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Redlands

Any history of Redlands must include explanation of two names: Crafton and Lugonia. After the Mormons' departure, quite a showplace developed along Barton Road, where several prominent ranchers bought and developed property. These include Dr. Ben Barton, H. M. Willis, J. W. Curtis, James Waters, and Anson Van Leuven.

About 1859, land lying at the mouth of the Santa Ana Canyon passed into the hands of the Crafts family. It became known as a health resort, and was famous for its produce. A school district, postoffice, depot, and water company were formed, and when the City of Redlands was incorporated, a portion of Crafton was included.

Halfway between the Old Mission district of San Bernardino, and Crafton, a group of people took up residence in what later became "Lugonia", - a name coined by the addition of a syllable to the name of Lugo, original owner of the San Bernardino Grant. By 1885 between five and six thousand orange trees had been set out in Lugonia, and the fruit became over-plentiful. Two residents, E. G. Judson and Frank E. Brown, built a fruit dryer, and incorporated the Lugonia Packing Company.

E.G. Judson

F.E. Brown

Judson and Brown really had an eye for business. They had read Charles Nordhoff's book on the Golden State, and had been impressed when a group from Connecticut came out to purchase land. Their plans were dropped, when the owners could not carry out their promise to furnish water. Judson and Brown had participated in the survey, and they began buying up land, considered largely worthless, on a stretch of bare, reddish mesa. They formed the Redlands Water Company in 1881, and constructed reservoirs and canals. They began to subdivide, and to advertise. The completion of the California Southern extension to Barstow brought on a "rate war" between railroads and the result was a rush of tourists. People of great wealth and no small civic responsibility were attracted to Redlands, and its rapid growth was compared to a page from the Arabian Nights.1

The Smiley Brothers in front of Smiley Library

Prominent among these were the Smiley twin brothers, Albert K. and Alfred H., pictured above. They bought 50 acres of land, partly from Judson and Brown, in 1888. They bought much other property in the area, and engaged in landscape gardening which was their hobby, with great benefit to Redlands. It was they who donated the grounds and money for Smiley Park and Library.



1
Ingersoll, op. cit., p. 451.

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