first building erected was an office for the use of R. B. Taylor, in the rear of the present First National Bank. Its size was 16x24. In the rear of this building a well had been sunk which supplied the wants in that line until water could be delivered from the main pipe line. The first house built was on Sixth street, between Ramona and Victoria streets, on the south side of the street. This was for the use of H. C. Kellogg, engineer, as a residence. In October, 1887, the house was bought by J. L. Taber and used by the Taber family until it was moved in 1910 to make room for the concrete garage built by A. L. Taber.

The real settlement of South Riverside began in 1887, and this year was a very busy one for the new colony. Early in the year settlers began to arrive. Most of the newcomers were from the state of Iowa, though several other states were represented, as also was Canada. Among them were William Dyer and family, F. H. Robinson and family, Andrew Wheaten, B. C. Turner, Harry Woodhall, John, Allan and Ted Fraser, I. A. Newton and family and William Wall and family. Charles Wall and R B Taylor have the honor of being the first to sleep in the new town, having the whole townsite as their bedstead and the sky as the coverlet. Charles Wall also had the privilege of being the first zanjero. These were among some of the first comers to South Riverside, and the desert began to resound with the hum of hammer and saw. The mere fact that all material had to be hauled sixteen miles was no deterrent, for the ones who came from their homes in the east meant business - they had come here to make homes, and no little thing could stop them.

The first building of magnitude was the Hotel Temescal. This was built by A. S. Garretson, and he tried to make it the equal of any hostelry in the southern country. The grounds comprised a whole block of ground in the center of town, bounded by Main, Sixth, Washburn and Seventh streets. The building was a five story structure and was up to date in every appointment. O. A. Smith was made manager, and it must be said that no hotel ever had a more genial host. Mr. Smith took delight in making the grounds beautiful, and it was not long until they were the most beautiful of any hotel grounds in the south, and for many years, were the beauty spot of the town.

The hotel was commenced in the spring, of 1887, and here, in the midst of the lumber in front of the unfinished building, was held the first church service in the new colony - the pulpit a pile of boards - the pews whatever there might to be to sit upon. The Rev. Mr. Houlding of the Congregational Society was the preacher, he having since become a missionary to China. This same year the Congregational Society built a church on the corner of Ramona and Eighth streets. The Rev. Goulding was installed as pastor, but held the position but a few months. Here worshipped all denominations for many months, or until they severally organized. In May the Citizens Bank was organized and commenced business August 1, with R. B. Taylor as president and H. Woodhall, cashier. The bank had its home in the small office of Mr. Taylor, before mentioned, for several months, or until the present bank building was finished. This building was commenced in June of this year on the northeast corner of Sixth and Main streets. The corner room was for the home of the Citizens Bank, besides which there were two large storerooms, and in the upper story were offices.

At this time the building operations in Southern California were so great that much difficulty was experienced in getting materials, and with South Riverside so far from supplies, made it so much worse, so the Taylor or Bank Block was not finished until the following April.

The first orange grove in the new colony was set by Patrick Harrington, an old resident of Temescal. They were old trees taken up in the Temescal and transplanted in the southwest of town, on the grove now owned by Leo Kroonan. Mr. Harrington also started a brick yard north of town and supplied bricks for the town in its building operations.

On Thursday, June 2nd, the first newspaper was issued under the name of the South Riverside Bee, by F. T. Sheppard. The office was located on the west side of Main street, below Fifth. Shortly after the first issue Frank Dyer bought one half interest. and still later H. C. Foster bought the interest of Mr. Sheppard. R. B. Taylor had built a fine residence on the corner of Eighth and Victoria streets, which furnished the first fire in the new colony, as it burned before it was quite finished.

The great need was the railroad; the roadbed was made; the rails were laid, and longing eyes were looking for the ears. All mail was directed to Riverside, from whence it was carried by stage, and although P. M. Coburn carried it gratis, yet the people wanted the railroad and a postoffice. At last, on June 30, the first train pulled into South Riverside, whereat there was much rejoicing. On the 12th of July an excursion was run to South Riverside from the surrounding towns. An auction sale of lots and acre property had been advertised, and on the day appointed the crowds were there and much property was sold and many decided to locate.

