Although a Redlands Area Historical Society was organized in 1900, today’s Society was established in 1972 and incorporated in 1974. The Redlands Area Historical Society’s purpose is to support and to advance the many facets of the area’s historic resources.

Historic resources, sites, and memorabilia provide tangible links to, and visible reminders of, the past, bringing continuity and perspective to our lives. By perpetuating our past through the preservation of historic resources, we maintain a rich diversity in our community life. By respecting and restoring architectural integrity of structures and by conserving neighborhood environments, we preserve the unique character and document the historical evolution of the place in which we live.

The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc., emphasizes the conservation of the past in terms of buildings, neighborhoods, written and oral history, and memorabilia as well as programs to educate citizens, young and old, on the significance of the values of Redlands’ heritage.



March 2014 Program: “Chinese in Redlands”

March 18th, 2014

“Chinese in Redlands” – Tom Atchley will be presenting the Redlands Area Historical Society’s program for March on the history of the Chinese community in Redlands.  Chinese immigrants came to California in its early days to help with the construction of the railroads throughout the state.  After completion of the Santa Fe railroad in San Timoteo Canyon a small community of Chinese remained in Redlands. They were workers on the Ben Barton ranch, construction of the Mill Creek Dam and were later hired by the Smiley brothers to construct Cañon Crest park.

After settling in the Brockton Colony in Lugonia, Redlands “Chinatown” was established along Oriental Street between Orange Street and Texas Avenue. A dark episode in Redlands history occurred during the Panic of 1893 when a citizen uprising against the Chinese had to be stopped by Company “K”National Guard of San Bernardino.

Tom will be discussing this fascinating period of Redlands history at the Society’s meeting on Monday, March 24, 2014 starting at 7:00 p.m. in the assembly room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library located at 125 West Vine Street. The program is free and open to the public.


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February 2014 Program: “The History of the Arrowhead Springs Hotel”

February 16th, 2014

The Redlands Area Historical Society’s program for February will be “The History of the Arrowhead Springs Hotel” by Mark Landis. Landis is a freelance columnist for the Inland Newsgroup and has written local history articles for more than 10 years.  He has written a book on the 150-year history of sanitariums, hotels, resort facilities and spring water at Arrowhead Springs in the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains.

Named for the huge natural arrowhead landmark on the nearby mountainside, Arrowhead Springs is a preserved oasis of hot and cold flowing mineral springs.  The 1939 luxury hotel and many other facilities remain on the property today as reminders of the resort’s long and colorful history. Landis will chronicle its history from the development of the first crude sanitarium built by D.N. Smith in 1864. The hotel was a favorite haven for Hollywood’s greatest stars, as well as politicians and several tycoons of industry.

The program will be presented on Monday, February 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library at 125 West Vine Street, Redlands. The Society’s programs are open to the public. For further information contact Ron Running (909) 798-1289.


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January Program - “GROWING UP IN REDLANDS – 1950’S”

January 21st, 2014

On Monday, January 27, 2014 the Redlands Area Historical Society will have a program discussing life in the city during the post World War II period. The decade of the 1950’s were an exciting time for local citizens of Redlands. This time period saw unprecedented growth and development of the City.  It also ushered in the start the decline of the citrus industry for the region.

The program for January will allow us to look back at the decade that had the greatest cars and music of all time! The program will consist of a panel discussion by members who attended high school during the 1950’s. Members of the panel will be Marlene Wall Baldwing (’56),  Donna Wright Hunter (’58), Larry Munz (’58), Tim Farmer (’59), Dodie Hodson Farmer (’60), Clarence Butler (’60), and Franz Rettig (’60). A special speaker will be Bill Blankenship II who owned and operated the B&B Drive-In on Alabama Street.

The meeting is open to the public and will start at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library at 125 W. Vine Street, Redlands.


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