My husband and I just returned from a wonderful little getaway for our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We stayed in Riverside, California, at the famed Mission Inn.
In the 1870's a second "Gold Rush" began in California with the arrival of golden sweet and seedless navel oranges. Two trees were brought to Riverside from Brazil. Talk about perfect timing: in 1877 the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, allowing shipments of the luscious and sturdy fruit to be delivered to eager East Coasters!
By the early 1900's people were coming to Riverside not only for its navel oranges, but for the Mission Inn! The Mission Inn evolved along with its surrounding community.
The hotel started as a two story adobe home, built in 1874 by the Miller family, who took in paying guests and soon added additional wings, calling it the Glenwood Hotel. But it was their 23-year-old son Frank, who purchased the home/hotel from his parents in 1880 and eventually made it into a popular resort, re-named the Mission Inn.
By the 1890’s, Riverside was the richest city per capita in the United States. The consistent influx of tourists to Riverside made Frank Miller recognize the desperate need for a grand resort hotel. In 1902 he modernized it, and added a garden. He also hired an architect and added more wings. Then he began traveling the world...
It is truly amazing how much he did to transform the hotel before his death in 1935. (Read more here...)
The next time you peel a sun-kissed (Sunkist) orange, I hope you'll think about Riverside, California and the Mission Inn. Tomorrow I'll tell you about some children's books I found in Riverside (and more)...