No postoffice had yet been located by the government, but very shortly after the railroad was an established fact, O. A. Smith was appointed postmaster. He appointed J. H. Taylor of the Taylor & Lawrence hardware firm, his deputy, and the postoffice was opened in the hardware store, on the site of the present Corona Lumber Company.

It is a commendable fact that every new American community must have schools, and South Riverside was no exception to the rule. Settlers were coming in, and the necessity of schools very soon began to be felt. The matter was agitated, and the first school meeting was held in the drug store of B. C. Turner, on the 12th of October. B. W. Sloan was chairman and John Priest, secretary. There being no provision as yet for schools by the county, it was ordered that every male resident should pay the sum of $2 per month and three months in advance, and that the school should commence November 5th. Miss Gertie McEwen was appointed teacher. A schoolhouse was built on the corner of Eighth and Howard streets, largely by the Land and Water Company. The building was bought later by the Christian Church organization, and later still by the Christian Scientists. Here school was kept for over one year, or until the schoolhouse was built in the next block. Shortly after the school was started the Yorba School District was formed and funds were provided in the usual manner.

Some time after the advent of the railroad a new enterprise was started. This was to build a railroad from Pomona to Elsinore. A company was formed, consisting of Ex-Governor Merrill, George L. Joy, R. Gird of Chino, F. H. Heald of Elsinore, H. A. Palmer of Berkeley, A. F. Naftzger and G. H. Fullerton of Riverside. At once work was commenced; following the surveyors the road was graded to or near the Hoags canyon, wben work ceased. Had the road been carried through it would no doubt have opened up a large area of country, but whatever the reason was the work ceased, and the Pomona and Elsinore passed into history as a joke.

The first child born in the new colony was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Robinson, in September of '87; and the first death was the infant daughter of H. E. Taylor, who at that time held the position of station agent.

The South Riverside Land and Water Company was putting forth every effort to make the settlement a success. They had donated one quarter block each to the Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, Congregational and Catholic denominations. As I have noted, the Congregationalists were the first to use their land, but the Methodists in the fall of this year laid plans for meetings and organization. The Rev. Mr. Sowden was stationed here, and a small parsonage was built on their lot on Ramona and Tenth streets. The company also offered prizes for those who beautified their lots, and a prize to the one who would build the first brick dwelling. This prize went to Col. Allan Fraser, who built the two story brick house now standing on the corner of Howard and Seventh streets. Settlers were coming in fast and dwellings going up in all parts of the colony. George L. Joy was laying plans for a fine residence. W. H. Jameson, son in law of Mr. Joy, had plans for a modern dwelling, which was erected the following spring. N. C. Hudson also planned to build a fine residence. These gentlemen, all interested in the company, were men of energy, and evidenced their faith in the new colony by making it their home. It is hard to think of Mr. Joy and Mr. Hudson without feeling that it was something to have known them. Mr. Joy was a man of magnificent physique, always kindly and courteous willing to lend a helping hand to the one in distress; Mr. Hudson, than whom a more lovable character never lived, was always ready to give a gentle and kind word, and when these gentlemen died the town suffered a great loss.

Everyone had faith in the new colony. Those who had bought acre property were preparing to set out trees. It must be understood that though oranges had been grown successfully for some years, yet the raising of oranges was but in its infancy. Much had to be learned; to the man from the east everything was different from the old home, yet men came across the continent and invested their money in an enterprise wholly new to them, with the usual American courage, willing to take whatever might come, but always hoping for success. And so the year 1887 closed with everyone hopeful and every prospect pointing to a great future for South Riverside. The winter of 1887 and '88 was blessed with abundant rains, so necessary to this country, and the mesas were a sea of white and gold; the flowers were perhaps more abundant than at any time since. Soon the young orange trees began to come in, and the different acre pieces were soon dotted with the young buds. O. A. Smith had the honor of raising the first orange in the new colony. It has been stated that Mr. Smith very early planted different kinds of trees, and this orange grew on a young bud in the rear of the hotel. It is useless to say that Mr. Smith was proud of his early success, or that the orange was of much interest to the colonists. This was what so many had located here for, to raise oranges, and to see the first successful result only spurred them on.

