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Riverside City, California (U.S)

Riverside County

Last modified: 2012-08-16 by rick wyatt
Keywords: riverside city | california | raincross | rubidoux | riverside county |
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[flag of Riverside City, California] image by Michael Smuda

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Description of the flag

The flag consists of a yellow over blue rectangle with a darker blue double circle in the center. In the center circle is a "raincross", a mission bell and a cross reported to be used by Navajo and Central American native peoples to pray for rain. It is a symbol used throughout Riverside. Between the inner and outer circle are the words "RIVERSIDE" and "CALIFORNIA" in dark blue letters.
Michael Smuda, 23 January 2004

The flag of the City of Riverside, California, flies at the City Hall. The city was founded in 1870 by John North and a group of Easterners who wished to establish a colony dedicated to furthering education and culture. Riverside was built on land that was once a Spanish rancho. Investors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities adopted by prosperous citizens: the first golf course and polo field in Southern California were build in Riverside. The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry Riverside is famous for began two years later when Eliza Tibbets received two Brazilian navel orange trees sent to her by a friend at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. The trees thrived in the Southern California climate and the navel orange industry grew rapidly.

As the city prospered, a small guest hotel designed in the popular Mission Revival style grew to become the world famous Mission Inn, favored by presidents, royalty and movie stars. Postcards of lush orange groves, swimming pools and magnificent homes have attracted vacationers and entrepreneurs throughout the years. Many relocated to the warm, dry climate for reasons of health and to escape Eastern and European winters. Victoria Avenue with its landmark homes serves as a reminder of European and Canadian investors who settled here. The Civic Center (1924) was designed by the same planner responsible for San Francisco's, Charles Cheney.

The unique City Raincross Symbol is derived from combining a replica of the mass bell used by Father Junipero Serra, missionary priest and founder of the California Missions' chain, and the cross to which the Navajos and Central American Indians prayed for rain. The "Raincross" is used extensively throughout Riverside in its architecture and ornamentation and is on the City flag. The raincross symbol was designed for the Mission Inn and given to the city by the hotel's owner, Cpt Christopher Columbus Miller, and has been identified with Riverside since 1907.

Chris Kretowicz, 25 November 2002

Raincross Symbol

[Raincross symbol of Riverside City, California] image by Chris Kretowicz

Rubidoux Village

[Rubidoux, California] image by Chris Kretowicz

The logo shows Mount Rubidoux, a park with the gigantic cross, the valley, and the mighty Santa Ana River. The legend says: "California's First Community Services - 1952"
Chris Kretowicz, 26 November 2002

The only flag in use in the Village of Rubidoux, California, but first, a bit of background:
Long before Europeans and their descendants enter the area, this land was occupied by several Indian tribes, including the Sarranos, the Luisenos, the Cupenos, the Chemehuevi, and the Cahuillas. One of the first Caucasians to travel through this area was Cpt. Juan Bautista de Anza, who led an overland expedition in the autumn of 1774. He and the group of 34 Spanish soldiers came from Arizona looking for a good land route to the riches of California. After the dry and arid desert they had crossed, they came atop a mountain range to look down on a beautiful area they called "Valle de Paraiso - Valley of Paradise". On January 1, 1776, the first party of colonists to come overland to the Pacific coast crossed the Santa Ana River and camped here. Recruited in the presidios of Sonoma, Mexico, and led by Lt. Col. de Anza, who had established the trail only two years earlier, this humble and historic band of 242 men, women and children continued north to found San Francisco. In the late 18th century, the Spanish mission fathers of San Gabriel, San Juan Capistrano and San Luis Rey began colonizing the land and gradually used the interior valley (in what is now Western Riverside County) for raising grain and cattle. During this period, Spain claimed all of California and Mexico. In 1822, Mexico successfully revolted against Spain and California came under Mexican jurisdiction. The missions and their land were secularized in 1834 and the land was transferred as 'grants' to Californians who were citizens of Mexico.

The first grant in what is now Riverside County was given to Juan Bandini in 1838. His area was called El Rancho Jurupa. His daughter married a man named Abel Stearns. Her father gave him a great portion of the rancho. Another portion of the land not owned by Stearns was later sold to the French-Canadian adventurer and businessman, Louis Robidoux (the spelling is now accepted as Rubidoux). Louis and all the other ranchers were successful with their business and ruled the area. In 1846, Louis Robidoux built the first grist mill in the region and established a robust winery. The mill provided flour, a popular but scarce commodity, for settlers and American troops. The mill was washed away by a flood in 1862. In 1856 the first adobe schoolhouse was built. Charles Hardy, an Englishman from Australia became the first official teacher  on the Jurupa Ranch in that school in addition of being a private tutor of Robidoux children (at $15 a month). After Lois Robidoux's passing in 1868 the rancho was sold to Louis Prevost, another French-Canadian. He was raising silkworms and formed a silk-growing colony. After his death in 1870, John North purchased the rancho with high ideals for his new colony: a place where people could have good education and culture. He spent much of his own fortune to make his dream possible. As much of the surrounding area, this new area was built on land that was under Spanish rule and ownership, European influences were introduced and the best of both cultures were mixed together. John North wanted to name the city he founded in 1870 Jurupa, but others disagreed  and it was renamed Riverside.

The land West of the city, where Louis Robidoux built his original home, remained rural up to the 1950s as the Village of Rubidoux. It was annexed by the City of Riverside in 1952 and the rapid residential development began, especially on the picturesque hillsides. The village is a home to the world famous Rubidoux Drive-In movie theater which was opened in 1952 and still operates today.

Chris Kretowicz, 26 November 2002