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The Collection | Citrus


he 1873 introduction of two navel orange trees to Riverside from Brazil led to what some writers have termed California’s other “Gold Rush.” The navel orange (named for the end of the fruit resembling a belly button) has no seeds. In order to create the new trees, a process termed “budding” is required. The climate and soil conditions of inland Southern California proved to be perfect. The result is an international favorite; a large thick-skinned sweet orange. More

  Glenwood Photo

The welcome sign pictured in oranges at the Glenwood Tavern celebrated the Seventh Street Citrus Fair.  First held in 1879, the annual celebration became a great success and in 1882 a newly built pavilion at Main and 7th Street served as the fair’s headquarters. More

  Roosevelt Planting Orange Tree

The tree planted by Roosevelt, one of two seedless navel orange trees shipped from Washington, D. C. to Riverside, arrived in Riverside in 1873. The trees were originally from Bahia, Brazil.  A friend of Riverside residents Luther and Eliza Tibbets, who worked for the US Department of Agriculture, sent the trees to the couple.  From these two trees the orange industry of Southern California developed. More

  della Robbia

This circular plaque is an example of a style of painted clay sculpture developed by the della Robbia family in Florence, Italy.  Several generations of the family in the 15th and 16th centuries, beginning with Luca della Robbia, perfected the use of a glaze over clay or terra cotta. More

  Citrus labels

From 1885 to the mid-1950, colorful paper labels, pasted on the wooden orange crates, were shipped all over the nation.  Each packinghouse had several different labels to promote their fruit.  The labels identified the grade and brand of the fruit. More

  Memorial Window

Citrus fruit is pictured in several ways throughout the hotel, including the memorial or Saint Cecilia windows in the Cloister Music Room.  The windows, made by artist Henry Goodhue, are a tribute to Frank Miller’s wife, Isabella Hardenberg Miller. More

  Decorative Spoon

This spoon was one of many items once sold in the Cloister Gift Shop of the Mission Inn. Despite the small size of the spoon, the manufacturer successfully incorporated the oranges into the design of the spoon . More

  Parent Tree Cross

Frank Miller, the owner of the Mission Inn, promoted his hotel in many different ways.  The hotel was unique because of the Mission Inn style and the furnishings and art decorating the hotel.  It was almost like a museum.  Many people visiting the hotel thought it had been a mission at one time. More

  Smudge Pot (orchard heater)

The introduction of the Washington Navel to Riverside and eventually, to most of Southern California resulted in many inventions.  The inventions included machines used in packinghouses to sort oranges. Other machines made the wooden shipping crates. More

  Panoramic View

From the top of Mt. Rubidoux you can see in all directions for many, many miles.  At one time there were plans to build a hotel on the mountain, but the effort failed.  Mission Inn owner Frank Miller and some other investors later bought Mt. Rubidoux. More


The Mission Inn escutcheon (or more properly termed a “coat of arms”) was the symbol or “house mark” for hotel.  Each element of the escutcheon relates in some way to the Mission Inn. More

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