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.



September (9/22) Program – City Directories of Redlands

September 18th, 2014

Historian Ann Cordy Deegan will discuss her latest publication “Redlands Directories 1896-1967″. Her publication is a San Bernardino County County Museum Association Quarterly for 2014.  The directories include information on Bryn Mawr, Calimesa, Crafton, Loma Linda, Mentone, Oak Glen, Redlands and Yucaipa.

Ann has co-authored “Images of America: Early Redlands” last year with Smiley Public Library archivist, Maria Corrillo. Deegan received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and her M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of California, Davis campus. Formerly, Ann was the curator of history at the San Bernardino County Museum.

This latest work on the city directories provides an in-depth analysis of the local directories found  in the A. K. Smiley Public Library Heritage Room. The book provides instructions on how researchers can use the directories in family research, home construction information, business and professional occupations, advertising, government, occupations, parks, schools, and streets.

The program will be held Monday, September 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library located at 125 W. Vine Street, Redlands. The Redlands Area Historical Society programs are free and open to the public.







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April Program: “Favorites from the Elias Everitt Photo Collection

April 17th, 2014

For the last year Historical Society board members Robin Grube and Ron Running have been working on scanning and cataloging the close to 4,000 prints in the Elias Everitt Photographic Collection at the San Bernardino County Museum.  In 1897, Elias Everitt became the manager of a Redlands photographic studio at the age of 60 years.  While advanced in years, Everitt created some of the most notable early images of Redlands from 1897 to 1924. In 2013 the Historical Society helped to fund the Museum’s exhibition of Everitt’s work which is still on display.

While the selection was difficult, Grube and Running will be sharing their favorite images which depict early life of Redlands. Some of the themes that will be shown are portraits, families, groups, community events, parades, trades, early transportation, architecture, and interesting interior shots. The goal of the scanning and catalog effort is to make the Museum’s collection more accessible to the public. Ron and Robin will demonstrate how researchers will be able to use the photo imaging in their genealogical and local history studies. Maybe you will recognize a family member or see your street as it once was.

The Society’s meeting are free and open to the public. The meeting will be held in the assembly room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine Street, Redlands at 7:00 p.m.


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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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