Early in April the Taylor, or Bank block, was finished and the Citizens Bank took possession of its new home, where it has been for many years. The Land and Water Company had their quarters in the rear of the Citizens Bank, or in the room now used as the Citizens Bank.

The year '88 was a busy year in every way. Dr. R. D. Barber of Worthington, Minn., erected the building bearing his name, on the west side of Main street, below the Bank Building, and later located here and built a fine residence on Victoria street near the Boulevard. Messrs. Nowlin and Burton built the brick building on the east side of Main, below Fifth, both of these gentlemen locating here and purchasing acre property. The building of dwelling houses continued, and the new town began to assume a most prosperous appearance.

It must be understood that no revenue was being derived from the new lands, this was all in the future. Young trees were costly, ranging from $1.50 to $2.00 per tree for good stock. The country was new to nearly all who located here. Little or nothing was known as to what would or would not grow to advantage and find a market. Experience has taught that certain localities are right for certain products, and the same would be a failure in other localities. But this had to be learned, and to some it proved somewhat costly. Again, the caring for citrus orchards had to be learned, for even in the older communities, where citrus fruits had been raised for some years, the growers had not arrived at near the perfection since acquired Many mistakes were made, but on the whole South Riverside measured up with other communities in this respect, and time has demonstrated that advantage has been taken of the early mistakes.

It was early discovered that there was a great deposit of porphyry rock to the east of the colony, and this year a company was formed, crushers installed, and the quarry opened. The railroad company ran a spur to the quarry and crushed rock was shipped to different towns to be used in road and street work, thus opening the first industry of the new town and giving work to many. It was also known that the hills to the south abounded in clays of different kinds for use in making pottery. This year C. B. Hewit, later superintendent of the Southern California Sewer Pipe Company, investigated and found that the deposit of clay was of the best. The above company secured a tract of land about one and a half miles from town, a building 80x160 feet was erected, kilns were built, and soon an excellent quality of clay goods was being turned out, thus giving to the new town another industry that gave employment to many men. This, now known as the Pacific Clay Company, has established a reputation for clay goods second to none on the Pacific coast and is still turning out great quantities of its products.

In 1857 there was discovered what was supposed to be the richest tin mine in the world. The location of the mine was in the San Jacinto hills, commonly known as the Gavilan hills. For a great many years these mines had been in litigation, but in 1888 the litigation was brought to a close. With the settlement of a doubtful title, an English syndicate obtained control of not only the mines, but a vast territory surrounding them, styling themselves The San Jacinto Co., Limited, of England. Many Californians are familiar with the history of the legal proceedings involving the title of the property, but few know the story of their discovery. Near the close of 1857 an old Indian chief of the Cahuilla tribe, residing with Mr. Sexton, of San Gabriel, Los Angeles county, became sick and felt himself dying. There was a secret on his mind which he wished to reveal to the man who had shown him so much kindness. He feared to do so, however, as it had been trusted to his faithful guardianship, and yet he felt that it would eventually become known through the prying curiosity of the white man who was penetrating every portion of the country, and from whom no secret could be much longer kept. Arguing thus within himself, and being anxious to benefit his friend by imparting to him the secret, he consulted his medicine man, whdwhos in attendance upon him, but whose simples were now unavailing. Meeting at first with opposition from his counsellor, lie had to overcome his scruples and finally obtained his consent to obey his orders when he should pass away to the land of spirits. Having thus conciliated his counsellor, he called to his side his generous friend Sexton and informed him that he was about to die and before dying he wished to impart to him a secret which would be the means of making him a rich man. He then informed him that he had given orders to his medicine man to conduct Sexton to the place where they obtained their medicine. He knew that the rock contained precious metal, and that he wished him to have the benefit of the knowledge of its existence, satisfied that the Americans would soon find out what it was and its value. He was the last of his name and his family, and there were none to whom his obligations bound him to transmit his cherished secret. Accordingly, after the death of the old chief, Mr. Sexton, taking with him F. M. Slaughter, set out with his Indian guide to find the place where the medicine was obtained. The Indian made his way to Temescal, then bore off to the mountains and finally came to the base of the Cajalco hill. On reaching this place the Indian seemed to be terribly exercised. Standing apart from his companions he commenced uttering strange sounds; shortly he broke into a sort of a chant or lamentation; his cries became louder and louder, his body became distorted, and swaying to and fro, he fell to the earth. This he repeated; then he spread out his hands to the east, then to the west, and in a moment started off on a run up the hill in a straight line to a hole which was in the ground. Arriving at this he went through much the same gyrations and contortions. He then beckoned to his white companions to come up, pointing to the hole as the medicine hole. On being opened it was found to be a mineral vein and on being tested it was found to be tin. That lead is called the medicine lead on Cajalco hill and that is the manner in which its existence became known. The medicine was oxide of copper. Whether this story be true or not, the fact remains that the English company obtained control of the mines and a vast territory surrounding them. This year the English company sent an expert, a Mr. Crase, to examine the mines and report on what he found. The report he took back to England was most flattering, and the people of South Riverside had reason to believe that a vast industry would be opened right at their door. South Riverside was the nearest point to the mines. All supplies, and in fact everything that must go to the mines, would go from or through the new town. Therefore it was only reasonable that the people should expect great things from the tin mines and patiently awaited results. The school facilities were of the most meager sort, with no margin for the growth of the district, and soon the matter began to be agitated. All was of the belief that a schoolhouse should be built, the only question was, how much of a schoolhouse should be built.

