Sunday, January 22, 2012

Redlands: A Place I Call Home

There are plenty of reasons why I love living in Redlands.

1. The weather is pretty much amazing... I mean, it gets hot but its really only 'hot' for about two weeks, and it barely gets cold enough to wear a beanie.
2. Redlands is super close to the mountains if you want snow, and super close to the beach if you want waves.
3. It's where I grew up so chances are anywhere I am, I have (mostly) fond memories.
4. There is such a rich history here that I believe is rather unique... and this is where I find my inspiration to write today.

I checked out this book called "Redlands and Certain Old Timers" from our historic library and within two pages was already captivated by it. It is a very small book but written from a perspective that speaks very highly of the people who were the first to settle in this area.

Interesting fact #1: The first person to own property in what is now considered Redlands was a woman. She was also the first to open a passable road between here and Los Angeles. Her name was Maria Armenta Bermudez.

Interesting fact # 2: The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America, it was also used in the patriotic program which Redlands had on that same day. A first grade teacher at Kingsbury School had her class salute the flag at the end of each day if there had been no tardiness or absenses. A man by the name of General Lawton had his son in her class and when General Breckenridge visited, he witnessed the salute by the first grade class. He then went back to Washington DC and requested the salute be done at an large gathering. This was then written to the first grade teacher by Mrs. Breckenridge:

"All the distinguished men and women in the East were there and the children gave the salute, which was beautiful and impressive and created much praise, enthusiasm and applause. It was mentioned as coming from the California children. I thought that you would like to know it, since it is all owing to you."

Since then, the salute to the flag has spread over America.

It is very interesting learning about the history of the place you live. It is so easy to just live your daily life without recognizing the foundation that has been laid out for your town. It is easy to assume that it's just a city. But cities are where people dwell. That means there are stories associated with those people. This book really only gives a short glimpse into these stories, but on my quest in learning the history of Redlands I thought an appropriate place to start was with people.

Until next time, when you are walking downtown stop and take a look at the plaques you find on the outside of the buildings, you never know what you'll find!

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