Benton O. Johnson Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1975

Benton O. Johnson Home
52 Summit Avenue

Benton Johnson selected the site for his home in March of 1888. The Citrograph noted the following:

Of all the choice locations we have seen for a residence that of B. O. Johnson’s takes the cake. From the bold promontory on which it is to stand a superb view is to be had all over the valley, while it is only a few minutes walk from the terminus of the street car line. (Highland and Cajon) When Mr. Johnson gets his trees and flowers planted that same bald knob will be a thing of beauty and joy forever.

Mr. Johnson, the first owner, was very active in Redlands commercial life. He was involved in a mercantile business, on the present site of Woolworths, and secretary and treasurer of the Bear Valley Irrigation Company. His citrus grove interests were spread throughout the city. His modest wealth enabled him to construct the $5,000 home and $1,000 barn.

Redlanders have appreciated their building locations since the early days of its history. Homes were located on view bluffs in Redlands frequently where the streetcar line could afford easy transportation.

The house was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Gibson for many years. For the past sixteen years the James A. Smiths have spent time and money on “their labor of love”.