The result of the agitation was a bond election and the voter's, by a fair majority, voted to bond the district for $20,000. Twenty thousand dollars seemed something immense to those who voted against the measure, but the bonds were voted and sold at a small premium. A whole block of land was secured, after much debate, bounded by Ninth, Tenth, Victoria and Howard streets. The contract was let to A. W. Boggs, of Riverside, and work was commenced late in the winter.

It must be stated that the trustees, R. B. Taylor, F. H. Robinson and P. M. Coburn, set aside from the $20,000, $1,500 for the purpose of building a schoolhouse in the new town of Auburndale, then in the Yorba school district. The trustees experienced much troubled with the contractor and finally took the work from him and finished it themselves.

On Sunday, July 8th, occurred the first church dedication in the new town. The Congregational church, though built in 1887, was not finished; the walls were unfinished, the seats were boards laid on boxes and the early worshippers felt that they really were at the ragged edge of civilization when they entered the edifice. But now the building was finished and well seated, and the walls tastefully decorated. The Rev. C. B. Sumer, of Pomona, preached the dedicatory sermon and the event marked an epoch in the history of the new town, this being the only place of worship. The building at That time faced the west and later was moved to the position it now occupies.

Late in the fall George L. Joy began the erection of a magnificent residence on the corner of Garretson avenue and the Boulevard, the present residence of the Platt sisters. Mr. Joy intended this for his residence, but before it was finished a Mr. McCarty, who had fallen in love with South Riverside, persuaded Mr. Joy to sell him the house. Mr. Joy did so and at once began plans for a still larger residence. And so the colony grew. Every prospect was bright and 1889 opened auspiciously. The groves that had been set out were thriving wonderfully, and many new ones were being set. The growers were looking forward to golden profits. But now the colonists were to be tested by adversity, for as the weather began to grow warm came that scourge of new California towns, the grasshopper. In millions they came and soon the bright prospects were turned to gloom. The fight with the hopper was on in earnest. It was a condition that must be met and conquered or lose the valuable trees. One grower had a drove of turkeys which he drove up and down the rows of trees devouring hoppers as they walked. Another had ducks for the same purpose. Many pounds of strychnine were placed at the base of young trees and thousands of hoppers were thus killed, but all to no purpose. The scheme of enclosing the trees in cheesecloth sacks was tried, but the hoppers ate their way into the sacks and made the matter worse, and as a last resort gunny bags were tried and they were a success, keeping the hoppers out, or away from the trees. But this was not resorted to until the trees had suffered considerable damage, and it was long before many of the trees overcame the damage done, and perhaps some were injured permanently. The hoppers were present for two seasons, but the second season little damage was done. Although the hopper created so much trouble and damage, yet new settlers came and new groves were set out, and though building was not as brisk as the year previous, still new houses continued to be erected.

