In 1882, Wisconsin native E. J. Waite planted the first orange grove in Redlands. By the 1930s, there were 15,000 acres of citrus groves throughout the city, along with three packing houses to crate and ship the crop. Although most of the groves are now gone, at least one remains: near Almond Avenue, west of Alabama Street.
Redlands had long been a stop on the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railroads, and those lines provided a swift means for growers to get their harvest to market. Redlands also was the eastern-most stop on the Pacific Electric Railway, the popular streetcar route that criss-crossed Southern California.
Originally part of Rancho San Bernardino — a Mexican land grant purchased by the Lugo family — Redlands incorporated in 1888. The city covers 36 square miles. It’s also well known for the University of Redlands, a private, 160-acre college founded by Baptists in 1907.