About this time considerable dissatisfaction began to be manifest in regard to the name of the town. It was said that people in the east carried the idea that South Riverside was a suburb of Riverside and that through this misconception South Riverside lost many who would otherwise have settled here, and it was said that many Riversiders encouraged this misconception. However that may have been, the dissatisfaction existed and intensified as time passed, culminating in the final changing of the name.

The pipe line that was first laid irrigated land only below Ontario avenue; above this point was perhaps the best land in the colony and this year the Land and Water Company laid plans to add another pipe line, the same to be about on a line with Lemon street. This would give water to about two thousand acres of fine mesa land, on which are raised the finest lemons in the world. The year 1889 was somewhat of a blue year for the orchardist and the year 1890 was a year of anxiety, but though the hopper was very much in evidence, yet constant watchfulness prevented the damage that might otherwise have been done. It is said by old Californians that every new community must have the fight with hoppers until the land, or the most of it, has been cultivated. In the early part of 1891 a company was formed in St. Louis, Mo., styled the Boston and South Riverside Fruit Company. This company bought many acres of land which was set with trees under the able management of T. P. Drinkwater, who held the position for many years.

In the early part of 1891 the tin mines opened in earnest. A Colonel Robinson was placed in charge by the company and he proceeded to make the mountains ring with the hum of labor. A large number of skilled and unskilled workmen were employed, vast quantities of material of all kinds were ordered, all of which was brought from or through South Riverside; many teams were needed, as the road to the mines was but a trail after leaving the county road, and before Cajalco hill was reached much hard hill and treacherous grade had to be passed, thus making it necessary to load as light as possible. Soon great pigs of pure tin began to come over the trail and down to the South Riverside railroad depot for shipment and it was published to the world that the only tin mine in the United States, near South Riverside, was proving an immense success, and the settlers of the colony felt sure that this great industry had come to stay. Everyone had a small piece of tin which he showed with pride to those who visited the town. Through the tin mines the town was the recipient of an honor not usually accorded to small towns. President Harrison and the governor of the state, Markham, honored the town by stopping here a short time. Near the railroad depot was erected a great pyramid of tin. Surmounting it was an inscription telling that this was the first tin produced in the United States. The president stood near the pyramid and was photographed, as also was the governor, after hich the president spoke briefly and congratulated South Riverside and California on having such a magnificent industry. Thus the fact that an actual tin mine was in operation and turning out tons of tin was spread broadcast over the country. Everything pertaining to the tin mines was done on a magnificent scale, the buildings were of the best, the machinery of the finest; the superintendent and his staff lived like princes; money was poured out lavishly, and the amount of tin produced began to grow less. But great plans were made; in the Hoags canyon they began the construction of a dam, and lower down the canyon vast masonry work was done with the intention of tunneling the hill to the base of the shaft and reducing the ore in the canyon instead of doing so at the hill top. This was no doubt good, had the amount of tin that was being produced warranted such procedure. But Mr. Robinson was called to London by the directors and roundly censured for the reckless manner in which he had spent the money meant to operate the mines, and he was dismissed. In his place was sent a Mr. Harris to look over the situation and report to the directors. But the shipment of tin gradually fell off, work gradually ceased, until, about July of 1892, work ceased entirely and the following winter all of the buildings, machinery, and whatever could be moved was sold at auction to satisfy claims. Thus died the great tin mines; many claims were not satisfied and the loss to some was great. Although the mines were a seeming failure, and though many were financial losers thereby, yet the mines were a boon to South Riverside. Much of the money spent so lavishly found its way to the town, and many settled here on account of the mines. The money so spent came at a time when there was no income from the lands planted and perhaps the gain to the people, indirectly, was greater than the loss. It is not now known how great or how small the deposit of tin is in the lands worked thus far. It may be that in the future the belief of the dying Indian may prove true and vast deposits of tin be found. Today the masonry in the Hoags canyon is overgrown with weeds and trees. The site of the dam may be found by the evidences of past labor and Cajalco hill and the trail leading thereto has gone back to the primitive; where once was the hurry and bustle of labor is given over to the jack rabbit and coyote. While the tin was being smelted on Cajalco South Riverside was growing; acre after acre was being planted, a solid foundation being laid which would yield future wealth. In January, 1892, the Land and Water Co. let the contract to construct the upper pipe line. As before noted this would irrigate about two thousand acres of the finest land. Work was pushed along rapidly and in May of the same year the opening of the pipe line was celebrated. The whole population took part and made it a time of great jollification. Many acres were sold on that day and very soon the tract began to fill up with oranges and lemons.

The St. Louis Fruit Co. bought largely of the orange heights tract. This company was formed in 1892 and has been a factor in town ever since. At present the company owns one hundred and eighty acres of lemons, employs seventy five men and this year shipped two hundred and twenty carloads of lemons. It was organized under the name of the St. Louis Fruit Co., but several years ago the name was changed to the Corona Lemon Co. and since the change has been under the very able management of S. B. Hampton.

The social side of the young community also began to take form. In June of this year the Independent Order of Foresters organized with a large membership, the first organization of the kind in the new town. Later the Odd Fellows and Masons organized, and so the town began to take on an air of a really settled community and the little fruit thus far grown was an encouraging sample of what the future would bring.

In the beginning the Land and Water Co. set aside, for cemetery purposes, land beyond the wash, north of town. This was used for burial purposes until 1892. The winter of 1891-2 brought copious rains, so much that the low ground north of the depot was full of water and it was impossible to get to the cemetery. This was an unfortunate condition, as there was no place to bury the dead and those who died during the flood period had to be buried in the most convenient place. This caused an agitation for a different place for a cemetery. A few citizens met and proposed to secure a cemetery site and form an association. The first trustees elected were R. D. Barber, William Corkhill, N. C. Hudson, P. M. Coburn, T. P. Drinkwater and O. A. Smith. After looking at several proposed sites the spot now used as a cemetery was chosen and bought from the Land and Water Co. The land is beautifully located on the bluff near Commercial street on the northeast and on Rimpau street on the southeast. The bodies that were in the older cemetery were removed to the new site and the change was very acceptable to everyone. It was incorporated under the name of the South Riverside Cemetery Association, and though the corporate name has not been changed, the name it is known by is Sunny Slope Cemetery, a name selected by Mrs. E. L. S. Joy.

The building operations this year were considerable. Many new houses were built, and Main street was improved by the building of the one story brick building next to the Bank Building on west side of Main, also J. C. Stege, a pioneer merchant, built the two story brick building on the east side of Main street below Sixth street. This was a very fine building and added much to the appearance of the town.

The first gratifying results to the orange growers came in January, 1893, when the first carload of oranges was shipped; the fruit was grown by George L. Joy, A. S. Fraser and N. C. Hudson. There being no packing house built as yet the fruit was packed in the groves. The fruit proved to be of the finest quality and an excellent advertisement for the new colony.

In April of this year the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was reorganized; in the first year of the colony this organization started, but soon died out. A number of ladies felt that there was much need of a reading room in the town for the use of many men who had no means of obtaining good literature, and that the organization could take this matter up along with the other work of their society. In fact this work was a part of their duty. Hence they reorganized and at once started a movement for the establishment of a reading room. The churches co-operated with them and the latter part of this year a reading room was opened in the store room now occupied by George Allensworth as a grocery. It was very successful and was kept open for a number of years.

The movement that interested the citizens of the town and county this year was the division of the county or the formation of the new county of Riverside. The county bill was passed by the legislature in February and signed by the governor on March 11. An election was held on the 2nd of May to ratify and elect county officers. South Riverside voted almost solid for the new county. There was much disappointment that one or more of the offices did not come to South Riverside. Perhaps Riverside thought that we asked for too much at the convention. Be that as it may, South Riverside felt sorely disappointed not to have one representative in the county government. The change meant but little for the town of South Riverside, yet everyone felt satisfied. This year the Episcopalians organized with ten members. The Rev. Alfred Fletcher was pastor; for several years, or until they built the present church building, the members met in the schoolhouse. In June of this year a Grand Army Post was organized by the veterans of the town, naming it Carleton Post. At the time there were but few veterans in the town, but as time passed their numbers were increased by new arrivals. The Post is still flourishing.

George L. Joy perfected plans for a new residence and the beautiful residence on the Grand Boulevard was the result. Mr. Porter of Riverside was the contractor and it was finished in the year 1893. This is perhaps one of the finest residences, if not the finest, in the town and is located in the finest resident portion of the town.

There was no cessation of tree planting, new groves springing up all through the colony. The experiment had proven that there was no better land or location for citrus fruits and it soon got abroad that South Riverside was a very favored corner of the world. But one thing marred the prospect, and that was the fear of shortage of water. The lands purchased by the Land and Water Co. in the Temescal canyon were no doubt expected to furnish enough water for the colony for many years. The years from the beginning had been favored in winter with a good supply of rain, but in 1893 began a series of dry years, and while new wells were sunk in the water bearing lands, yet it did not materially increase the total water supply. The fast increase of acreage set to fruit soon made it apparent that the water supply was not sufficient. This was a most serious condition, as water being king, a possible shortage was not comforting to think of, in fact not enough water meant ruin to many who had put their all in citrus fruit. The matter began to be agitated and meetings were held to devise ways and means of increasing the supply. At this time the water was under the supervision of the Land and Water Co., each buyer of land with water on it being a stockholder. The company made every effort to increase the supply, but in vain, and it was evident that some other location than the Temescal must be found for the development of water.

The cry, not enough water, has been the cry of very many California towns, and when all is considered it is not strange that such should be the case. The people of the east knew little or nothing of irrigation, and thousands who came here knew as much of the value of water as the natives of the Peruvian mountains. Hence it is not strange that the promoters of the colony believed that they had plenty of water. However this may have been, the shortage existed and after much discussion it was decided to buy the Lake Elsinore. This lake, about twenty miles from the town, contained a large volume of water and had it been pure would have been a veritable Godsend to the people of South Riverside. The lake was tapped in 1895 and the water conducted to the lands and used in the orchards. The difficulty seemed to be overcome and the land owners were satisfied that the water question was permanently settled. But their hopes were soon shattered, as the water began to have a damaging effect on the trees and it was found by analysis that continued use of the water would eventually destroy the trees. This was sad for the orchardists and it began to look as though fate was certainly against them. First the grasshopper, then shortage of water and then water that was killing the trees. Irrigation with it was discontinued and the growers had to be put on short allowance of water until something could be done. One ray of light to the grower was the quick recovery of the trees as soon as the water from the lake was stopped. There may have been some groves that took years to recover, but the majority were soon restored.

In this same year of 1893 Oscar Theime, a native of Holland, bought the piece of land on the corner of Lester and Lemon streets and began to improve it. It was Mr. Theime's intention to make it very beautiful and he succeeded in so doing. A part of the land was set to citrus fruit and the balance of it was laid out in an artistic manner. Costly and rare trees of many species were set out, many rare and beautiful shrubs and plants, and today Lemonia Grove is the show place of the town. Mr. Theime made this his home for a number of years, and finally, on leaving the town, the place was purchased by W. H. Jameson, who takes pride in keeping it beautiful.

At this time R. B. Taylor purchased the property which he named Cerrito Rancho, on the edge of the colony lands southeast of town. This property Mr. Taylor improved by setting it out to citrus fruits, mostly lemons. Near the center of the property is an elevation or hill, rising in a gradual slope to a height of about one hundred feet and from which a grand view of the country around may be had. Later Mr. Taylor sold the property to the Baroness Hickey, daughter of the oil magnate, Henry M. Flagler. Later it passed into the hands of Mr. Flagler, who still owns it.

The Temeseal Water Co. was formed this year, in April, 1893. Up to this time the Land and Water Co. had charge of all the water, each buyer of land becoming a stockholder, and now the Land and Water Co. turned the system over to the stockholders and the present company was formed. The Temescal Water Co. have, succeeded in building up a water plant second to none in the state.

This year Daniel Lord built a magnificent residence on Magnolia avenue, the building, two story and of splendid proportions, has a fine location, on the southwest side of the avenue, and a clear view from Riverside to the town of Pomona is afforded. Frank Scoville also started the erection of a fine residence on the corner of Ontario avenue and Main street which was completed early the following year.

[Continued in History of Corona, California Part 2]

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